My journey to birth work
I graduated from Arizona State University with a Batchelor of Science degree in Biology. I started out working toward a zoology degree with a keen interest in the large cats of the world. For a variety of reasons, that shifted and I found myself in the Biology and Society program. As part of this study, I attended a lecture by an Obstetrician and another by a Certified Nurse Midwife. The two returned together to answer questions. This really opened my eyes to the diversity of options and philosophies on birth.
After I graduated, I became pregnant with my first child. I fully intended a completely natural birth and hoped to hire a midwife to help. Neither of those things occurred. I did, however, find a tremendous doctor that supported me, and I had done a lot of research on the birthing process. Unfortunately, a series of rare events led to a highly medical birth experience. I experienced many interventions and plenty of medications. I did have my son vaginally, thankfully. His birth was very long and emotionally challenging for both me and my husband, Levi. There was a tremendous lack of continuity of care, and we were left wishing we had a person – one person – who could’ve been our ally for the duration. We investigated who that person might be and found the answer: A doula!
With a ton of passion and the encouragement of Levi and my best friends, I set out to become a doula. I did my initial training and certification with DONA. That’s a huge organization that trains doulas and provides resources for families. I started attending births and loved it. I became pregnant again, hired a doula, and had a beautiful natural hospital birth with my daughter.
I resumed doula work when my daughter was a few months old. I soon discovered that my clients were often missing information that would ease their decision making process and lessen anxiety. I figured out that I needed some additional training to help them, so I got certified to teach childbirth education. I now teach group and private classes.
The next addition to my birth work is placenta processing. I had no desire to add this to my work, but it kept getting put in my path, so I relented. Now I process placentas of my doula clients as well as for moms that hire me for that service alone. I love it. I totally love placentas. Yes, that is actually a sentence.
I also have a huge passion for helping connect mothers that have donor breastmilk with families in need. My family has gotten used to knocks at the door and exchanges of milk between freezers and ice chests. It is just another aspect of my doula life.
When I am not doing birthy things, I am with my family. I LOVE baseball and spend time watching my son play, and go to lots of Diamondback games with my mom. My daughter is a dancer and I adore watching her, too. I love animals and have groomed dogs (and cats) for over 20 years. I taught Kung Fu for many years until my doula call schedule precluded me from such things. As a family, Levi guides us through creative writing exercises and meditations. We love to play and go to the movies or take family walks. We do a lot of charity work as well.