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Introducing baby Remi Leighton, our latest Fort Myers doula baby born to a determined 2nd time mom!

Today’s birth announcement was written by Emily, our fantastic doula with a wonderful sense of humor. Emily is a mother of 6, and when she’s not doulaing or deepening her faith at church, you’ll find her joy riding on her Harley.

Meeting Emily and Ian was especially cool because she has a great name.

The Kadish household is full of great names; let me introduce you to their family:

  • Hubby and daddy, Ian; he is a strength and conditioning coach for the Twins. Lovely skills to have when you're coaching your wife in the delivery room.

  • Wife and Mommy, Emily; she’s a physical therapist, so she knows quite a bit about women’s health and physiology.

  • Son and Big Brother, Knox; he is 3 years old going on 20! He kindly gave up his playroom for his little sister! What an awesome big brother!

  • The newest edition, the baby of the house, Remi (the cool names just keep coming); well she's the star of the story!

The most precious time spent with an expecting family is getting to know a little bit about their wishes for labor and delivery. We spend a lot of time reviewing their birth preferences as part of our doula services, answering their questions and encouraging them to dig deeper into what options they have and what drives their decisions. Emily's wishes were to avoid an epidural if possible in hopes to have a natural birth, which she and her husband prepared for by taking our Birthing From Within childbirth classes. While we try not to focus solely on the outcome, it brings me great joy as her doula to witness Emily ultimately achieve her preference for a natural birth! Lots of factors contributed to this, including doula care, birth classes, practicing what she learned at home with her partner, Spinning Babies, and her ability to keep her mind focused during moments of uncertainty (we all have them!) during her labor.

I love it when moms share their intuitions with their doula! I remember Emily's strong feeling that she would deliver her baby on the 28th of February, one day shy of her due date (if only I can buy stock in mom's intuitions!). Even though Remi was born on her due date, I really believe that the power of suggestion could have had something to do with her timely arrival! Arriving at the hospital at 5 cm and not feeling really strong contractions could be an indication that she was in early labor on the 28th. Mama knows.

Let's back this story up a bit. Usually I like to contact my doula clients on their due date to celebrate. Of course the 28th was on everybody's mind and we discussed her check-up which was scheduled for the following day. Emily and Ian decided to keep their prenatal visit with their care provider for that morning but they actually ended up detouring to the hospital, in labor! I imagine they were excited to find out that Emily was halfway to completely dilated, checking in at 5 centimeters!

The work begins! Oftentimes, labor has a way of drawing up raw emotions. These emotions can either help or halt a labor’s progression. As doulas our goal is to help our clients identify and process these emotions to help them cross through the threshold that labor requires. If we can get to the other side of our emotions, we can reduce our adrenaline and make way for oxytocin to release its super powers of swiftly progressing our labor.

There was at least one moment in Emily’s labor where she was facing some difficult emotions and processing the events that were unfolding before her in the birth room. Emily really amazed me with not only dealing with the sensations of labor but her ability to be able to acknowledge and identify her feelings, which in turn helped her to release herself to move from a difficult place. She made a conscious decision to share with her doula and husband what was in her heart instead of keeping it bottled up. Speaking her truth freed her from being locked in judgment and suffering. While it's not my place to share the details of the events that transpired that led to her emotional release, perhaps the telling of the story at one of our Birth Circle Gatherings (a layer of support for Mindful Birth Services clients) will prove to be cathartic.

Ian's coaching and loving, gentle way supported Emily from laboring in the tub to pushing on the bed while laying on her side. The nurse performed a pelvic examination and shared that Emily was 9 cm dilated and exited the room. Two seconds later, Emily announces the baby is coming, and that her body was pushing the baby out on its own. This is the Ferguson reflex in action, also called the fetal ejection reflex, which is when the pressure of the baby’s head stimulates nerve receptors and a series of uterine contractions which helps to birth the baby with minimal active pushing on mom’s part. It's an incredible phenomenon. This reflex becomes increasingly compulsive, overwhelming and involuntary. This is why they say even an unconscious pregnant woman can deliver her baby when the reflex is present; cool stuff! I felt privileged to witness the power of the Ferguson reflex.

Let's celebrate the birth of Remi Leighton Kadish who was thrust into a loving welcoming family! She was born on March 1st 2019 weighing 7 lb 10 oz and 19 in long.

In doula love,



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