Dwarfism Awareness Month

As some may know, October is Dwarfism Awareness Month.

Last year I wrote a proclamation and expected (as only one can expect in Rhode Island) to have to jump through hoops… BUT, lo and behold, I got an email response that October would be declared! It was super late in September, so I was both shocked and SO excited! This year, I got a head start and asked for the renewal of the proclamation in late Spring. And… it arrived just a few months ago!

I ask you to please make October Dwarfism Awareness Month in your state, too! HERE is the perfect wording!

Dwarfism Awareness Month #aisforadelaide

Thank you for helping our community gain some footing- more people knowing, expressing and seeing that people with dwarfism are people. Please consider, even in the medical community, a picture of someone with dwarfism starts out with “This dwarf…”- no other disabilities say this. Most read as: “This PERSON with…”

Let’s make a change.

Let’s spread awareness.

Let’s do this. Together.


Filed under Achondroplasia, Community, Educate/Adovocate/Make Change

Marvelous Monday

Dave does so much for us, and watching him grow into his comfort zone as Dad has proven to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced in my life- it’s like he was meant to have kids… who would have thought? With that, when I heard him say, “Hold on, I’ll tie it,” and then a lot of bustling in another part of the house, I was curious, but I figured Dave was on a mission. With a simple recipe and some instruction, he has started Addie on her way to learning many life lessons that are best done in the kitchen.#aisforadelaide #recipe Cream Cheese Brownies

Walking into our little cooking-zone, I caught Addie and Daddy standing at the counter, mixing away- Addie’s new favorite thing to make in her own kitchen is brownies- no matter what else she makes me with me in the real kitchen, making brownies with Daddy has stuck with her. It was a fabulous weekend, and while I love spending time with my sweet lady, it’s nice to reap the benefits of Daddy-time.

Mmmmmm… brownies!


Marble Cream Cheese Brownies
Serves 32
Delicious moist brownies that are as good to eat as they are to look at!
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 1 pkg brownie mix (family size)
  2. 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/3 c sugar
  5. 1/2 t. vanilla
  1. Heat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease a 13x9 inch pan and set aside.
  3. Prepare your brownie mix as directed on the package (we used pre-packaged for a lesson in READING and FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS).
  4. In mixer, beat cream cheese until it's creamy, then add sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix for about 60 seconds on medium (until well blended).
  5. Drop tablespoons of mixture over brownie batter and use a knife to create swirl patterns.
  6. Bake 40 minutes (or as directed by your package), making sure the middle is full cooked- until the cream cheese portion is lightly browned.
  7. Let cool, and serve! Refrigerate leftovers!
  1. Substitute for cream cheese: Neufchatel Cheese.
  2. Avoid using brownie mixes with syrup pouches- for an extra chocolate boost, add 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips over batter before baking.
Adapted from Kraft
Adapted from Kraft
A is for Adelaide and... http://aisforadelaide.com/


#aisforadelaide Brownies #recipe #MarvelousMonday

With one simple recipe you can teach so much! Addie learned a lot about following both what was written and what Dave was telling her. Do you use your kitchen for life lessons?



Filed under Make it, Marvelous Monday

Where were you on 9/11?

I have always felt so moved by my mother’s moments she remembers. It’s the part of me that is sentimental, and another part history buff. I love knowing: Where she was when…

Many times this is not a bad thing. She remembers where she was when her water broke with my sister (in church, where she left, but her car was parked in, so she waited until the end of a really long service), and the time she got the call about her wallet being found (untouched) after she left it in a grocery cart. She also remembers a defining moment in America’s life.

When Kennedy was shot, she was in math class at Abington High School with Mr. Swedberg.

We had changed the order of classes because we were about to have a football rally in the gym because we were going to play Cheltenham High School in out annual game. So I wasn’t in the regular class I would have been in- but they flipped the schedule. Dr. Stull came over the loud speaker and announced that President Kennedy had been shot in the street in Dallas. I didn’t understand. All I could see was some western-like shootout. We all went to the auditorium, filing in- huge classes back then, like 63.

I can’t remember who said it, but I heard President Kennedy had died. And the band was already there to play for the rally and they started playing the National Anthem. The flag was being lowered and everyone was crying. Kids. Teachers. We all just couldn’t believe it.

Hearing her recount this, my heart beats harder and faster in my chest. The Shot Heard Around the World.

So… where was I on 9/11? My God, I swear I can feel it in my bones. I still feel the fear of the unknown.

I was in Mrs. Hamilton’s psych class. I was in 11th grade. “Roll the TV in!” someone shouted. Kids piled in our class and doors closed. We’re 25 miles outside of Philadelphia. Were we next? We watched a replay, at the same time another plane struck. I started to cry. Almost everyone did.

I picked up my phone and slammed my finger into the first key, pressing hard. I felt hot and sick. He finally answered, and I screamed “GET HOME!” Pat was already planning on coming home for the weekend, but in the wake of what was playing through the TVs on his college campus at Del Val, he got into his black Pontiac with a Misfits rear-windshield full sticker and started to drive.

My Mom was miles away at a volunteer job she takes on (still) and was unable to leave- closer to Philadelphia than I was, and was trying to figure out what was really happening when I got a hold of her. “Celeste is coming to get me,” I remember telling her. We were all crammed into the cafeteria. Huddled together, slowly we all lost service on our cell phones. Everyone was trying to call out at the same time.

My boyfriend’s mom was parked out by the flag. I got into her car and she lit a cigarette for both of us. We just wanted Pat (my significant other) to get home. To do so, he needed to pass the airbase, which was on serious lock down. His usual 45 minute drive was replaced with hours. We waited. Watching coverage of what was sure to change the country forever.

I know that this event means my kids won’t understand what it’s like to never see a security camera. They will need clear backpacks in high school. Generations coming up won’t understand airport romance scenes where they run towards each other… because now everyone needs a ticket, and there’s no running, and nothing is carefree.


Everything we do is calculated and measured. 9/11 made sure of that. What we say and do and think… that can all be monitored in some way.

I miss the innocence that was. I guess I always will.

Where were you when 9/11 happened?



Filed under Parenting/Family/Lifestyle

Baby Shower Gift Guide

It’s the baby shower, and Mom has registered for it all! The swing, the bouncer, the diaper pail, the carrier, the other carrier, the car seat with the stroller, the other stroller, the jogger, the booster, the convertible seat, the clothes, clothes, clothes, clothes, shoes, clothes, bibs, the socks- they’re so cute- more socks, bedding and lotions and soaps and baby-specific washcloths.

#aisforadelaide Baby Shower Gift Guide #baby #giftguide

While all of this stuff is awesome and some of it necessary, there are always off-registry shoppers (Why? I don’t know.) and people who want to know what Mom really wants. So I compiled a list of 5 things that will help her out more than yet another $78 plastic thing to put baby down in, or more baby shoes. Babies. Don’t. Need. Shoes. No matter how cute. Here’s my Baby Shower Gift Guide!

1. Gift Cards
They seem so impersonal. They’re not. At least not in this case. Personally, one of the most fun things I got to do was shop for my own baby-to-be! A few friends grabbed a cute bib, or an inexpensive item off of my registry and added a gift card- it was perfect. A necessity (like a bottle washer and special safe-for-baby dish soap) and then a treat: I can shop for baby! Clothes are always fun… but really, on week 6 of parenthood, I needed $30 in breast pads, nipple cream and more bags to store my milk– all products I didn’t register for enough of, nor did I know which brand I would like best. For this reason, tapping into one of my gift cards to Target or Babies R Us or Amazon was perfect!

And don’t forget post-baby time for mama! I love Massage Envy and was lucky to have a gift card for a few massages this pregnancy. (There are Massage Envy locations everywhere, by the way!) Or find out where Mom goes for her nails or hair. A gift card to pamper her (or just wash… eeeer, trim her hair) is such a treat!

2. Meals
There are a few different websites that offer meal delivery services… set one up for mama and pick a few dates yourself! Meals in disposable containers are a bonus (bring a bottle of red wine with it, and I may try to keep you). Recently a friend set up Meal Train for me after Addie’s surgery. It saved me three nights of cooking, which gave me time to sit with Addie and give her the attention she needed during her recovery. Post-baby, having someone help out with the cooking (even a breakfast casserole for the mornings) is an invaluable gift!

3. Postpartum Doula
If you read regularly, you know that I love doulas, but did you know that there are more than one type? A postpartum doula comes to the house and helps Mom. She will hold the baby so she can shower, help with laundry, dishes, meal prep, naps… a whole slew of things so Mom can acclimate to motherhood (or motherhood with more!). Local doula Kristen Kardos helped me after Addie was born, and it was wonderful (also something I never would have thought of!). Having a list that you keep (when you notice something that needs to be done, like vacuuming or dishes or folding, write it down and leave it out for guests to see, too) will help you see what you need help with. It’s sometimes hard to ask people who come to visit for help (although if you’re a visitor, please ask Mom what she needs help with- trust me, she’s great at holding the baby, but maybe would like some help making lunch), but having someone come a few times after bringing baby home is so helpful! Book the minimum hours for Mom from a postpartum doula and she will surely thank you from behind those tired eyes!

4. Cleaning Service
I cannot express how awesome this is- there is just no reason to even try. With a new baby, having someone come to the house a few times to vacuum, or to do a BIG clean before the baby comes… whatever you think! Mom will surely appreciate some help getting things more than in order– getting them professionally clean!

5. Stick to the Registry
Still unsure? Just gift something Mom really (thinks she) needs! Not quite a gift idea, but I know before I became a mom for the first time, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do with all the clothes I didn’t register for, and bibs and socks (SO MANY SOCKS!), and a toothfairy pillow (kids don’t lose their teeth for a while)… but I didn’t have enough diapers or wipes or bottles. It’s fun to shop, of course… and I am SO thankful for all the gifts we got when Addie was born, but I can assure you- I didn’t need one more memory book or picture frame as much as I needed some more Pampers and baby wash! Try to mix it up if you’re shopping off the registry.

I hope this helps the next time you’re wondering what to get the mama-to-be! …and no matter what- thank you for helping out mamas. As a soon-to-be mom again, I can tell you that having that love and support to get it all together means so much, both financially and emotionally.

Here’s to more celebrations, more babies, a whole lot of love!

*Tip: include a gift receipt for everything, even diapers!


This post was not sponsored by anyone… I have received nothing for the links (or for Baby 2), and will not if you click them- but you can always send me a meal or gift card!


Filed under Pregnancy/Birth

Marvelous Monday

It’s going to be a good week… every week starts that way, until you realize you totally failed to show off your firstborn’s second birthday party! While I know it’s not really a big deal, Miss A adores Elmo and we loved giving her a little celebration to show that! So… here’s a little recap of Addie’s second birthday… which was in April. #bloggermomfail

For her Rhode Island party, we went to Gymboree in Cranston. They did a wonderful job- and the kids loved it so much I actually wish we’d paid for the extra time… but as it goes, sometimes letting good things end on a good note before everyone wants to leave is the best policy. I guess in the end I’m glad it went as it did. Lots of smiles are way better than a few tears!

#aisforadelaide Elmo Birthday Gymboree #secondbirthday


#aisforadelaide #elmo #secondbirthday #generations

All the dads watching over the birthday girl!

#aisforadelaide #gymboree #elmo #dots

#aisforadelaide #elmo #cupcakes

#aisforadelaide Elmo #secondbirthday #celebrate #gymboree

Our gift to her was seeing Sesame Street Live at the Providence Performing Arts Center in downcity Providence. It was a beautiful day- so we parked a bit away and walked to the theater. Our seats were amazing- thanks to the friend we bought the tickets from (she and her hubby purchased them to get the best seats without the other knowing!) and right on the end! …and Addie didn’t ask for anything at the souvenir stand, but we bought her a huge Elmo and Cookie Monster mylar balloon anyway- which is deflated and tucked away in her memory box!

#aisforadelaide #elmo #sesamestreetlive #PPAC

#aisforadelaide #elmo #sesamestreetlive #stage #PPAC

Then… as all children get, we had a second party. (Just kidding… Addie is spoiled by having family in more than one state!) We head down to Delaware to Addie’s geneticist around her birthday each year, so my parents always have a little something for her at that time, as they live just 80 miles north. This year, I was blessed to have a friend who had a ton of Elmo decoration on hand that she wasn’t using! I was thrilled, and as soon as we got to my parents’ house I began pulling things out and hanging them all over the “great room”.

#aisforadelaide #elmo #decor #birthdayparty #secondbirthday #details

#aisforadelaide #elmo #cake #sesamestreet

A beautiful cake made by my friend’s high school culinary students!

I love that we have simple, but fun parties for our girl, and that she got to celebrate with Elmo! When I asked if that’s what she wanted, she was so excited I thought she would melt! Of all the good things we get in life, experiences are the ones we remember. I know she won’t remember it all, but as her parents, we remember most- and I will always cherish seeing her face light up- even if it’s because of a dehydrated person dressed in an Elmo suit and not her doting mother.

#aisforadelaide Elmo #party #friends #family #celebrate


Addie’s first birthday was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! What are your birthday party themes? For three, I’m thinking tea party! …we shall see what Adelaide thinks of my idea.



Filed under Marvelous Monday, Parenting/Family/Lifestyle

Flying Around #travel

We loved going to San Diego, and thankfully, had not just a wonderful time there, but a great time getting there and back! Flying the friendly skies truly was a great experience for us!

When we arrived at Logan Airport in Boston, we got unloaded and went in. Without much of an issue, we went through security and wound up at this awesome play space for kids!

#aisforadelaide #lpaSD2014 #loganairport #travel #SanDiego #flying

It was a little disappointing because some friends were over the height limit and suggested activity level for the space, but as a whole, it was a great space! Dave and Addie ran around a lot and got her energy out, which was perfect for the upcoming flight! We headed across the walk and into the family room where Addie got into her PJs and posed in front of the mirror for a bit.

#aisforadelaide #flying #boston #airport #travel #SanDiego

Then we got on the plane! We took Alaska Airlines to San Diego and it was a fabulous experience! We were able to board before everyone else so we could get Addie’s seat settled, and they had some awesome headrests that you could curve to adjust for the sides of your head. These were awesome because then I didn’t have to worry about my head falling down when I slept and hurting my neck!

#aisforadelaide #flying #alaskaairlines #boston #travel #SanDiego

Alaska Airlines also has outlets for each seat, which makes charging devices easy! …and included a decent amount of space for our limbs and bags!

#aisforadelaide #flying #alaskaairlines #travel #funnyfaces

When we landed, it was LATE for us (about 3am), and about midnight on the West Coast. Thankfully, we’d all gotten a bit of a nap on the plane AND I’d booked Super Shuttle weeks before. While we only had a short wait for the shuttle, it was overbooked, meaning there was a person without a seatbelt, and our driver was… exuberant. Being that it was midnight on July 4th there was a lot of traffic- but our driver was keen to stay out of it… which meant weaving, speeding up and braking fast and lots of cutting through neighborhoods. In the end… we got to our hotel in one piece, and the price for the ride was unbeatable. I have no doubt that we were safe… just wish it hadn’t been such an exciting ride!

We’d taken the train up to Anaheim, so we flew out of Los Angles International Airport! As expected, the lines at LAX were a bit longer to get through to security. Thankfully we had preferred passes, and were able to head over to a shorter line. Of course, with a car seat and carry-on luggage and the like, we needed some extra moments to get shoes on and off and laptops out, but there was no rushing us and a lot of assistance from the staff. I was glad that no one was upset with us!

#aisforadelaide #americanairlines #flying #travel #LAX

While we flew Alaska there, on the way back, we flew American Airlines. Their flight was super booked, so they asked anyone who could to check their carry-on. I was nervous, but offered up Addie’s bag and our rolling bag as well. They tagged our items and thanked us for helping, as well as helping us onto the plane early so we could get Addie settled in and what we had left with us stowed away.

#aisforadelaide #flying #Samsung #americanairlines #travel

After boarding, Addie fell asleep followed by myself, but when I woke up, about a catnap later, I was starving! Ooops. We’d had a mishap with some trail mix and all I really wanted was the salad I’d seen on the in-flight menu. Wanting me to be happy, Dave popped up and walked to the back of the plane. After he’d asked for the salad, he went to pull out his wallet, but the attendant held up his hand, “your wife is the woman who is pregnant and was sleeping?” “Yes,” he replied. The salad was all mine, and thanks to the wonderful customer service, it was also $10 saved (much needed!).

#aisforadelaide #flying #salad #americanairlines #travel

All-in-all, I loved both airlines and was really pleased with the ease of travel though Boston’s Logan, San Diego’s International (and their amazing outside bridge), as well as LAX airports!

#aisforadelaide #travel #view #landscape #flying #americanairlines

What are your best memories about airports? Any nightmares?


Filed under Travel

Survival of the Fittest

#aisforadelaide Survival of the Fittest #dwarfism #achondroplasia

Photo by Lisa Gendron, Agroterra Photography

There are some things that just boil the blood. For the most part, while I don’t agree with “teaching thick skin” to my kids, I do force myself to toughen up. But… there’s always a but.

If anyone who reads this blog thinks that Survival of the Fittest is something that doesn’t apply to my child, that her medical treatment isn’t something that should be covered, I have a few concerns about your fitness level. I question your ability to survive. I wonder, if the application of survival of the fittest should apply, why are you not dead?

From behind the “safety” of your IP address (guess what, that’s NOT hiding your identity), you’ve sent emails about how my insurance should continue to fight me because if my child was not different (I will never repeat your words), she wouldn’t be a financial burden to the insurance system. How I put her through life. A barrage of your friends agree with you- that’s why you feel you can write to me in such a manner. So I ask you a few questions.

How many people from behind their LCD screens, reading these very words just took a medication? Something as innocent as Tylenol or ED meds (which can be a sign of needing to see a cardiologist). Maybe something serious like blood thinners or insulin? Have you needed a blood transfusion? Ever had pneumonia? Have you broken a bone? Did you know you could die from an infection if a broken bone is left untreated? Now, how many of you also have children that are not fit enough to survive?

Survival of the fittest is not about surviving because you’re the fittest, it’s surviving all of the things that come your way. They are what make you “fit”. Fit to survive.

The 7,000+ members of the LPA who strive for awareness. Those people who have gone through and the parents who continue to push through surgeries, while groups band together for support and love- an outpouring of strangers who become family. I don’t think my daughter is amazing because she has a form of dwarfism. I think she is amazing because she’s taught me more about humility and humanity. And humanity is kindness. And those who are kind, survive.

Kindness is to love, but not blindly. To lead, but know how to follow. To not fear the unknown, but those who do not seek to know. The strong, but not the tyrannical.

Survival of the fittest… those who surround themselves with who and what they need. Who will support them and who they support in return (support does not mean agree with). Who adapt society to them, adapt themselves when they can’t, and create change to improve the world. Yes. The world. Those who survive, are the kind.


Filed under Achondroplasia, Community, Educate/Adovocate/Make Change

5 Things I Want to Clear Up About (my) Pregnancy…

Pregnancy is hard on the body- even the “easy” pregnancies have their days, but it seems like so many things in life, when a woman is pregnant people want to ask questions. Lots of questions… and some of them are rather presumptuous. While I laugh at some inquires, cringe at the few unwanted belly touches, and bite my tongue at the unasked for advice, I figured there were a few things I could just clarify for everyone!

#aisforadelaide #pregnancy #5thingsyoushouldknow

1. No, I’m not done.
Pregnancy is hard, and at some point many women feel that they are done. I get that. When the third trimester strikes, it’s tiring. But not tiring like the first… I don’t want to sleep. I want to do, only I’m bigger (and chasing a toddler) and it’s harder to do… anything. But, I am not done. I love being pregnant. I love knowing that I am protecting that life with all of mine. I love knowing that with each day we are together my babe is getting stronger, healthier, and more prepared for the world!

2. Aren’t you scared for two kids/labor?!
…I’m apprehensive. Having two is certainly not going to be like one, but it was a decision to get pregnant (just as Addie was planned, Millie is too!), and I think with our motto of #MartinkaStrong, we will be just fine! As for labor… I want to bring Camille into the world without medication, the same way I tried with Addie (read her BIRTH STORY). Pregnancy is beautiful, birth is what you make it. I truly believe that. When a nurse overwhelms me, I will stop listening. I will turn my attention to my doulas, inward to my body, to my loving husband and my mother. If a doctor wants to check me and I am sure there is no reason, I’ll ask for time. I have been to this rodeo before. I am ready to make choices, even if they are not the ones I want. I am ready to advocate for the care and birth I want. I am also ready to surrender. To my body. To the moment. To whatever comes in the next few weeks. I do not fear birth.

3. Yep, I can still do that.
Whatever that is, if I am doing it, it means I can. No, I shouldn’t be carrying in a huge box of groceries from BJ’s Wholesale… but I can mow a lawn, I can chase a toddler, I can walk a mile to and from the grocery store. I can, and I will, practice yoga during nap time. I can eat whatever is in my hand and I can drink whatever is in my glass. I can. I really, really can!

4. Are you going to induce?
I don’t know why so many people ask this, or if they know much about the birth process, but no. I will not induce. In my (NOT a doctor NOT a nurse) opinion, medically necessary induction is rare. Age, size of mother or child, or reaching your due date are not medical reasons to induce. Women have been getting pregnant and birthing for a long time. The medical community has learned a lot… the United States, however, does not (NOPE!) have the best mortality rate for mothers. I hope that birth moves more towards being totally patient centered and giving the care to the mother, as well as more choice, but for myself and my research, I choose to let my baby come when she will.

5. Did you want [another] girl? (Followed by: “What does your husband think?”)
Oh my. This one is serious business to me. I always, always smirk. Did we want another girl? No. We wanted another child. Just any child. I don’t even say “healthy” anymore because people consider Addie unhealthy (which isn’t true) and really, a sick child would fit in just fine here, too. We were simply hoping to make another baby (and have some fun doing so). I truly wondered if Dave wanted a boy because I grew up with hearing that- knowing I was, in others’ words, lucky my Dad finally got his boys… I thought maybe we were not quite complete without my brothers, not because of them, but because of gender. Happily, this is not true. Dave heard girl from the tech and I thought he’d left the building for Cloud 9. As he looked at the screen and back down at Addie, I saw him say “Camille.” I myself could barely think. Poor Dave. I thought. And yet here he was, already talking about his girls, and protecting all of his Martinka women.

So… there are some answers! I won’t touch on the inappropriate questions, or the people who want to know more about my pregnancy than my doctor does, but I will tell you there are no current signs of achondroplasia (this does not rule it out). We did deny additional testing beyond a level 2 ultrasound because Millie is doing great in there, and achondroplasia alone is not a reason for a c-section. We will know way more… after she’s born!

What are some questions you wish people would just stop asking during your pregnancy? What’s a question you have about pregnancy? Or my pregnancy? …I promise I won’t bite (and maybe I’ll answer!).


Filed under Pregnancy/Birth

Agroterra Birth… RI Doula

As I’ve mentioned before, I am blessed to know some amazing women- one of whom is Lisa Gendron. I first heard about Lisa being a doula from a friend, and then at a Doulas of Rhode Island (DoRI) event. I fell in love with her almost ethereal demeanor. We met, her pregnant belly and mine, talking across my dining room table, and though we decided (mutually) that it would be a bad idea to work together- we were due with our baby girls at the same time(!), we remained in touch.

With (now) three beautiful children, and our girls being SO close in age, I’ve found myself looking to Lisa for inspiration and advice- not just because she’s a wonder about all things birth, but because she is the kind of mother I aspire to be. Lisa approaches life with an artistic and loving eye, but is also level-headed, educated and passionate about her convictions. One of which is birth. Yes, she’s passionate about birth… all things birth!

I am fortunate enough to get to play with newborn babies and assist Lisa with her beautiful photography (she even makes me look pretty good!), but more than that, I loved asking her a few questions about her doula services and what being a doula means to her.

Maternity douls #bMaternity doula #blackandwhitephotography Agroterra Photography #aisforadelaidelackandwhitephotography Agroterra Photography #aisforadelaide

What does “doula” mean to you?
At the heart of being a Doula is a deep reverence for birthing, women and people, partners, babies and birth. To be a Doula means to be willing to suspend any prejudice, preconceived notions about how things should be and what choices people should make. My practice is rooted in the deep understanding that each person has a unique path that they will find. I cultivate the willingness to sit with each birthing person with compassion and respect for their individuality, choices, and needs. This support holds space for families to find their own meaning in the process.

What’s your specialty and why did you enter that niche?
I wouldn’t say I have a specialty per se, but I have a deep investment in the homebirth community in Rhode Island. After giving birth at home two times myself, working with the Rhode Island Birth Network supporting birth choices in Rhode Island, and co-founding the Rhode Island Homebirth Collective, I can say that helping families find the birth environment that feels best for them is a deeply important part of my practice.

How many births have you attended?
I can definitely say that I’ve attended dozens of births, but I actually decided to stop counting. I recognized that fixating on the number of births I had attended started to feel like I was putting notches on my bedpost. To me this did not feel aligned with my mission as a doula. The more births I attend, the more I feel humbled knowing that there is always something to learn.

Favorite/most anticipated moment about birth… besides the baby!
My favorite moment and birth isn’t actually the emergence of the baby at all. Of course that is an amazing moment for families and a completely unparalleled personal moment of joy and glory, but my favorite moment is actually the process that happens when the birthing woman or person has hit the wall, and they don’t think they can go any further, and they do- They do. It’s not a moment but more shift inside the woman or birthing person. It’s a transformation of will and consciousness. It’s something more profound than I can describe fully, I am in awe of it every time. It’s love.

Hardest part of your work?

The hardest part of my work is probably watching people suffer. Often there is suffering in birth, even in a beautiful empowered birth with providers that are wonderful and great support. As in life, suffering in birth is complex. It can be physical pain, the awakening of old trauma- many things. In birth a woman must face herself. The beauty of it is that suffering can be transcendent. Although it is painful to watch, I’m not afraid of this. I understand that birth, motherhood, and life invite us to learn from suffering. A doula offers her love, understanding and compassion to a woman who works to confront herself in birth. In the process there is unbearable pain, and unbelievable joy.

… and the most rewarding?
The Mamatoto- the unity of mother/ baby the perfect dyad. In surrogacy or birth where the mother gives her baby to a family that longs to love him/her, the selflessness of life giving and birthing.

Lisa Gendron Agroterr Birth Doula #aisforadelaide

A few words that you feel describe motherhood?
Motherhood: it’s raw, it’s exquisitely beautiful, it’s the most difficult thing I have ever lived- it’s the sublime.

What areas do you serve in RI/MA/CT?
All of Rhode Island Southern Massachusetts up to the Boston area and parts on the Connecticut border

Your hope for the future of your profession?
My hope is that every birthing person has a Doula. I suppose that means our profession must grow profoundly- that’s what I hope more than anything.

Your services are listed on your website and I know you’re always open to emails and messages! Is there anything else you want to add?
I provide sliding scale for families. I do not want financial restrictions to prohibit families from having a Doula. This is a social justice issue!


Want to know more about Lisa? Please visit her on Facebook and the web for Photography and Birth!


Filed under Pregnancy/Birth

Marvelous Monday

Dear Summer,

You’ve been a bit of a cruel one. Two MRIs. Two surgeries. Countless days spent with fevers, in pain, tears streaming down her face. My sweet baby’s face. Watching my firstborn in pain I know I’ll never know. Pain I couldn’t heal.

But, here’s the deal, Summer. I won’t let you win. I choose to remember the best days this summer… I choose to remember Summer 2014 like this.

#Aisforadelaide #Summer 2014 She is Fierce

Have a beautiful Monday, Reader.


Filed under Marvelous Monday