It Takes A Village Birth + Family Support LLC
In short: I live with my whole heart. I am sensitive, sentimental and am never afraid to "feel all of the feels".
I discovered the love of my life when I was very young and never let him go. Becoming a parent has been a ride, one that has made me intimate with baby loss, infertility, open adoption, and the privilege (and challenges!) of mothering. I truly appreciate the beauty and bittersweetness of these long days and short years.
I fell in love with reproductive health and sex-positive education and advocacy in high school, which bloomed into a nursing degree in college. For over 12 years, I worked in various medical centers as a labor and delivery RN. Empowering birthing people and their families to have the best birth possible for them has always been my focus. For me, there is nothing better than witnessing someone who felt overwhelmed by the intensity of birth dig deep and allow passage for the littlest love in their life. It's like a magic show, every time. I can't believe how lucky I am to be a part of that thin, sacred space.
Shifting gears into doula work has been the most natural progression, as forming close relationships and providing consistent, tailored support has always been my favorite parts of birth work. No longer am I attached to a computer, charting my life away, nor being pulled out of birthing suites to accommodate staffing needs or emergencies. I get to provide hand-on, nurturing care and education...even in my client's homes!
My current passion has been bridging the gap in care for new families during the "fourth trimester" and beyond (birth to 12+ weeks). Having experienced Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, myself, I am versed in how much you can want for the tiniest person in your life and how sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, lack of social support and baby's own personality can compromise your confidence in providing it. As a country, our societal expectations of new parents is dreadfully overestimated and ridiculous. "Doing it all" and often by yourself once you bring baby home can lead to such disappointment, loneliness and, quite frankly, culture shock. I'm excited to help families ease into this new life, whether through birth or adoptive placement. I believe having a doula at your side as you learn how to nurture your child is much like placing the oxygen mask on yourself, first.
I have always been a nurturer, caregiver, and peacemaker. I love fiercely and feel honored to ride through all of the highs and lows of life’s rollercoaster with my people.
I met my partner for life when we were freshmen in college at Illinois Wesleyan University. We have very different personalities, but provide balance while being closely bonded by our core values--which include a deep love for family and lifelong desire to be parents.
Together we welcomed four beautiful children through a range of birth experiences--from an unmedicated, peaceful water birth to an induction, use of epidural, and time spent in the NICU with a preemie. I was awed every time by an overwhelming love of bringing new life into the world and honoring the individuality of each baby, birth story, and the impact each had on our growing family. When my youngest child was born in 2011, I looked into becoming a doula or midwife. I quickly realized that my household of four littles (aged 5 and under!) was not exactly conducive to an on-call sort of life and put that dream on the back burner...
Instead, I was fortunate to continue a very flexible office job in the financial services industry for a total of about 15 years. I enjoyed the intellectual challenge and learning opportunities, the friends and mentors I met along the way, and the predictable rhythm of the corporate world. Still, I felt a longing to be of service in a more hands-on way.
In 2017, I was reintroduced to the world of doula work and my desire to empower birthing families was reignited. Upon learning of the impact doulas are having in the postpartum and post-placement period, lovingly supporting families as they find their footing, I knew this was truly the right path for me. As I worked through my doula training, each step made it more apparent that this was the heart-work I had been longing for, and a natural fit for who I am and who I aspire to be.
In my mind, an ‘ideal’ birth is one where the birthing family feels that they have the information, confidence, and autonomy to make the best choices for themselves and their baby; whatever the birth plan, whatever the result, that they walk in and out of the experience knowing that their voices are heard and respected. I dream of a community where new and growing families have a reliable support network to lean on with each new transition. Having a new baby is challenging for countless reasons, and while that may be acknowledged, it lights me up to know I can do more; I get to say I am here to help--you do not have to figure this all out on your own.