- Location: Cupertino, CA
- Training: DONA International (2009)
- Experience: I have attended over 180 births, at home and in the hospital
- My Philosophy: Lamaze International sums up what I believe about birth:
- Birth is normal, natural and healthy
- The experience of birth profoundly affects women and their families
- Women’s inner wisdom guides them through birth
- Women’s confidence and ability to give birth is either enhanced or diminished by the care provider and place of birth
- Women have the right to give birth free from routine medical interventions
- Birth can safely take place in homes, birth centers and hospitals
in the beginning…
My mom gave birth 7 times without drugs, Yes, seven! All of my life I heard from her lips that that birth is just something you do. At the age of 15, I was invited to attend the birth of my 5th sister. My mom birthed quickly and easily, and she showed me the power and beauty of birth. Little did I know she was sowing the seeds for my own future births and career.
what shane started
Shane and I married in 2003, and when we sat down to talk about our future we covered the territory of babies and birth. I told him I would be having my baby in a hospital with an epidural, thankyouverymuch. Shane was a bright, shiny new graduate of Palmer Chiropractic College where he learned about alternative ways of giving birth. He gently suggested that I look into natural birth outside the hospital. Wanting to be an accommodating partner I reluctantly agreed that I would investigate. A few days later I headed to the public library and found my way to the shelves marked 612.6, where the birth books resided. I grabbed a stack of titles that sounded promising. I began with a memoir of a midwife, Babycatcher by Peggy Vincent. I laughed, I cried and by the time I scanned the last page I knew that I wanted a different sort of birth, a natural birth outside of the hospital. I went on to have 3 beautiful home births.
the accidental doula
In 2008 a dear friend invited me to attend her second birth. Her first birth experience was disappointing and this time around she wanted something better. She and I labored at home and by the time we arrived at the hospital she was already 9 cm dilated! The hospital didn’t have much to offer in the way of TLC, but with some love and caring from an inexperienced doula (me!) my sweet friend had a fulfilling, unmedicated birth. She was pleased and proud of herself; I was awe struck by her strength and completely entranced as I watched the birth of her baby boy. After that, I was hooked on birth and I knew that I had found my calling. The next year, after having my second baby, I completed my doula training (newborn baby in tow). As fate would have it, I didn’t become a practicing doula until we moved back to the Bay Area in 2013. I attended my first birth in the Bay Area in August 2013, and since that day have witnessed more than 180 beautiful babies enter this world. I have also worked with more than 50 families as a postpartum and night doula, helping them get much needed rest, and teaching them the skills they need to become confident parents.
caring is in my bones
I’ve been caring for people all of my life. I’m the second of seven children and my older sister, Beth Anne was sick for most of her short life; my parents tell me that even at the tender age of 3 and 4 I was helping tend to her. And I continued to care for younger siblings (including two severely handicapped sisters) until I left for college. Later, I stayed at home for nearly a decade with my own children and relished all of the precious moments. Caring for mamas, dads and babies comes naturally and I can’t imagine doing anything else!