As for most people, my journey to become a doula did not happen overnight. Through the loss of our first baby in pregnancy and my subsequent high-risk pregnancy (and low-risk birth) with our first daughter, I received care from some amazing nurses. I also received care from some not-so-great nurses. It was then that I became passionate about mamas being cared for in the best possible way. So, I began college in the summer of 2007 in the hopes of going to nursing school.
During my prerequisite coursework, I had 2 early miscarriages, followed by another high-risk pregnancy in 2008. Our second daughter was born in January of 2009. My resolve became stronger to learn how to best care for the whole woman, not just during pregnancy, but also during labor, birth, and postpartum. I continued my prerequisites and (surprisingly!) found out we were pregnant again in December of 2009. At the time, I was in the middle of my anatomy and physiology sequence. That pregnancy proved to be the most difficult one of all, landing me in the hospital for nearly 8 weeks. Naturally, I had a lot of time to think about labor and what I hoped for it to look like. I began researching natural labor, doulas, and midwifery care. I had found my calling in midwifery and discovered Birthingway College of Midwifery.
When I finally got off bed rest at the end of my pregnancy in August of 2010, I attended an information session at Birthingway. As a result, I fell in love with their model of care, and I also found a doula to accompany me in my hospital birth of our third child, a son! I hoped to have a birth that was as natural as possible. While my nurses and doula were wonderful and it was a successful birth, I had been pressured into an epidural less than 45 minutes before my son was born by a doctor that came on duty after a shift change. I knew that if I had the support of my entire care team, this would not have happened. I kept this in my heart as I continued to pursue midwifery.
That fall, I finished my nursing prerequisites at Clackamas Community College and I also took my doula training workshop at Birthingway College of Midwifery. The class was an uplifiting experience where I was able to learn how to be there for a laboring mom; how to care for her emotionally and physically, as well as provide her with education and information on pregnancy, labor, and birth. I took a break from classes to spend time with my small children, continuing to read books and articles on the care of laboring mamas. I attended 2 births independently, then joined the doula practicum program at Birthingway in the fall of 2012.
In addition to having 3 of my own children and being present for the births of several family members, I have now attended 7 births as a doula and am in the final stages of the certification process. Additionally, I bring years of experience working with babies and small children. I will soon attend Birthingway's postpartum doula workshop where I plan to become a certified postpartum doula. I also hope to become a childbirth educator and, eventually, a midwife. I fully support all types of births in the location of your choice. I have attended home and hospital births, as well as natural labors, mamas with epidurals, and would be happy to attend moms during a C-section as well. As your doula, I will fully support you and the birth you desire, and will work with you and your partner to try to make your birth a positive and empowering experience for everyone.