My goal is to bring a sense of calm to the room, to be an anchor for those on the birthing journey — to come alongside and support where it is needed, to hold space for the emotions and struggles, to rejoice with the birth of each new life.
I’ve been a mother for nearly 17 years now, and one facet of parenting remains constant: I have no idea what this day will bring to the table. Three kiddos, four moves, and countless miles later, being a mother continues to challenge and stretch me every day. The gift. The responsibility. The pressure. The fear. The Mom guilt. The joys. The struggles. The sleepless nights. They’re worth it. For every snuggle, smile, giggle, and tiny hand in mine — I wouldn’t trade it for a minute.
After years working in an administrative role, I left my job to homeschool our children when my husband made a career change that entailed frequent moves. I did not come into this new “occupation” gladly; it was the most terrifying thing I had ever done. I love my children, but I never fancied myself able to be their teacher. But the time came, and we all learned together that Momma has an eclectic style and a need for making learning fun. One of my favorite homeschool podcast hosts once said that the educating of children is not to be equated with the filling of a bucket, but rather with the igniting of a fire. This resonated with me deeply. I love learning and I wanted that same mindset for my children. And so I set out on a quest to ignite their fires, never imagining that a different fire was about to be lit in me.
It happened quite by accident. A friend was having a baby and her husband was on the other side of the world serving our country. She asked me to be one of her support people and, being the birth nerd that I already was (read: “Call the Midwife” junkie and an inordinate amount of “A Baby Story” growing up), I jumped at the opportunity. My love for birthwork really began when I was six years old and witnessed the completely unmedicated birth of my 9lb 7oz baby brother. I have few childhood memories, but this one stuck with me and sparked a love for all things pregnancy and childbirth. After this experience supporting my friend and the birth of her baby girl, I came away with a dream. Off in the distance, after my kids were grown and my season of life allowed for it, I could see the possibility of one day being a Labor & Delivery nurse.
A few years, moves, and neighborhoods later, another friend and neighbor needed someone to be with her in labor. Remembering the joy of the previous experience, I again gladly took on the role of “support person” for my pregnant friend. Her experience again lit the fire in me. I left the hospital that morning and told my husband, “This is what I was born for.” All that to say, I didn’t start out as a doula. I didn’t even know what a doula was. I just knew that I loved birth and being a support to these friends who invited me into this sacred space. Later that week as I was relating my exhilarating experience to a friend, she said, “Now you just need to get certified as a doula.” That simple statement sent me down a rabbit-hole of research and reading that eventually led me to train with DONA International and later certify as a Birth Doula. While I love all of the medical/clinical aspects of birth and have a great appreciation for L&D nurses, my true love is on the support side of the spectrum.
In the early days of my doula career, I was blessed to serve many military families as a volunteer doula at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego as a part of the Military Birth Resource Network’s Operation Doula program. I gained invaluable experience and met some amazing families who were welcoming their baby earthside. A generous corporate sponsor of Operation Doula made it possible for all of the volunteers to attend a one-day Spinning Babies training with Nicole Morales. To this day, my Spinning Babies training has served me and my clients more than any other tool in my toolbox. I’m so thankful for the experience and training I received as part of the OpDoula program, and someday hope to see a similar program established here at one of the local military hospitals.
In hindsight, not one of my three births went according to “the plan,” and I’ve experienced firsthand the ripple effects that the cascade of interventions can have on a birthing person and their family. I have wished countless times that someone would have come alongside me and just explained things to me, or told me that I had options. I wish I had a doula. I can see decisions in my own pregnancy and birth journey that took me down roads I didn’t know existed. Because of this, I am passionate about preparing my clients with information, education, and sound decision making skills. My birth story is mine, and I don’t project it onto others, but it has made me who I am, and has fueled in me the belief that understanding informed decision making and knowing one’s options are two of the greatest assets a person can take with them into labor and childbirth. In recent months I’ve also added the StillBirthday training to my toolbox to be better equipped to serve families experiencing birth in any trimester.
I do not have a staunch position on any birthing philosophy. Each birth is as diverse as the person experiencing it, and each one needs to be supported with information, education, options, and resources. I believe in the body’s ability to birth, and I believe that when medical interventions become necessary, everyone in the room deserves the support necessary to make decisions and adjust to the change in plans; sometimes parents just need someone to translate the medical terminology into plain English for them.
Needs vary by client, and it is my joy to get to know each birthing person and tailor my services to their particular hopes and plans for their birth. My goal is to bring a sense of calm to the room, to be an anchor for those on the birthing journey — to come alongside and support where it is needed, to hold space for the emotions and struggles, to rejoice with the birth of each new life. As Heidi Faith says: slow down, validate, provide options, and supplement resources.
We are all on our own journey. Mine has taken me to the operating room with my first birth, the NICU with my third, a random whirlwind trip to Spain (ask me about Ronda — the most beautiful place on earth), the oncology ward with my husband, and from coast to coast with military moves. I’d love the opportunity to be a part of your support team as you journey into pregnancy and birth.