Please enjoy reading about the process of becoming a doula, running a doula business, stories from the families, and highlights from the births I attend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 2012 Update

I've been a bit busy since my May update!  Ohio State is transitioning from quarters to semesters, so the summer term was only 7 weeks, but still full of lots of learning!  So a few updates...

First of all, I attended another birth!  I agreed to be a back-up for my good doula friend when she went out of town to visit her very sick father.  The client wasn't due until almost a week after she was planning on returning and even though it was going to be my very fist week at my clinical site, I agreed to cover her "just in case."  I was in the shower getting ready for my first day with a midwife at the clinical site when I got a call from the couple.  She had been having contractions for about 2 hours at home, but they said they were already 3-4 minutes apart!  So, I said I'd meet her at her house in about 45 minutes and changed from my dress clothes and white coat, to my doula clothes and grabbed my bags.  I was about 5 minutes from there house when they called to say she was feeling alot of pressure with 2 minute contractions, so they were heading to the hospital instead.  I met them at the door of the hospital and helped momma through some contractions (still in the car) while Dad ran in to grab a nurse and a wheelchair.  She quickly got into the wheelchair and after a VERY brief stop in the triage area where they could see her water was already broken with bloody show, they quickly took her to the room.  She had a contraction standing up from the wheelchair and the doctor checked her, then we got her up onto the bed and started pushing.  Baby girl was born less than 15 minutes after arrival to the hospital!  Since I wasn't there for much of the labor, I stayed for nearly 2 hours after the birth assisting with breastfeeding and taking lots of pictures of the new family.  Then I was still able to change clothes and made it to my clinical site for the 2nd half of the day.  What a way to start off!

In other doula related news, I'm officilally DONA certified!  They finally got my packet reviewed and told me it was one of the most complete packages she's reviewed all year and she liked my essay.  So, I'm now official and listed on the DONA site.  I'm still not sure about taking new clients.  I did get a call a few weeks ago for an October birth, but I'm just not sure where school will take me this fall, so I didn't want to commit.  I'm hoping maybe I'll get a call for someone due during Christmas Break otherwise, I may try to get some clients at the end of next summer if I don't have a midwife job lined up.

My first NP/CNM clinicals were this summer and were amazing.  My AP (antepartum) clinicals were at a neighborhood clinic and I worked with a midwife who has been working for almost 30 years.  We saw between 15-25 patients a day and I did a total of 76 hours with her.  Most of the patients were prenatal visits, but we did have some annual exam or "problem" visits too.  For prenatal visits (I think I did over 100 total) I would measure fundal height, do heart tones, teaching, and for new patients do a clinical breast exam, and pelvic (with PAP if needed).  I did 55 pelvic exams on my own this summer, so I feel pretty good with a speculum!  I also was able to check dilation on a handful of term ladies, so I'm starting to feel a bit better about that.  What I really learned is that I'm going to LOVE being a midwife!  I also did 76 hours of Primary care at the Student Health Center on campus.  Not quite as exciting, but I still learned alot.

So, now I'm starting school again in a week.  This fall will be Intrapartum care and also a big focus on contraception, STI's etc.  Catching babies in a month!  I can't wait.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Update for May 2013

So another month goes by...Just two updates for this month.  First of all, I am now a Registered Nurse!  I took the NCLEX-RN on 4/19 and found out on 4/20 that my license was issued in the state of Ohio.  Woo Hoo!  So, I'm not looking at any RN jobs at the moment.  They have been pretty clear that once our clinical hours start, we really won't have the time to work.  Plus most new nursing jobs require a 12 week orientation or internship in which you need to be available pretty much full time and considering I'll need to be doing about 25 hours a week of clinical time this summer, that doesn't seem feasible.

Classes are going well this quarter.  I have a class on Scientific Thought in Nursing that is certainly not difficult, but is torturous due to the papers on critical thinking and "knowing" and required weekly discussion board postings.  I also have a Financial Reimbursement class that is a 3 hours a week that doesn't take much time outside of class except for a couple of homework assignments.  My third class is Advanced Assessment.  I really enjoy it because we have a weekly lab that is just Midwifery and Women's Health students.  Each week we get online lectures for a specific system or area of the body, then in lab they adjust the lecture to what we're likely to see with women or pregnancy and then we get a couple hours to practice assessment techniques, take a history, and do some differential diagnosis based on case studies.  My favorite so far was our female reproductive week in which we had paid pelvic models available to do speculum and manual pelvic exams and Pap smears on.  I was able to do 3 exams that week!  While the first time is a bit awkward, by the third one I was finding the cervix like a pro and able to finesse my technique (I hope) to keep my model more comfortable too.  Tomorrow is a skills day and we get more pelvic practice and get to learn suturing techniques on pigs feet.  Yay!  The summer quarter will start in June and I'll be sent out into the world to work on skills in primary care and prenatal care.  It's starting to feel real now!

Regarding the doula world.  I got an e-mail from DONA the other day just to let me know that they do have my packet, but they have a backlog and it may be a couple of months before I get a response on the certification.  Sigh.  I'll just wait patiently and hope all is in order.

I'm not actively searching for clients at the moment.  My website is still active, but I don't think it's easy to find by random searching.  I would be able to take some this summer as I think I can be somewhat flexible during these precepted hours, but as of August, I may not be in Columbus for clinical time, so I'm not sure how that will work.  So, if any prospects are reading, just let me know.  I have an amazing friend who can be my back-up and if someone wants me after August, I could offer a reduced rate just in case it's not going to be me.

Well, I need to work on some other school work and the kids are napping, so I'll be back next month!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Update

Quick, let me get an update in for March!

It was a quiet month for Doula stuff.  I had a couple of phone call inquiries about doula services, but just seemed to be information gathering and I didn't meet any of the ladies face-to-face.  However, both calls were from the flyers and cards I mailed to one of the OB/GYN/CNM practices locally, so it's good to know that they are willing to give out my info!  Also, one of my new instructors for Spring quarter is an NP at that practice, so who knows!

I did FINALLY write up my last birth essay and mail all my paperwork into DONA.  So, now I wait.  It said it could take up to 8 weeks to get a response.  Hopefully, I dotted all my i's and crossed my t's and it will get approved and I can start saying I'm certified!

School is going well.  I survived Winter quarter and my last set of pre-RN classes.  I'm scheduled to take the NCLEX on April 19th, so I should be able to add RN to my resume very soon.  I applied for a couple of part-time jobs in L&D or post-partum, but my application was denied pretty quickly.  I'm guessing due to the speed of rejection it's because I'm not yet licensed.  However, after meeting with our instructor for Advanced Assessment who is also coordinating all of our NP and CNM clinicals for the next year, they stongly encouraged NOT working.  So, I think I will focus on learning how to be the best midwife possible and maybe picking up a doula client here and there. 

This quarters classes are Scientific Thought in Nursing and Financial Reimbursement which should both be fairly straight forward.  My biggie is Advanced Assessment.  It's a little overwhelming and scary, but I think will end up being lots of fun and will really lay the foundation for everything else.  Look for Week 5 when we get to do Female Reproductive and my first pelvic exam from the foot of the table!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 2012 Update

Very short update this month.  Nothing has changed!  School went nuts!  Soooo, every week I keep moving "Finish DONA Certification Paperwork" on my to-do list to the next week.  All I really need to do is write up my essay on the last birth, add a few resources to my resource list and scan some documents.  I even already paid the application fee!  I just literally haven't had enough time.  But, this time next month, my finals will be over and when I take a breath, I'll send it in.

A few possible leads.  I got a call from someone based on the cards and flyers I sent to some local OB/GYN and CNM practices.  She was supposed to call back to set up our meet & greet and didn't yet, but sometimes you get busy, so I'm not ruling it out completely.  I also am a "maybe" on a twin birth in July.  They haven't decided if they are scheduling a c-section and she won't want to hire me in that case.  So, I'm waiting.

I'm learning so much on my high-risk OB clinical placement.  I've seen too many moms having babies too early and too many meds and interventions that I don't understand why they are "necessary."  I'll be glad to get to the part of my studies when I may be able to do something about that.  But for now, I'll learn how to listen to fetal heart tones, do non-stress tests, and interepret tracings. 

Ok, back to school work.  I promise a better update in March.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Update

Happy new year!  Another month and another birth!  My first booked client ended up being my third birth, but her little girl was born last week.  Spontaneous rupture of membranes at home got things started, a planned epidural at the hospital with an unplanned whiff of Pitocin to keep things moving, less than an hour of pushing and she was here!  I felt my role at this birth was less physical, but more encouraging and making sure immediate postpartum needs were met.  I tried to be a calming presence for a mom who tends to worry and make sure her priorities from her birth plan were upheld (delayed cord-clamping, the first hour skin-to-skin without interruption for weighing, exams, etc., keeping the placenta, and no eye ointment or shots for babe).  We haven't had our postpartum meeting yet, but I hope that this momma also felt my presence was worthwhile. 

So, no booked clients on the horizon, but they tend to fall into my lap at the right time, so I'm not overly concerned.  I just have to finish up my birth essay on the last birth and finalize my paperwork and I'll be ready to send in my certification materials.  Hopefully, all is in order and they will review and certify me without additional requests. 

My new quarter at school started.  It is a busy quarter with 4 classes including Leadership (my final pre-RN course) with a clinical placement in a high-risk antepartum OB unit, Pharmacology (this is the prescribing class for APNs as opposed to the nursing administration course), Advanced Reproductive Dynamics (the physiologic and pathophysiologic basis for the rest of my women's health and midwifery classes), and a Introduction to Complementary and Alternative Medicine class.  All classes that I will find extremely valuable, but it's alot to do at once!  I've only done one day of orientation on my clincial unit, but I think I will love it and it's great to be around all these pregnant moms.  Even if I spend half my time wondering how they could have been managed diffently to not have to be on this unit.  For a few days while things were being finalized, I thought I was going to be placed on an L&D floor, but the preceptor fell through, so antepartum it is.  Patience.  Soon enough I'll be seeing lots of deliveries!

I don't expect much over the next month.  School, sleep, repeat.  Although I'd love to have some idea on the status of my DONA certification by next month (doubtful).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Update

I'm starting to feel more like a real doula now.  I had my 2nd birth this week and feel like it went well.  Being on-call this time was not as emotionally challenging.  There was some stress because my on-call time started during my last week of classes and included finals week and birthday party weekends for both girls.  However, I had arrangements with another doula and my teachers, so I knew if it was meant to be, that I'd still make the birth.  She ended up passing her due date and electing an induction, so in the end, I knew exacly when to show up at the hospital.

This was a marathon birth for me.  I was at the hosptial for about 21 hours and had two 20-30 minute naps in the early morning hours.  Her induction began at 8 a.m., (actually started around 10) and they asked me to arrive at noon.  Baby was born at 7:22 a.m. the next morning.  What I will remember from this birth was how easily this mom slipped into her labor rituals.  She used both low tones and breathing in each contraction.  She had been through Bradley Childbirth classes and I think it served her well.  She did decide to get the epidural after 14 hours of Pitocin induced labor mostly because she was exhausted and really wanted rest.  The other amazing thing to me was her progress in labor.  She was induced with a balloon catheter and took 6 hours to reach 4 cm and about 60% effaced (the point where the balloon can be pulled out).  She stayed at about the same numbers for the next 10 hours!  I'm not exagerating, she was checked 10 hours after the balloon was removed she was 5 cm and 80% effaced.  However, that was the turning point.  45 minutes later, she was 6-7 cm and 100% and baby was born 4 1/2 hours later.  I think she was truely lucky that she was laboring during the night and baby was handling contractions without a hitch or at this particular hospital, I'm sure the dreaded "c-word" would have come up before her body caught up!  But baby born vaginally without any instruments, tears or episiotomy!

So, I'm in a brief lull at the moment.  I've got another 10 days or so before I start my next on-call period for my 3rd and final certifiying birth.  This momma would love to go before her due date, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed also.  So far, I haven't had any problems with the actual birth days, but I'd rather not have to miss my first day of classes in January if baby cooperates!

I'm about to do the write up on birth #2 so I will be ready to send in all the certifying documents as soon as I get #3 under my belt.  I got an A in my principles of midwifery class last quarter.  I'm gearing up for my Advanced Reproductive Dynamics course beginning in January.  January also begins my final quarter of pre-RN clinicals.  It is a leadership class.  I know that there are a couple of labor and delivery openings, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for one of them.  Otherwise, I should get some sort of high-risk maternity, postpartum, or other women's health floor to work on. 

That's about it for this month.  Merry Christmas to all!  I should have another birthy update in January!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November Update & First Birth

Big news for this month was that I was able to doula at my first official birth!  I don't have a release to do a whole birth story, but short story is that the VBAC client went into labor with spontaneous rupture of membranes (after an accupuncture appointment that morning) three days before her due date and 5 days before her scheduled repeat c-section.  We had a great experience with the hospital staff and Mom was happy with her birth and didn't end up with another c-section.  I feel pretty good about how I can apply my skills.  There is no magic pill, just being present and doing whatever Mom needs at that moment.  My biggest problem with that birth was fatigue.  I didn't follow my "go to bed at a reasonable time" rule and ended up with only 1 hour of sleep before I got the call.  I was in rough shape by the time I got home.  Although, I feel like I recovered pretty well after one really good night of sleep.

I'm still on as a back-up/primary during the day for the December couple.  We had two prentatls with them this month and I really like this couple too.  I'm a little worried that I might not make this birth.  I go on-call on Sunday this week, but next week at school I have can't miss presentations on Wednesday and Friday, a SIM on Monday, and an exam on Friday.  Then Grace is having a sleep-over birthday party on Saturday and I have a final on the following Monday.  I really hope they wait until I finish up finals, so I can be sure to be there.

I had a prental appointment with my January couple and it went well.  I'll be seeing them again mid-December and on-call by the end of the month.  She'd love to go before the end of the year and I'd love to have that one done before school starts back on 1/3, so I don't have to worry about missing any week 1 of class stuff. 

Even though the being on-call and scheduling stuff is more stressful than I expected, I'm trying not to get uptight.  Things will work out as they are supposed to and I will make it to the births I'm supposed to be at.

My midwifery class is winding down and has been quite pleasant.  I have enjoyed the discussion board format and debating some of the major issues in the profession.  Sometime in December I'll find out my clincial placement for next quarter.  I'm crossing my fingers for an L&D or post-partum assignment.

I'm sure I could have written much more about the birth and stuff, but I don't want to give more info than I've been permitted to disclose.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Update!

So a quick update from the last month...
Regarding clients, I am getting ready to go on-call November 2nd for what should be my first official birth.  This is the joint arrangement with my other doula friend.  We are doing the prenatals together.  Did our first one a couple weeks ago and have the 2nd/final one coming up this Friday.  LOVE this couple and I just really hope her body is going to kick in and go into labor before her doctor schedules the repeat c-section.  The plan is for me to show up regardless, and if timing works out, the other doula will come too and they get 2 of us.  I had a babysitter change, so my project for this week is to make sure that I have my on-call time completely covered and then I'm good to go!

I decided against the other November scheduled c-section.  This mom was really just going to let me be there to help me get births for certification.  I decided to pass because I'm not sure how much value I really would be adding.  Plus, I can only count one c-section and it is possible since my earlier November birth is a VBAC, that her doctor could schedule her for a repeat if she doesn't go into labor on her own "in time."

I do have another back-up scenario for mid-December scheduled.  This couple was again my doula friend's contact.  They were students in her Bradley class and wanted her to be their doula.  However, she'll still be subbing, so we're going to do a similar arrangement.  However, due to her due date being at the end of my finals week and I have a couple tests/project presentations that I may not be able to miss, it's a little more iffy about whether I can show up.  BUT, they liked me and I liked them, so if I can at all possibly be there (even if I'm not really needed as a back-up), I'll be going to that birth too.  Just in case, I'm going to do all their prenatal appointments too.

My January birth is still on.  It seems like it's been a long time since I've met with them, but we keep in touch, so I know she's doing well.  The first prenatal with them is at the end of the month.  I'm excited about it because I think I have a lot of information to share and I'm looking forward to finding out exactly how they want to use me.

My midwifery class is good.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but basically it is going through alot of the history of CNMs in the U.S. and the ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives) history.  We've went through core values, scope of practice, etc.  We had a project during National Midwifery Week to do an educational outreach project/public presentation.  It was a really good project because I don't think I really knew how mis-informed people really are about what nurse-midwives do.  Overall, the class is really putting the profession into perspective and getting me to think about how I feel about the job and our committment to women and how I need to be able to communicate that to others.  I think it's a really good foundation before we start getting into the skills and knowledge foundation for practice.

So planned for the next month is to probably do at least 2 or maybe even 3 more prenatals with these clients.  I should also be going to my first birth (as a doula).  Yay!  Also, mulling over the idea to try to talk to someone who may work with teen pregnancies and offer a freebie to someone in need.  My time in my Community Health clinicals is kicking in my desire to help those less fortunate.  We'll see about that one, I'm not sure when I'd schedule it.  So, I'll be back in November hopefully with some info about how awesome my first birth was!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Update for September 2011

I promised I'd be back!  I have been enjoying my long break from school and have used that time to spend alot of time being a doula, so this has been a busy month for me.

First of all, I have clients!  The couple I mentioned in my previous post was a good fit and they have hired me for their birth in January.  I also have booked a birth in November that I will be doing as part of a team with my friend and fellow doula Samara.  She had been hired by them already, but then was offered a long-term substitute teaching position for the fall.  Since she has a Masters in Education and is going to try to go back to work next year, she couldn't turn it down.  So...now with her limited daytime hours, she asked me to step in as a front-line back up.  Basically, I'll show up to the birth regardless, and if it's during a time she can come, we'll both be there.  I got to meet the couple and we all seemed to like each other, so I feel good about that one too.  I may be doing a scheduled c-section birth in November also.  I still need to have a real discussion with the Mom, but she may be willing to do the prental and postnatal visits and let me be with her at the hospital, so I can get that 3rd birth in and get the certification completed sooner.

Other "getting clients" news...I put together a couple hand-outs for people planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or new moms and dads for our church Health and Wellness bulletin board.  The coordinator is also letting me post a flyer and business cards on my doula services.  That will be the October health focus for church.  Today, I dropped hand-out size flyers and a stack of business cards in the mail to a couple of the practices in towns where midwives deliver and a couple OB offices that I saw with good reviews about supporting natural childbirth here in town.  Hopefully, they'll set them out for patients and not send them straight to the trash.  I still plan to take some flyers and business cards to the big maternity store, Babies R Us and Whole Foods to see if I can post them or leave a stack.  I haven't quite mustered up the courage on that one yet.

I put together my doula bag with just a few more items needed to have it ready to be "on call."  I also created a list of what to pack for the hospital that I can share with my moms.  For my January mom I also did some research on a variety of topics.  So now I have some good articles scanned and printed so I have information to provide as part of the "Informational Support" role of being a good doula.  I also read the Belly Mapping Handbook which gave some good ideas and a resource should I have a mom that has malpositioning issues.

As for loose ends on certification requirements, I'm trying to knock as many of those out as possible, so after I get the births in, I'll be ready to send in my materials.  I keep putting off the writing of the Value of Labor Support essay, but I do want to finish it before school starts in a week, so I'll get to it.  The biggest accomplishment that I've made is the development of my resource list.  The requirement is at least 45 resources in 30 categories.  I have 71 resources in 25 categories.  I have 32 categories total, but some are still empty.  I then took some of the key categories and put them on a resource page on my website.  That took much more time than I expected, but I feel really good about it.  I finished reading the Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, so only one book left on the reading list.  I also took a 3-hour online breastfeeding class as required.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how things are going.  I had hoped with my training in June that I'd be ready for certification this year, but things seem a bit slow to start.  I like that I have 2 on the calendar and at least a lead on the third.  I'm also hopeful that some of the local things I'm doing will have an impact.  As of right now, I think I'd love someone due late December, so I could do the birth without missing any school.  Other than that, I could be available for a February or March.  I'll be precepted for clinicals, so it won't be as big of a deal to reschedule them if I need to miss (and if I already miss a day for the January birth).  I also could do a couple births during Spring quarter, as I won't have clinicals at all while I'm preparing/taking the NCLEX.  Eric is supportive of this and even though scheduling can be tough on him, he knows this is good for me and my eventual career.

Next update in October!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update as of August

A busy course load this summer has me neglecting this blog, but no worries, I haven't been neglecting the new business!  I belive my last update was right after I finished training.  Since then I have got some business stuff done.  I finished some more of the required reading.  I still have 1 1/2 books left and plan to read them during my summer/fall break in a couple weeks.  I will also be taking my breastfeeding course during that time.  I have done some paperwork.  I have put together my discussion outilnes for my inital meet & greet meetings with potential clients, and what to cover during our 1st and 2nd prenatal meetings.  I ordered a Rebozo shawl and some position cards for labor/birth positions and Rebozo techniques that I can throw in my doula bag if I get stuck during a birth.  I also ordered a belly mapping workbook and plan to spend some time going over that during break, so I can help any clients with malpositioning issues.  I now have beautiful business cards and have created a nice one-page flyer that I could post on bulletin boards or leave at businesses.  During break, I'm going to work on distributing them with some cards to hopefully get my name out in the community.

As for school, the summer quarter was not focused on anything birth related, but my clinical hours were 12 hour shifts and high-acuity patients.  I think learning how to deal with the long hours is good and now I feel better under pressure dealing with either really sick people or emergency situations.  Hopefully, not many of those to come with doula clients, but still a skill that I will hold onto!  I will be looking forward to fall when I am taking "Conceptual Framework for Nurse-Midwifery Practice" as one of my classes along with Community nursing and Psych/Mental Health nursing.

As for clients, I've had some ups and downs.  I booked my first client due August 15th.  She happens to be one of my very best friends and lives out of state.  So, the logistics was going to be challenging, but I made whatever arrangements I could and the weekend of her baby shower did our prenatal meeting and started getting ready to go "on-call."  However, at her 36 week check-up, her blood pressure caused her doctor to do some additional bloodwork and send her over to the hospital labor and delivery.  We chatted and they wanted to do some additional bloodwork in the evening, so we weren't sure if a c-section was imminent or if she'd have a few more days/weeks.  We found out around 9 p.m. that she was showing symptoms of early HELLP syndrome, so they went ahead with the c-section right away.  So, unfortunately, I wasn't able to join her for her birth.  Thankfully, both she and the baby were fine and are doing great now, so I still call that a successful birth!

About two weeks ago, I was contacted by someone through my website who was due in October and we set a meet-and-greet for the next day.  We seemed to hit it off and she said she wanted to hire me, so we set up our first prenatal meeting for last week.  However, before the meeting date came, she told me she changed her mind.  She was looking for a primary support person and planned a medicated birth.  I think after talking with her family and doctor they convinced her she could do an unmedicated birth without extra support.  I wished her luck, but still hope she might reconsider before October.

So, then last week I was contacted by a new couple who may be interested in hiring me.  This one due in January.  I am meeting with them tomorrow to see if we're a good match.  I'm hopeful that soon I'll have someone booked. 

I am encouraged that without doing a whole lot to put my name out there yet, I've had a couple of inquiries.  Soon, I'll be hooked up with the right family and it will be great.  Hoping that my work over my break will get me some bookings as well.  I feel ready to go to a birth and I think I'll do a great job.

So, unless I have time in between, I'm now planning to update the blog once a month, so look for an update in September!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DONA Doula Training

This past weekend I spent 22 hours doing my DONA birth doula training.  It was a fabulous experience.  Although this was the first session these trainers have done, I thought they did a great job.  They kept the topics short and interesting and made sure that there was plenty of time for interacting, so we didn't get bored or too overwhelmed.  I trained with 5 other ladies and I think we're all excited to start doula-ing people.

I am very excited about many of the comfort techniques and positions we learned about and I'm just itching for my first birth.  I'm still finishing up my official website, but hope to have it ready to publish by the time I get back from vacation next weekend.  Ideally, I'll find a couple of families that are due this summer.  I'd love to be able to finish my certification by the end of this year.

Time to log off here and go back to my website editing.  More to come when I am up and running or when I connect with my first clients!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome to My Blog!

So, I'm starting a blog!  This blog is for the sole purpose of blogging about my experiences as a doula.  If you are looking for a doula in the Columbus area, I may be the woman for you!  I am going through the DONA International Training June 3-5, 2011.  After those dates, I will be ready to book births for this summer and beyond.

A little about me...
I am 32 years old and have been married to an amazingly supportive man for 10 years.  He is literally my soulmate and I can't believe how lucky I am to have a husband who supports all my dreams and ambitions.  We have three beautiful children.  Grace who is 6 years old.  She was born at 39 weeks, 1 day after a spontaneous rupture of membranes sent us to the hospital.  We did have an epidural and after 9 hours of labor and 40 minutes of pushing, she was born 8 pounds, 11 ounces.  However, she had a shoulder dystocia which was very scary for us at that time, but ended up not causing any permanant issues.  She was also born with a cleft of the soft palate which was repaired at about 13 months of age.  In between child number 1 and 2, I had a battle with breast cancer.  I had a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, and a couple other drugs, and then finally got the all clear to continue our family.  Our middle child, Luke, is 3 years old.  He was born at 37 weeks, 3 days after an induction due to large size and previous should dystocia.  I again had an epidural and another shoulder dystocia!  He was a big boy though and weighed in at 10 pounds, 8 ounces!  Our third child, Faith, is 1 year old.  She was also induced at 37 weeks becuase of the previous history.  She glided into the world with 2 pushes and one contraction and finally, no shoulder dystocia!  She was a petite 8 pounds, 2 ounces and shockingly, also born with a cleft of the hard and soft palate.  It was repaired last September when she was 9 months old.

My major life goal is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.  I used to be an insurance broker, but my birth experiences and my desire to be in a position to help and work with pregnant women, led me to a career change.  I am in the Graduate Entry Masters of Nursing program at The Ohio State University.  I started fall of 2010 and will finish after Summer 2013.  While I'm still working on my studies and getting through the program, I wanted a way that I could get into more labor and birth situations and gain valuable experience that will make me a better midwife.  Becoming a doula is the perfect fit.  I will get to labor with women and become an expert on comfort techniques and really enhance my empathy.  This also allows me to start making a difference for families NOW, rather than in 2 more years when I finish school.  Lastly, I want to be the kind of midwife that is really "there" for a family, rather than just showing up for delivery of the baby.  Experience as a doula will only make me a better midwife.

So, if you are here looking for a doula, I'd love to work with you and your family.  You will find me to be a very kind person.  I seem to have a gift for seeing all sides of a situation and diffusing tense situations.  I will help you understand procedures and medical terminology (as I'm studying that right now) and I will help be your advocate to communicate your desires to the health care team, while keeping a goal of "Healthy Baby, Healthy Mom" at the forefront of every decision.  I will support and encourage you during labor and help your partner experience the labor and birth with you in the best way possible.  I don't have any hidden agendas and will not pass judgement if you decide to accept pain medications or need a c-section.  I will help you with breastfeeding and making the transition from pregnant woman to MOM. 

I can't wait to share this experience with you!