Hello Miami Moms! My name is Esther and I’m overjoyed to be a part of the Miami Moms Blog team of contributing writers.
MIAMI BORN, MIAMI BRED
My family immigrated to Miami from Port-au-Prince, Haiti over 33 years ago. I consider myself to be Haitian-American and speak fluent Haitian-Creole and understand some French.
What I love about Miami is the diverse cultures and foods available all over the city. As an avid foodie – indulging in Haitian-Creole cuisine in Little Haiti to Japanese and Thai food in North Miami Beach- I love it all! A huge benefit to living in Miami is the warm climate that makes getting to the sun, parks, and beaches as easy and as frequent as needed. This totally made it that much easier to choose a college here as well. I graduated from the beautiful University of Miami campus in Coral Gables. I studied Biology on the Pre-Med track (and fell in love with my drummer hubby, Donnell McCant.)
I enjoy spending quality time with my husband, family, and friends, cooking, reading, networking, professional development, prayer, and meditation. You can usually find me out and about playing volleyball, discovering a new park or farmer’s market, and trying to live an active lifestyle. (These days my main workout consists of running after my 4 boys). My husband and I homeschool our four children ages 9, 7, 5, and 3 – all naturally-birthed and all boys. Yup! I’m a #boymom over here and they’re eating everything in my fridge!
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: I GOT IT FROM MY DADDY
My late father was a wise man who used his skills to teach and build businesses so he could support his family and friends. He always inspired me to do my best and never doubted my ability to do anything I set my mind to do. I decided to pursue becoming a doula because my midwife for my third natural birth recommended it as a way to fulfill my need to share my passion for childbirth with women. It made total sense to me at the time because I could not refrain from talking about the wealth of knowledge I gained over the years.
Now, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with the populations that are deficient in childbirth education. As a lover of learning, I pursue continuing education. I recently finished a Hypnobirthing Childbirth Educator training and plan to apply to midwifery school by 2021. Assisting child care providers in finding resources and helping parents find quality child care in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties makes me helpful to clients and organizations that serve women and children.
MY ROLE AS A MOTHER, DOULA
My start into motherhood was definitely a supported one. I had the honor of delivering three of my babies with one of South Florida’s legendary midwives, Janice Heller. She taught me of a more gentler, less judgemental way of pregnancy and starting my postpartum journeys. I also had my doula, Nayeemah Jones, help me during my first-time birth, a challenging one at 20 hours of labor!
As a doula, I serve women in labor to help ensure a safe, satisfying, and positive birth experience. I also provide emotional support, physical comfort with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for decreasing the likelihood of a c-section. Clients who struggled to communicate with the support team before birth are confident that they have the information needed to make decisions during labor.
I believe partners also have a “birth” of sorts when they watch or participate in the birth of their babies. Empowering both moms and dads encourages them to use their voice throughout the entire process and be the best parents to their children.
BALANCING MY BUSINESS
I think the most difficult part of being a birth doula is the physical strain that it can take on me during long births. It requires time away from my family and lots of flexibility with due dates. The mental endurance to provide accurate information and emotional support in a timely fashion requires a commitment to my mental health. My spiritual inner work helps me maintain an optimistic outlook on the birth outcome no matter what.
MOTHERING: MY PURPOSE
I find fulfillment and joy in helping families get off on the right foot. Whether it is conception, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting or meeting wellness goals. I have learned that a woman having a positive birth experience is so critical. The establishment of her family, her role as a mother and relationships with family, friends, affiliations, community, and society at large are all so important.
Mothers matter and therefore, mothering mothers matters too. Why would I ever want to work a job that did not support that premise? Therefore, even blogging as Esther McCant, the woman, mom, wife, doula, mentor, business owner and caregiver for my widowed mother matters, now more than ever before. We always wear many hats as moms. My goal is to share tips on how you can do that with careful strategy and confidence in mind since #mamasneedsupport.
TO MOMS WHO WANT MORE CONFIDENCE
If I could offer one piece of advice it would be to never live by any expectations other than the ones outlined by the One who matters most. If you apply that to mothering and have adequate support, you may likely walk away feeling much more successful at what you do as a mom.
“Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You’re a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that. Unconditional self-acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind.” – Saint Francis de Sales
LEARN MORE ABOUT ESTHER McCANT on the Metro Mommy Agency website.