My Doula Journey: Birth #3, Part 2

So there I was, in the lobby of the hospital becoming my I-am-woman-hear-me-roar self. The nurse looked up at me as if coming out of an over-worked fog and said with wide eyes, “Oh. Okay, ma'am.” She got up from her seat to come around and open the door to the maternity wing. I was walked into the closest triage room so they could check my progress. My husband and I knew the routine so we walked right in and took our places. He walked around the bed to lay the bags down and I climbed onto the bed and took everything off except my sports bra. I was in my unfettered zone; there were no rules of decency or proper etiquette that could contradict my primal, birth brain...

Read More

My Doula Journey: Birth #3, Part 1

Three years after my second birth, my husband and I both agreed that we would like to have one more child. I felt mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared this time. Both of my children were in preschool a couple days each week and I was older and wiser. Time and experience and nearby family helped me to feel unafraid...

Read More

My Doula Journey: Birth #2, Part 2

The 5:45 am drive to the hospital was surreal. The city (Birmingham, AL...a noticeably dangerous place to give birth) was quiet and still on a chilly Saturday morning in February. The sun was just beginning to light the downtown landscape in pinks and oranges. We drove quietly; my husband, still groggy from a half-night’s sleep, and me, feeling listless, defeated. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I silently breathed through them as he pulled into the valet and let me out to sit in the waiting area...

Read More

My Doula Journey: Birth #2, Part 1

My journey to becoming a doula continued as my family grew. I had been a new mom for 4 months, enjoying and bemoaning all together the newness of the postpartum stage. The nights were long but the baby was so sweet. My daughter had begun sleeping for longer stretches at night and Spring was in the air, my favorite season. I found a new sense of content and discussed with my husband wanting to start trying for another baby. After two months, we were delighted to see a positive pregnancy test....

Read More

My Doula Journey: Birth #1

My journey as a doula began over 10 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child. My husband and I, high school sweethearts, married in college and were eager to start growing our family. We anticipated having kids at a young age so that, Lord-willing, we could enjoy our empty nest years as still young people, ourselves. So, at the age of twenty-one I was happy to find out I was pregnant...

Read More

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Personal Story

I am a birth doula with first-hand experience in Postpartum Depression (PPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and ongoing bouts of anxiety. With every family I serve, I seek to stress the importance of learning how to recognize the signs of depression and other Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). Once thought of as an extreme case of the “baby blues,” we now know that Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect at least 1 in 7 pregnant women. Women with clinical depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy or the year following childbirth account for a much larger portion of society than just a seldom “extreme case.” ...

Read More