Had you asked me pre-baby what my birth story was going to be…
I would have responded with conviction exactly what I had planned for and envisioned (read: essential oils, candles, laboring at home while dancing with my husband, a bath, red wine, calling my doula en route to hospital where I would labor in all of my pre-rehearsed positions, ultimately delivering sans-interventions).
The first of many humbling lessons that motherhood serves up: this tiny little person OWNS you, and your best efforts to plan, prepare, or control your world are not necessarily going to pan out as you expect.
While a lot of unexpected things occurred during my 75+ hours spent laboring (at the hospital, not exactly the zen picture I just outlined for you), there was so much goodness that happened as well. So much laughter and love. So many empowering moments that made me feel like the strong, capable Mama I am.
Again, if labor and delivery are a first lesson in parenting: trust your instincts and be confident in your innate abilities.
What I did control:
• Choosing where I delivered: a hospital that is not only known for its low intervention rate, but prides itself on it.
• Whom I delivered with: a team of midwives committed to honoring mom’s wishes as long as mom and baby are OK.
• Who was in the room: my incredible, supportive husband and OUR incredible, supportive, advocating, cheerleading doula.
• What I wore
• What I ate
• My baby’s first hour (delayed cord clamping, allowing baby to find it’s way to nurse, etc.)
The truth of the matter is that birth is amazing no matter how it happens…
You have grown a HUMAN. You are bringing it into the world with love. And that, ladies, is nothing short of incredible.
As with most things in life, my path to becoming a doula was not a straight one. I went to Gettysburg College where I majored in Sociology, with a minor in Women’s Studies. I’ve worked for the American Red Cross for 12 years where I am fortunate to support the life-saving work they do every day. My desire to work with women, to advocate for their needs and rights, and to empower them to believe in themselves was always there; I just hadn’t found my role yet. It wasn’t until my own journey into motherhood that I began finding my way towards what I believe is my calling. In the midst of the many unknowns and out-of-my-controls, emotions, and hospital shift changes, there was one constant: our doula. She was a combination friend, mom, confidant, teammate, cheerleader and coach. She seamlessly shifted between quiet encourager to strong voice, pushing me through the many hours. Our doula was as much a part of our birth experience as anyone in the room that day.
As your doula, I will provide unbiased, non-judgmental support, advocacy, and encouragement to help ensure your birth story is one that empowers you on your own journey into motherhood. My role will be to support whatever choices you make during your birth.
When I’m not working full time, I spend my spare time crafting (starting… not always finishing), trying new recipes, traveling, dabbling in photography, hanging with my husband, petting animals, eating copious amounts of cheese and chasing after my 14-month-old little boy.