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Joyce Lundquist:

” The one nun that was suppose to be an expert, could have shattered my dreams.  She came in and saw my breasts and said:  whoa! those nipples are like little boys and I thought.. oh no, this isn’t going to work and she brought in all the other nuns to see my little breasts come  but luckily I am quite the stubborn person and I have strong will and I knew this was what I was going to do. “

Joyce Lundquist

Episode 57     Joyce Lundquist, RN, BS, CD (DONA) with First Breath Harmony is a happily married wife to Ray for 51 years and together they have 3 adult children and 7 great grand children ranging in age from 2 – 20 years old.  Joyce is a very popular birth doula in the Phoenix, Arizona area, having attended over 100 births.  I really love her quotes in her signature line.  “That which you can do, is usually what you believe.”  unknown and “We can not all do great things, but we can do small things with great love”  Mother Teresa

Her Story.

Joyce Lundquist has been married to her high school sweetheart, Ray for 50 years. Joyce and Ray are the proud parents of 3 children who were all breastfed and proud grandparents of 7 grandchildren, who have either been breastfed or received breastmilk that their mother has pumped. She has been an RN since 1964. In 1970, Joyce became a Lamaze trained Certified Childbirth Educator. When she moved from Indiana to Arizona, she became the first childbirth educator to teach natural childbirth classes in the local hospital. Joyce has been a school nurse for 23 years and taught childbirth classes in the evenings. Her students began asking her to attend their births. Joyce realized she enjoyed it so much that she soon became certified as a doula with DONA. (Doulas of North America) in 2004. She has used the knowledge and experience gained as a breastfeeding counselor to help moms get off to a good Breastfeeding start at the over 100 births she has attended so far.

Joyce Lundquist grew up in Indiana with a mom and dad and her brother who is 2 years younger. She would say they were lower middle class. Her dad had a jewelry store, repaired watches and sold jewelry. Her mom would help him occasionally but was home most of the time. Her mom was a wonderful cook and my husband thanks her because he says I am too. Joyce says she can create meals out of nothing. She was a cheerleader in high school and loves sports. She tells us that she and her husband are fanatics. March Madness is one of their favorite times of year. She attends a lot of her grandchildren’s games and says that hers is a busy life a good life and it keeps her and her husband out of their lazy boy chairs.

Joyce Lundquist is retired as an RN, however, this title and experience helps her with her doula clients particularly in the hospital as she understandJoyce Lundquists the hospital environment. It assists her as she acts as a liaison between the hospital staff and her clients. Joyce tell us that she got into nursing because of an older cousin that she admired. She was beautiful and Joyce says she always wanted to be a nurse like her cousin Pauline. Her friends went off to college and she followed her dreams and went to nursing school. She attended Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago which was across from the ball park. As a matter of fact, she tells us how she could see the ball park from the operating room. When any of the Chicago Bears would get injured they would get to take care of them. This was quite the interesting aspect of being a student nurse.

Joyce did ask her mother and knows that she and her brother were breastfed. Joyce did not necessarily plan for breastfeeding by reading books or taking classes. She knew her mother would be there for her and in fact, she did encourage her to breastfeed her babies and was a great help to her. She also had a good friend that had breastfed 5 babies and assumed she would help her as well. Her first baby was born 3 weeks early. She states that her physician induced her labor with something called “buccals” to put under your tongue and they would dissolve and that is how they induced labor. Her baby weighed 5.11 oz at birth and upon discharge weighed 5 lbs. 1 oz. She was a very lazy nurser and was really not ready to be born. Joyce received no official help in the hospital other than the nuns and the one nun who was suppose to be an “expert” almost shattered her dreams of breastfeeding. She came into the room and said to Joyce….. whoooa!!! those nipples are like little boys. She then proceeded to call in the other nuns to take a look at her little breasts. It was like she was on show. Joyce was stubborn and took her baby home and breastfeeding went really well. She was a chunky baby and breastfed really well, until she was about 7 1/2 months old. Joyce feels that it was the introduction to the cup that started the weaning process and her daughter lost interest in breastfeeding. It broke her heart, but this is what her baby had decided. Despite the myths that you might hear, you just can’t make a baby breastfeed if they don’t want to.

In the early days of breastfeeding her first baby, Joyce shared some memories. She was not really worried about breastfeeding not working out, she just had an inherent trust that it would work out. We talked about the older swings that we cranked to get going and how noisy they were. We laughed as we talked about the modern swings that go back and forth and up and down and all around and they are soooo quiet, which is a far cry from our older noisy swings! When Joyce was really tired she would look toward the swing to place her baby and keep her happy for a little bit.

Joyce Lundquist tells us the story of her first son and how he got the name Bear, whose real name is Brad. Her husband Ray is a big sports fan and before we put him in the crib we had to take out all the sports paraphernalia. Breastfeeding with Bear went totally different. He was 7 lbs. 2 oz, her biggest baby and he took to breastfeeding right away. His latch was great and he nursed for a long time as he loved to nurse and was a chubby little guy! He nursed into toddler hood and Joyce describes her happy memories of nursing a toddler and talked about herself being her kids “first aid medicine.” I loved that. Her third baby, second daughter was easy going and not to thrilled with nursing for any length of time. She was a quick breastfeeder and she weaned on Joyce’s 30th birthday. That was the day she stopped and Joyce was devastated as she really wanted to nurse a toddler, but her daughter was just done. Her loss of interest in breastfeeding was quite shocking to Joyce and she was very sad when she weaned so abruptly. If she had to do it all over again, she would not have encouraged Bear to wean. She was 5 months pregnant and felt she just needed to be done, but she did not have the same knowledge base and felt she needed to prepare for breastfeeding the next baby. Her youngest, Kayce, had her first baby when she was 40 years old. We remarked as to how things have changed and how unusual it was years ago for a woman to have her first baby at the ripe old age of 24!

More great stuff that we talked about during this interview:

1. Dr. Caroline Rawlins, a progressive doctor for her time. Joyce met her in 1970 and she credits her with changing her life as she influenced her passion for childbirth birthing and breastfeeding moms. Joyce has attended over 100 births. Dr. Rawlins believed husbands should be in labor room. Believed all mothers could nurse with support. Once a month she held a coffee klatch in her home. The house was loaded with moms and babies and women were just being mothers helping mothers breastfeed.

2. When she became pregnant with her second, Joyce switched to her care to Dr. Rawlins and started teaching classes in the early 1970’s.

3. In her earlier years, Dr. Rawlins was not use to natural birth but she had a patient request no interventions. She did some research and this started her on the path of natural delivery.

4. Husbands could not be allowed in labor room, but she had husbands stand right outside the door so they could be told right away about their baby.

5. With her 3rd baby, she switched hospitals to one that would allow husbands in the delivery room. It was the first time Ray was able to watch his baby being born. She talks about the “triple H.” enema. ”High, hot and a hell of a lot.” She was about to get her enema and she asked the nurse to please check her before giving her the enema. The nurse did not believe that she could birth without medication and when she checked Joyce and realized that she was 10 centimeters and handling labor was well, she was quite shocked how she did that. So much so that she visited with her the day after her birth and said to Joyce – “I never saw anybody do that anymore. You really surprised me. I may start believing in Lamaze.”

6. It is probably pretty hard for modern day moms to believe that there was a time when Dads were not allowed in the delivery room.

7. Joyce feels like a pioneer in the birthing field. The Doctors in one of the large practices called a meeting with the childbirth educators and said to them – “Ladies we are not sending any more patients to you because you will not stop telling moms to ask for their husbands to be in delivery room. That is not allowed. Stop saying that.” Well, there was no way they were going to stop doing that. Joyce says that moms started demanding to have husbands in the delivery room. This same practice began losing patients, which translated into less money coming into their practice. They had to change their ways and then the whole hospital had to change, because all the moms were demanding husbands in the delivery room. She is proud to be part of such a huge change in the birth movement. Joyce prides herself on being a rebel, and so do I!

8. Joyce talked about how she has come full circle in her practice. She use to work as a bridal coordinator at her church, taught childbirth classes in the evening, and worked as a school nurse during the day. She remarks that the moms who she helped with their wedding, are the same moms she later had in her birthing classes and the same moms whose births she attended. On top of that, she remarks about how she has had the opportunity to teach childbirth classes to the children of the moms she worked with when they were pregnant. We sat and thought about that full circle moment for a minute!

9. Joyce really is quite grateful for all of the experiences she has had and for being able to be a part of so many families lives.

10. Joyce wears many hats and we are so appreciative of her time and knowledge.

11. Joyce enjoys working with mom during their pregnancy and as their doula. She also enjoys helping them with the first latch and helping them get off to a great breastfeeding beginning. She takes a lot of pictures during the labor and birth and makes a photo album and gives to her clients on her postpartum visit.

14. She tells us how she help to being a partner who is uncomfortable with the birth setting. Her job is to support mom as well as work on bringing Dad back into the support role. She feels strongly that her job is educating parents about their choices in childbirth and to be at their birth as a support person not to replace the Dad.

15. Joyce shares her experience helping her daughter with breastfeeding. It was not going well and so she requested that I help her daughter. Turns out her beautiful baby boy was tongue tied. Once that was fixed, and her nipples were healed, Kayce went on to nurse her baby for 1 full year. Joyce was a great support person for her daughter, in birth, breastfeeding and mothering!

Quote: – The one Nun that was supposed to be an expert, could have shattered my dreams.  She came in and saw my breasts and said:  whoa! those nipples are like little boys and I thought.. oh no, this isn’t going to work and she brought in all the other nuns to see my little breasts come  but luckily I am quite the stubborn person and I have a strong will and I knew this was what I was going to do. ”

Words of Wisdom: Hold your baby and take in the fragrance of a newborn. There is such a beautiful fragrance that a newborn has for such a very short period of time. If you are not aware of it, you might miss it. Cherish and look into their eyes The first time you look in their eyes, you are hooked. Stop and smell the roses.

Contact info:
Joyce Lundquist,RN,BS, CD(DONA)
Certified Childbirth Birth Doula & Certified Childbirth Educator
[email protected] (H)602-993-5289 (C)602-421-7537

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