I don't recall when my fascination with all things birth and babies began. I was maybe 11 years old. I knew far more about women's bodies, fertility, and pregnancy than our guidance counselor presented to the giggly group of 6th graders during our first sex ed classes.
I do remember the exact moment my interest turned into a passion for women to have access to the birth they want, not just the status quo. I had just given birth to my own first child. She was beautiful and perfect, despite the large bump on the side of her head from the vacuum extractor used during her birth. I gingerly felt that bump and wondered if it had really been necessary; if any of the things that happened during that induced delivery had been necessary. I had gone in feeling educated and left the hospital feeling uncertain. By the time my second child was born just 14 months later, I had read and read and read. Her birth was so completely different than the first: unhindered, undisturbed. I knew from that moment that birth work was where I belonged.
Today, I am the mother of 8 amazing humans. I have had hospital inductions and homebirths in my bathtub. I've had post-dates babies and a son who was 5 weeks early and spent a week in NICU. I've had chubby, healthy babies who nursed easily and a tiny, frail baby with health challenges for whom I pumped around the clock until she was healthy and strong enough to bring to the breast.
I have trained and been certified as a birth doula, though I don't currently carry a certification. I have trained as a childbirth educator and served for 5 years as a volunteer breastfeeding counselor with a well-known national group. I am currently a homebirth midwife's assistant. I am a Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist and am working toward certification in Bengkung-style belly binding.
The tagline of the organization with which I certified (Brilliant Birth Academy) really sums up my heart's desire for all women everywhere:
Bring Every Baby Into a World that Feels Like Love.