Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I have experience working with a variety of parents: refugees, homeless, single parent families, and couples. I have experiences as a birth worker in a variety of settings, as well. I have worked mostly in hospitals, but have supporting birthing persons with medication-free and epidural vaginal births as well as cesarean sections. I also have experience supporting families through pregnancy loss and bereavement.
What led you to become a Doula?: My story is probably not unique, but very special to me. When I went into labor on November 3, 2014, I didn't know much about doulas or what they did. I knew I wanted to have an unmedicated birthing experience. Throughout my labor, my wife supported me physically, emotionally, and in solidarity. After my birthing experience, I felt SO lucky to have had her as a support person. She knew exactly what to do to be supportive. It is like it came naturally to her. In conversing with my friends, I heard VERY different stories about their mothers, husbands, additional support people and I was inspired to seek out opportunities to be present and supportive of my birthing friends and family members. The ways in which I was able to support them was inspirational. I felt like watching an empowered birthing person go through her experience was inspirational. I decided I wanted to formally become a doula, at that point.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
I am a good listener.
I encourage people to advocate for themselves and find empowering moments.
I am able to find resources for parents to make decisions for themselves.
I am loving and caring.
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: Local parents, birth workers, and Ina May Gaskin's books.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: Congratulations! You've got this and when you don't there are people who care about you that can help. Ask for help! It takes a community!
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: Listening. Not every new parent needs/wants the same support. Support parents where they are with what they need. Be a sounding board for supporting parents where they are.
What is your favorite TV show or movie?:
What is your favorite place to vacation?: In the forest
What is your favorite food?: I love vegetables from my garden. I also love Taco Trucks!
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: I love working in the garden with my children. Planning and planting and watching the produce grow. I also love hiking in the woods and reading.
Who lives in your house?: My wife, two daughters, two dogs and a cat. We live on a farm and also have cows, pigs, chickens, and a large garden and orchard.