Want to to know a little bit more about Doula Heather Marr?

When Sylvia asked me to write my own ’50 Random Things About Me’ post, I was quickly up to the challenge. I’d love to know if we have anything in common – let me know in the comments below!

  1. When I was 14, I won $1000 from a radio station. You could mail in as many postcards as you liked to the radio station (some people apparently sent in hundreds), and on a certain day, they’d pull one from a barrel. I sent in six postcards.
  2. I’ve lived in five different countries (United States, Taiwan, Germany, Uruguay, and Canada) on four different continents. My oldest kid was born in San Francisco, and my youngest in Montevideo.
  3. I have citizenship in only one country (United States).
  4. One of my kids is a dual citizen, and my other kid has triple citizenship.
  5. My husband and I received a fertility blessing in Bali…and conceived our daughter about a week later!
  6. I grew up in a tiny town in the High Sierra mountains of California. We got way more snow than Montreal does! (Though it didn’t get as cold.)
  7. One of the first vehicles I learned how to drive was a 1970s Ford pickup with a column shift.
  8. Despite my rural upbringing, I love big cities. Although in the last few years I’ve found myself drawn to the countryside again. Maybe time to do the Canadian thing and get a cottage?
  9. Though I was born and raised in California, as were my parents, I have nearly an entire county’s worth of relatives on my dad’s side in Kentucky.
  10. I won a bunch of spelling bees in school, and in grade 6 I was my county’s representative at the California State championships (where I got eliminated really quickly).
  11. Like Sylvia, I’ve also won Fastest Typist competitions!
  12. And once…a hula hooping contest.
  13. I played competitive tennis in high school, but had to sit out the last tournament because I got detention for misbehaving at a school function. :/
  14. When I was 16, I ran into Andre Agassi (my tennis heartthrob) at the Reno airport. I asked him for an autograph but didn’t have a pen. He signed his name on a scrap of paper with his own pen, then accidentally handed both the paper and the pen to me. Flustered, I walked off. It must have been his lucky pen or something, because he yelled my name when I was almost at the other side of the terminal and asked for his pen back.
  15. I’m terrible at basketball, even though I’m 6’1.
  16. I took up running at age 28, completed four marathons and a bunch of half marathons (my favourite distance), and consider running my main form of meditation.
  17. My husband and I met while running.
  18. I took classical piano lessons for 10 years, but didn’t practice nearly as much as I should have, and stopped altogether in university…which I regret.
  19. I sang in a gospel choir in eastern Germany.
  20. I’m now singing again, in a Montreal vocal ensemble.
  21. Before working for myself and becoming a doula, I was an editor and  technical writer at a handful of high-tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, starting during the dot com boom.
  22. I find it relaxing and entertaining to take online copyediting quizzes.
  23. My first apartment in San Francisco was the size of a large bedroom. But I was just steps from the cable car line and Union Square. My second apartment was much bigger but across the street from one of the city’s most infamous strip clubs, and I couldn’t keep the windows open at night because there was so much noise from sirens.
  24. I completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training, just to deepen my own practice.
  25. I’m kind of obsessed with coffee and will base an entire trip around visiting cafes and tasting certain coffees. I have numerous coffee mugs, and even an AeroPress, all gifted to me by beloved doula clients.
  26. I remember visiting my first real café and ordering my first espresso drink. I had just started my first year of college and was visiting a friend in nearby San Francisco for the weekend. She was older and European, and I learned a lot from her. We went to Michelangelo Caffe in North Beach, where she lived, and she ordered a caffe latte in her Swedish accent. I didn’t know what that even was really, but I ordered one too. I don’t think I loved it (I wasn’t even a coffee drinker yet), but I credit that moment with setting the stage for my eventual love affair with coffee and cafes. (I also learned about something called focaccia that day.)
  27. I’ll always remember what my doctor said when checking my cervix during what I thought was still early labour with my second baby: “Está bárbaro !” Meaning “That’s fantastic!” (not “that’s barbaric”) in the slang of the Spanish Rioplatense dialect (spoken in Uruguay and Buenos Aires). Turned out I was already 8cm dilated.
  28. My university degree is in cultural anthropology, and I find it has shaped how I look at almost everything in my life, including birth work and parenting.
  29. My official reason for transferring from a small, private liberal arts college to a large public university was so that I could major in a subject that wasn’t offered at the first school. If I’m honest, the real reason was I wanted to experience the excitement of a big university on the beach and all the parties that came along with it.
  30. I’m no longer that into jam bands, but I used to love going to Grateful Dead and Phish shows, and lived practically across the street from Jerry Garcia for two years (RIP, Jerry).
  31. It’s impossible for me to say what my favourite genre of music is. I love it all: avant-garde jazz, hip hop, salsa, classic rock, punk, bluegrass, classical, folk from various countries, ‘90s grunge, derivative pop on mainstream radio. Probably my favourite band is Radiohead.
  32. Same with food. In general, I’m all about locally sourced, organically grown, sustainably harvested. But I also thoroughly enjoy a Big Mac and fries now and again.
  33. Also hard to say what my favourite book is, though The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver usually comes to mind.
  34. I’m obsessed with armchair-adventure books and documentaries, such as Into Thin Air, The Barkley Marathons, and Free Solo.
  35. I’m totally living vicariously through my 10-year-old daughter, who does both capoeira and breakdance, activities I have always loved watching but will probably never do because now I’m too afraid of injuring myself!
  36. Despite all the traveling I’ve done and still do, I’m afraid of flying and have to do breathing exercises to stay calm during takeoff and landing.
  37. To help alleviate this fear, I used to ask to visit the cockpit during long flights—back when this was still allowed—because I felt somehow more in control if I could meet the pilot.
  38. On a flight from somewhere in the U.S. to somewhere in Europe (I no longer remember), the pilot let me steer the plane, a Boeing-747, for a few seconds.
  39. On a flight from Vancouver to Taipei, I hit it off really well with the pilots, and they let me sit in the jump-seat during landing! On my way out of the cockpit, they asked me to please not write a thank-you letter about the experience to the-airline-that-shall-remain-unnamed-but-is-no-longer-in-business-ok-it-was-Canadian-Airlines-and-I-will-always-love-them.
  40. I’m a bad housekeeper and always have piles of (usually clean, at least!) laundry around.
  41. Once, when working at a restaurant bussing tables the summer before my first year in university, I accidentally dumped a tray full of silverware all over one of my customers. Then I did it again a few minutes later. Luckily my skills improved…
  42. The next two summers I worked at this same restaurant as a server, which was one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had.
  43. I went trekking in Nepal for a month by myself. But I didn’t make it to the last stop, Mt. Everest Base Camp, because I caught some kind of awful stomach bug and was no longer sleeping much at night because of the altitude. So I decided to head back down to a lower elevation instead of waiting just one more night and going to base camp. I regret this—I was so close!
  44. I’ve met so many people around the world who happen to know other people I know, and I’ve had so many other seeming coincidences in my life as well, that I’ve stopped being surprised by them.
  45. My son Jax is named after a character in a series of books I edited, designed to teach English to Japanese children.
  46. My 10-year-old daughter Seri and I just finished watching every single episode ever made of Gilmore Girls, from start to finish. I had missed that series the first time around, but am glad I waited, because it was really fun watching it with her.
  47. My favourite movie is My Neighbor Totoro. I plan to get a Totoro tattoo one of these days.
  48. My family and I are huge Star Wars fans!
  49. I’ve also watched quite a lot of birth videos over the years with my kids (though I didn’t have their births filmed). I wouldn’t be surprised if my son got into birth work. My daughter, not so much…but you never know!
  50. I found my first grey hair at age 18. My hair is now completely white underneath my hair dye. Some day I’ll make the big transition—I love it on other people—but I’m just not ready yet.


If you think you’d like to meet me and chat about your upcoming birth and how you can benefit from having a doula present, contact me to set up a free discovery meeting!


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