Melanie Taylor

I am a woman, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a mentor, a leader, a teacher, and a mom. 

My son, Escher, was born in February 2009.  I remember, before I was pregnant, saying that I would definitely be getting an epidural when I gave birth one day.  I took Advil at the slightest hint of a headache, why on earth would I go through the pain of childbirth?  When I was four months pregnant I bought "The Birth Book" by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears in a toy store in Boston.  This book opened my eyes to why people choose natural child birth (it turns out it's not because they're absolutely insane, I as originally thought).   I then took a child birth class that reinforced the information in The Birth Book.  Little did I know that one of the instructors would one day be my business partner... 

My son foiled my plans, as children often do.  He was breech at 39 weeks.  I tried chiropractic adjustments and an ECV (external cephalic version - ouch!), and then struggled with the decision when the OB gave me the option of a breech delivery.  Armed with a lot of information about c-sections and very little information about breech delivery, I opted for a scheduled "baby extraction".  I felt a little better about my decision when I saw my 10 lb newborn folded right in half at birth, but I was disapointed that I had never even felt a single labour pain, let alone delivered the way I had hoped.  

I had planned to breastfeed, but was worried because I knew that a c-section put me at a disadvantage.  Thankfully a combination of my birth class education, "Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding," and my wonderful midwife, Natalie, resulted in breastfeeding success.  I breastfed my son until he was 18 months old.

A few months after Escher was born I started to attend "The Vesta Resource and Wellness Centre", which is what the current Vesta Parenting Centre is modeled on.  I was intimidated, at first, to show up at a place where I didn't know anyone.  It quickly became my second home, a place where I met friends and a place that helped me keep my sanity (apparently I wasn't the only one who wished there was a return policy). 

When "the old Vesta" was closing I went to help co-owner Shawn De Vree pack boxes.  Instead of packing we chatted and laid the groundwork for what is now the Vesta Parenting Centre and Vesta Shop.  I knew how important Vesta had been for me - giving me a place to go when I wanted to get out of the house and talk to people, a comfortable place to exercise with Escher beside me where the other women understood if he started crying, and a place where it was okay to be struggling and need some advice (even if I didn't take it) - and I wanted to make sure that other women had a similar place.  

Hearing all of the fantastic and not fantastic birth stories over the years as Vesta made my desire for a natural child birth the next time around even greater.  And thankfully in July 2012 I welcomed my daughter, Ayla, to the world in an unmedicated VBAC with little intervention.  It hurt just as much as I expected it would (and perhaps more).  And it was completely worth it.  I felt strong and capable, bonded instantly with my daughter in a way that I wasn't able with my son, and was back home eating pizza on my couch two hours after birth.  As I looked back on the birth I realized I had no fear, because I had learned and believed that my body was meant to give birth.   

I have an education in Civil Engineering.  I worked for six years in Health and Safety, Wellness, and Quality in a manufacturing facility.  To those who don't know me this would seem like a weird place to end up.  But if you know me you know that my greatest passions in life are learning and community service.  I also love to teach.  At Vesta I get to learn every day about people, parenting, relationships, and resilience.  And I get to share my experiences and knowledge, in hopes that it might help another person feel better about themselves or their choices.  Or just get them through the day.  

I am an advocate of natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting.  I think it's important that everyone is at least educated to know that these options exist, and that, like everything else that goes along with children, they can be easy or difficult, depending on the resources and support you have.   But I firmly believe that all parents have the right to chose how they parent and that they need and deserve support no matter what their choices may be.

I think I am "normal", whatever that may be.  I sometimes make my bed.  My kitchen is rarely clean.  I eat at Mc Donald's.  I make sure I give my child hugs and kisses every day.  I don't exercise vigorously three times a week, but I think about it.  I'm funny (okay, I think I'm funny).  I cloth diaper, but never at night.  I stopped breastfeeding my first because I was ready to have my body back.  I volunteer when I can.  I love to organize, but my house is a mess.  I like to smile.  I have thought many times about throwing my children in a composter.  I like getting dressed up one day and wearing jeans and a t-shirt the next.  I have to sleep with a cover on me so as to not get eaten by the things under my bed.  I am environmentally conscious about 74% of the time.  I watch Grey's Anatomy and The Voice.  I don't like whole grain pasta and won't eat it just because it's good for me.  I have been known to spend hours on end surfing the internet (when I should really be exercising vigorously).  And I make mistakes (shh, don't tell my husband).

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