A little bit about myself
Aside from the distinguished honor of serving as a doula, I am a stay at home mom for three busy boys, one adorable daughter and wife to an amazing man. They fill my days with constant energy. Needless to say with young kiddos and an assortment of animals ranging from horses, dogs, cats and gold fish, life at our house is never boring.
My husband is in the Marine Corps and currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We are originally from Colorado, but have had the privilege of living in Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, California, Virginia again and back to Camp Lejeune, NC, Newport, RI and now in Okinawa, Japan. As they say "home is where the Marines send you!". We are looking forward to exploring the Asian Pacific and enjoying island life during our time in Okinawa.
I became interested in birth doulas when I was pregnant with our first child. On my first due date, my husband was in the middle of an out of state training exercise. Living out of state with no immediate family close by, I was very nervous about my birth. My husband was able to fly home for 2 days while I had a social induction at 39 1/2 weeks. I was so thankful to have him there for the birth. The induction meant that I experienced most every medical intervention you can imagine with the exception of an epidural and a C-section. I miraculously got though the entire birth without any pain medicine. When all was said and done, I could not believe all that had happened in a short period of time. I wished I would have had a doula to help me understand all the things that happened to me in the process of the birth. It was truly a roller coaster of ups and downs.
I had our second son 19 months later and was blessed with an amazing birth. He was a week overdue, and gave me a BIG lesson on how to deal with back labor and presented a significant challenge with a birth weight of 9.9 lbs. Again I had an un-medicated birth.
I delivered our older two boys at Naval Medical hospitals and had amazing care, though was probably not the best patient, pushing and insisting for the birth I wanted. I am happy to have used midwives who assisted with my births and prenatal care. I was able to breastfeed both of our boys until they were over one year old, so know tons of tips to make this easier!
Having two births in the midst of such uncertainty motivated me to learn about this process that became such a big part of my life.
We were thrilled when I became pregnant after working as a doula for over two years and attending a wide range of births from hospital scheduled c-sections to home births. After a great deal of consideration and visiting with the staff at the Virginia military hospital we decided a home birth would be my ideal birth choice. I had attended several water births and also wanted to be able to have this option during my labor.
We found a certified nurse midwife who did home visits and was experienced with water births. It was so nice to have my prenatal care at home and not have to drive all over, especially with two other little ones in tow. I had our third son at home in the water! It was an absolutely amazing experience (although not easy!). However, I can attest how hard it is to be patient and let babies come when they are ready as he was 11 days late and I had lots of "practice labor". My husband I could not have been happier with the amazing care and support we received. It was so nice to be with people who we knew, that supported our birth preferences and were encouraging. I had two doulas who were also friends, my midwife, birth assistant and a midwife student all assisting with the birth, so needless to say we felt like we were having a party waiting for the baby to arrive and in very capable hands. I could not have asked for a better experience!
For the birth of our fourth baby we again decided to have a home birth with a midwife. It was interesting to see how the medical laws vary from state to state as we moved from Virginia to North Carolina when I was newly pregnant with our 4th bundle of joy. We were anxious to meet the newest member of our family and very surprised but thrilled we had a daughter to add some pink to the mountains of laundry at our home. The midwife who delivered our second son at the Camp Lejeune Naval Medical Center also delivered our daughter at home. Again, we were so thankful for the amazing care we experienced and felt so supported during our daughters arrival and very thankful for the amazing post partum care we were spoiled with.
I am currently pregnant with our fifth baby. It has been an eye opening experience to see how different the care provided in Okinawa has been. I am looking forward to incorporating some of the great traditions and tips I have learned this pregnancy into care for my clients.
My goal as a doula is to help women achieve the birth they want! You will remember the birth of your children for the rest of your life and I sincerely want you to have positive memories of this amazing occasion. I will strive to help your husband or birth partner be as involved as they want to be. Often they provide the best support, but just need some a nudge in the right direction or a few fresh ideas on how to help. Together we make an amazing team, giving you, the laboring mom, all the support you need. A woman in labor can never have too much support!