Since graduating from college in Northern Illinois in 1996, I have moved around the country quite a bit. I met my husband in Florida in 1998, we then moved to Texas in 2000 where my boys who are now 9 and 7 were born at Seton Medical Center in Austin, TX. We made the move to the Portland, OR area in 2004 and my daughter who is 5 was born in the water at Andaluz Waterbirth Center in Tualatin, OR.
If you ask any of the people who know me well, they will tell you I am, at the core of all things, a mother. Not just a mother to the children I’ve birthed, but a mother to all whom I meet. I always seem to be giving someone my shoulder to lean on, listening to their joys and frustrations, or cooking for those who are celebrating or recovering. Nurturing people brings me joy.
Becoming a Labor Doula was the perfect manifestation of my innate tendency to mother. This path was meant for me. I think I started on it once I experienced the joy and peace found by laboring and giving birth with a doula by my side. I had 3 very different labors and birth journeys. I’ve had both hospital and out of hospital births, including a completely intervention free natural hospital birth with my middle son.
My births may have had different paths, but each step I took, I made with full understanding of my choices and options. That, I owe to my amazing doulas who helped educate me, support me, and validate me in those choices. Because of their influence and affect on my births, I knew that supporting women, their partners, and families during one of the most profound days of their lives, was something I wanted to do.
I truly believe it is possible to have a natural birth in a hospital setting as long as the woman has a good support team, is well educated on the birth process, and convicted in her choices. I know that as a doula I can be an asset to mothers planning a for a natural birth, but I also believe birth is very unpredictable and I am very prepaired to go with the flow by supporting the laboring woman no matter what happens or however long the journey may be.
Mothering the mother, nurturing the natural birth process, and supporting the family of the laboring woman are what I do as a doula. I specialize in natural pain coping techniques, physical comfort measures, emotional support, and continuity of care.
I’ve been an advocate for birth choice as well as a breastfeeding mentor for about 6 years having co-facilitating parent support groups in the Austin, TX area before moving here to Beaverton. After the birth of my daughter I became an active member of the Andaluz Family Peer to Peer support group here in the Portland area.
I also teach the basics of babywearing and cloth diapering for a local childbirth educator. I worked the 2006 Babywearing Conference at Reed College in Portland on behalf of the local babywearing advocacy and support group (Formally NINO) now ran by NW Babywearers. In 2007 I helped facilitate their information booth and baby carrier fashion show at the Gentle Birth World Congress and Baby Expo also attending amazing workshops by Dr. Sarah Buckley and Barbara Harper I was also privileged to be invited watched the west coast screening of Pregnant in America and The Business of Being Born. This experience just reinforced my desire to help women have the births they envision for themselves and their babies.
Besides spending my time learning all I can about birth, breastfeeding, and natural parenting techniques; I love to read, knit, and garden. I spend a lot of time working with elementary school children as a volunteer in the local schools and with the scouts. Being in Oregon, when ever the weather is nice my family and I get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery the Portland area has to offer.