My Story - the professional is personal
"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."
Hello awesome parent-to-be! Thank you for exploring your options. Are you overwhelmed yet? There are so many choices now. Here's a bit about me and my practice.
I was born in Texas... not that far back? Ok. I married my soulmate in 1995 in Evergreen Colorado and settled down to the business of building our family. After years of infertility and losses, I conceived my son, Ethan, in 1998. His pregnancy story includes incompetent cervix, cerclage stitch, preterm labor, inversion, preeclampsia, drama, bedrest, anxiety, breech, amnio, and c-section at 38 weeks. He was 7 pounds, 11 ounces and perfect. He was a delightful baby and breastfed like a champ even though he was early and surgically delivered. It was strange to be home with a new baby when my day was historically filled with people and adult conversation. I felt constrained by what my pediatrician was telling me in a 20 minute visit, what I was reading, what my family suggested and what Brian and I wanted to do.
Eighteen months later, we were pregnant with Emma and I began to study to become a labor doula. I wanted a "normal birth", a vaginal delivery. I wanted to stay home as long as possible and have an easier recovery. At 42 weeks, I was still pregnant and still attending births as a doula. My doctor had a very kind discussion with me and we decided to have a repeat c-section. He prepared me for how huge she was going to be. My 7 pound, 4 ounce baby girl arrived to an apologetic doctor and then I hemorrhaged in postpartum. My doula was there and tried to manage my family and my husband and she worked hard to keep the baby with me. It felt like everyone in the hallway didn't quite understand the severity of what was happening in the room. The wanted to see Emma. I felt a bit meaningless. Like the "wrapper that held the candy" (I just heard that from a speaker at the Maternal Mental Health Conference). I came home weak, disappointed, sad (this was a few months after 9/11) and anxious. Very very anxious. Clinically anxious actually. Emma was also what we lovingly call "an appendage baby". I couldn't put her down - ever. All she wanted was me, so I felt I was letting down Ethan and Brian. Motherhood wasn't quite as glamourous as I had hoped. (She breastfed beautifully by the way - despite post dates, a "geriatric" pregnancy and hemorrhage. She's also quick to smile and gorgeous.)
Two very different pregnancies, deliveries and babies, resulted in some great life experience. After Emma's birth, I re-started ICAN here. (International Cesarean Awareness Network) ICAN helped me process and heal so I could be a better doula. I found I loved teaching and enjoyed big groups. I spoke for a La Leche League conference and a midwifery conference. I began to move from doula work into postpartum work and I realized many moms had difficulty breastfeeding. Most of the parents I worked with admitted that the real work was going home from the hospital and learning a whole new life.
I found a spot teaching at a local hospital and became a Certified Lactation Educator. Three years of education, a mini masters with Jan Riordan and lots of experience later, I sat for my IBCLC exam in 2009.
I feel very passionate about education. I believe all parents deserve the knowledge and support necessary to feel confident in their decisions. I love research and reading. I'm amazed at the idea 2023 parents are reading 1970 books and research. Parents now are significantly more busy than 20 years ago. You may not have time to read all the books and all the research to know best practices. That's okay because I've spent the last 20 years doing the work and I'm ready to help you parent your way. You have an expert in your community and in your corner.
I'm looking forward to working with you!