The Olive Tree

Denika Anderson, MA, SBD

full-spectrum doula serving the Twin Cities & western WI

theolivetreedoula@gmail.com | (612) 865-3778

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© 2019 Olive Tree Doula, LLC & Denika Anderson

What do I do now?

If you're here because you're experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, I am so, so sorry. Losing your child — at any point — is impossibly hard. Or, maybe your child is alive, but they're in the NICU or have complex health needs, or maybe you've had a complicated or difficult pregnancy, or maybe you've struggled with infertility, or maybe your baby grew in your heart, but not in your belly. While all of these experiences are unique and intricate in their own ways, every one of them is challenging, every one of them carries some kind of loss, and every one of them can bring its own kind of grief. No matter if your loss occurred today, is expected in the near future, or happened decades ago, you matter, your baby matters, and your story matters

This is a place for support. Here, you will find plenty of resources, an honest blog about life amidst loss, and concrete support services. I hope you will find love and peace here. 

Right now, you may be feeling intense despair, rage, disbelief, disappointment, confusion, relief, or overwhelm. You might be feeling a combination of these things, or something else entirely. You might be feeling nothing at all. All of this is completely okay. You are not expected to be happy or even okay here. You also don't have to feel sad. You are free to experience your grief, however it shows up, without judgement or expectations. 

Whatever you need, I can help you find it. I offer everything from comprehensive doula services to a recommended book list to simply a reminder that you are not alone. Please feel free to reach out if there's something you need and can't find it here. 

Philosophy

I am a Stillbirthday doula, which means that I am trained to provide support for complicated and uncomplicated live births, as well as miscarriages, stillbirths, births where baby is not expected to live long, and births where baby is expected to have complex health needs. I am also trained to provide postpartum support and grief support. A core tenet of this training is a four-part method for providing support: slow down, validate, provide options, supplement with resources. This means that I will help you to relax and calm your mind and body; remind you that your thoughts, emotions, desires, needs, and physical experience are real, understandable, and valid; offer and thoroughly explain available options for any situation; and provide relevant resources, whether they be books or articles, people you can trust, or other things you might consider. In every moment, I aim to bring peace through each of these modes of support. 

Furthermore, having studied religion and feminist theory extensively, I honor the sacred and holy within birth. I believe that the way we enter this world matters — as does how we leave it. Being invited into the sacred space of your birth and, if applicable, your baby's death is a holy experience and one I partake in with great honor and humility. There is something unequivocally beautiful about both birth and death. 

As part of my education, I learned to look at certain things when interpreting a story from a feminist lens: power, voice, experience, and role. Your birth is a story and my job is to honor and serve you throughout it. I pay attention to who has power in each interaction, helping to you to find yours. I listen to your voice, hearing both your words and your emotions, and I help others to hear that voice too. I trust your experience of your own body — that you know yourself better than anyone — and I trust the experience of countless families before you who have stood on the same holy ground of birth and death. I gently draw you back to your role, not as a patient or a statistic or a problem to be solved, but as a parent. In these ways, I hope to help you honor yourself and your baby throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.