Birth Doula-Activist Training with toLabor (formerly ALACE)
Birth Doula Training (pursuing certification) with DONA International
Postpartum Doula Training (pursuing certification) with the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA)
Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) through the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP), trained through the Healthy Children Project’s Center for Breastfeeding
Helping people bring their babies into the world has been my dream for as long as I can remember. When I was in middle-school-ish, I read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, a historical fiction whose protagonist is a midwife, and it made me want so badly to become a midwife myself. I was inspired by the place of deep respect that she held in her community, and that she earned it by using the humble wisdom of her heart, hands, and the generations of midwives who had come before her to bring peace, safety, and health to the families that she served. I didn’t think that midwives practiced in the US anymore, though, so I wrote it off as a could-have-been, but it nonetheless had a profound impact on the kind of person I wanted to grow into. In college I started a career path in academic philosophy, and it was only after I graduated that I learned that midwives not only still practice in the United States, but there’s a whole field of birth work out there that I could be a part of! I buried myself in internet holes to learn about my options and eventually decided to become a doula. I didn’t have the confidence, then, to start down a path of so many unknowns, so I took the one that I was already familiar with and applied to grad school in New York for a Ph.D. in philosophy instead. I took my first doula training course there, but after serving my first family I realized that I wasn’t really in a position to start a practice, so it had to wait yet again. A year later I discovered that I was pregnant, and everything changed.
While I was pregnant I was constantly daydreaming, trying to imagine all of the possible people my daughter might become, what kind of parent I would be, what our life together would look like . . . and realized that a life in academia wasn’t in any of my fantasies. I withdrew from the program with my MA and moved home to Colorado to start over. The Coronavirus pandemic hit, and it presented me with the opportunity to work on my doula credentials. The time had come to take my dreams in my hands and make them into something real.
The story of how my daughter came to be taught me just how transformative it can be to add a baby to your family. Babies inspire reflection about your past and future, your life and the way you live it, but change also comes in ways that are harder to put your finger on. Things change when you have a baby! We, as people, change. It’s as miraculous as birth itself, and something I am honored to be living.
I’ve also learned that everything happens in its own time. It’s taken me four tries to start my doula practice! Whether I wasn’t ready, my circumstances didn’t support it, or the stars just weren’t aligned, the time wasn’t right until it was. And when it was, there was no putting it off! On the other hand, I, like so many parents-to-be, became pregnant when I wasn’t at all certain I was ready to be a mom. The thing is: becoming a parent is the only way you become a parent, and it works. Birth is the same way. There may be a few false starts or it may come when you don’t think you’re ready, but either way, it happens when it happens and that makes it the right time.
Last but not least, being a queer single mom during the pandemic has heightened all of the challenges of parenting that I’ve experienced. I certainly haven’t lived them all, but it’s given me boundless compassion, resourcefulness, a talent for non-judgement, and a knack for creative problem-solving that I would be honored to bring to your story.