A perinatal professionalspecializing in extra-care-needed ("high risk") pregnancy, maternal advocacy for racialized and marginalized peoples, radical childbirth and a return to ancestral practices in childbirth education.
I'm Shani and I am the Doula and Childbirth Professional behind Jewel Child Doula Collective/MotherLand BirthRights; childbirth support for BIPoC communities and nonprofit services for marginalized families, respectively, Primrose & Moonstone Perinatal Services for all other communities and Wild Birth Childbirth Consultation and Training. I'm mother to 4 amazing children, I've been married, a single mother and married again, living happily with my beautiful blended family.
I'm the daughter of a talented, entrepreneurial woman who hails from the "isle of spice, Grenada." We're descendants of the Caribbean Indigenous Taíno people, with Afro-Cuban blood flowing through our veins. I've dedicated this work, the work of my abuela; to reconnecting with my ancestors and rekindling all of the traditions and ceremonies that were stripped away from them when they encountered Columbus. We Taínos are not extinct, we're still here, we just look a bit different now.
I'm a completely open book, I believe the school of life has given me textbook after textbook's worth of tangible experience; a lifetime of knowledge crammed into a few decades.
So behind this smiling face there's... a lot... (scroll over the pic for the deets and find more personal life stories in TiNF! my blog and podcast— THIS is NOT FICTION)
Outside of trials and tribulations I love to cook, bake, sing and dance. I owned an eclectic resto/cafe called Mad Hatter Tea Co. for several years as tea sommelier, herbalist and chef, offering a tantalizing menu featuring all things tea based— jasmine tea salad dressing, smoked black tea based soups, high tea flipped on its head, you name it, we tried it. But when life changed, so did my priorities.
Over the eight years of Mad Hatter I maintained my status as a doula but was less active with hands on work and more active in supportive care through plant medicine, a curandera of sorts, following in the footsteps of my grandmother. When life changed so did my focus and I dove deep into discovering the blueprints of my ancestors buried deep within me and cultivated a beautifully holistic and Indigenously grounded perinatal practice, focused solely on breaking free of the chains of fear based birthing experiences, patriarchy and constricted parenting beliefs. I decided to decolonize my thinking, decolonize my last two births. As a single mother I opted to live wild. When I got remarried and pregnant with my last two children I decided to birth wild as best I could outside of the system...within the system (since my chronic illness diagnosis.)
I approach maternal care with a “love first” mindset. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what your age, nationality, beliefs or background is: We are kin, I will love and support you first! I believe that even the most minor acts, when done in love, make the most significant impact on the world.
I am truly grateful for every family that invites me to witness them grow, and should you invite me to be a part of your story, it would be an honour and a privilege to serve you.
I currently serve the GTHA and beyond (through the help of the technology gods) and I'm really looking forward to connecting with you soon to talk birthy things!
(abrazos y besos)
Journey with me!