I'm mama bear to three crazies. My home is super loud but loaded with love. I'm joyful and smile pretty much all the time. That's a huge part of me. It has always been a huge part of me. I can easily re-frame a bad situation, which is probably annoying to some, but it's a trait that has helped me through life and guides me as I work with helping birthing people find their power. I have deep roots that go back to my childhood in San Jose & I'm a professional actor on an endless hiatus ever since the birth world opened my eyes to a new found passion 11 years ago.
My interest in birth runs deep and I'm constantly taking classes, reading books & articles and learning as much as possible. I'm proud to use the CD(DONA) title as my certification was a huge milestone in my professional life. I am also a Trained Hypnobabies® Hypno-Doula which requires a very specific level of training. This method of support is very specific and is different than my "standard" methods of care.
I'm mostly just a mama who found great power in my own birthing experiences and I love to share my knowledge to newer families so that they too can feel this strength. It's powerful stuff.
I knew immediately, with the birth of my first child, that I wanted to grow up to be a Doula. Even though my birth had plenty of unwanted interventions and some not so fabulous turns, I was helped immensely by my Doula. She never left my side, never judged me when I called for the epidural and most importantly, she helped me navigate the medical system so that I would come out feeling victorious. I felt the most incredible power that day..... After 2 hours and 20 minutes of pushing, a mama was born and I felt like the most powerful woman on the planet. I wanted to shout from the mountain tops, "LOOK WHAT I JUST DID!!!!" Every single birthing person deserves to feel that powerful. That feeling was addictive. So now, I am driven to hold space for each birthing person as they navigate the labor labyrinth. When a birthing person feels deeply supported and nurtured, they can find the strength they didn't know they had.
It's not about what interventions you want or don't want. It isn't about home birth or hospital birth. It isn't about choosing an OB vs. midwife..... It's about feeling powerful. It's about educating yourself on the birthing process so that you are an active participant in your journey and that your voice is heard. You deserve this. We all deserve this. As your advocate, I will not speak for you. I will simply empower you.
I would be honored to help guide you on that journey and help you find your power, without judgement. My role as your Doula is to hold space for you and your partner so that you can feel knowledgeable & confident with your choices. This will be the most memorable day of your life.
My Birth Stories
Siena, October 2009
This birth taught me my power. It also showed me that even though you go in with knowledge (I'm pretty sure I had read every book) you are still in a very tricky medical system. It's a system that gives birthing families very little say in their own experience and I had greatly underestimated the OB rotation. My OB was great but the OB on duty was now in charge.
I had a Doula, yet still, I ended up with unwanted Pitocin which drove me to call for the epidural which I was hoping to avoid. I then ended with an episiotomy that was totally unnecessary. That said, I FELT POWERFUL. And I believe that was largely due to my amazing doula. She helped me stay present and made it possible for my husband to really show up, and be present with me emotionally. This helped us both roll with the decisions that weren't going the way I had planned. That said, I was an active participant, even if things weren't going my way. I made decisions I hadn't planned on making but my Doula was the one reminding me that I was in charge of this experience. I really was the most important person in the room. Once my daughter was born, I felt like the most powerful woman on the planet and I longed to experience it again. I had no idea that I had such inner strength and it completely blew me away. I knew immediately that I wanted to help everyone feel this power. I wanted to be a Doula.
Jax, January 2012
I made a massive change and decided to deliver with a midwife at a hospital that was incredibly supportive of birthing families owning their own birth experience.
This was my hardest labor of the three. I succeeded with my goal of avoiding the epidural and yet, this labor was loaded with fear. My dad had passed away two months prior and what I now know in hindsight was that my mind was in a very bad place. I was so excited to meet my sweet son but I was still mourning a major loss and I was not at all emotionally strong. The mind-body connection is really, really real.
I begged for drugs but knew I wasn't really wanting them. My Doula and Midwife both assured me that the epidural was a perfectly fine option, though neither one of them went running for the anesthesiologist because they weren't convinced that was my final decision. (they were right!)The battle was in my head. This labor gave me an intimate knowledge of fear. I had hit the wall that so many women hit. You want to stop and go home but you can't. You MUST birth this baby. There is power that comes from facing that fear. I was reminded that I was safe by both my Doula and my Midwife and I could tell that everything was normal because they were so calm...... but I was still petrified. I somehow made the decision to not get the epidural or perhaps my body just kept moving forward as I battled the decision to take drugs or not. I transitioned into pushing and in 6 minutes, Jax exploded into this world.
He is my most emotional child, hands down. I do fully believe that his temperament and beautiful heart are directly connected to my experiences while I was pregnant and in labor. It's all connected.... All of it. My dad dying, my fear of labor, my panic and my inability to allow this birth to be graceful. It's connected.
Cruz, December 2013
It took me three tries but this was the labor I had been dreaming about. I finally figured out how to allow the experience to unfold and it was stunning. This labor truly and completely transformed my belief that birth is a full and complete mind-body connection. You can't just know the information, you need to BELIEVE the information. You need to believe in yourself and your body's incredible power and you need to be surrounded by peopIe who also believe in your amazing power. I went into this birth knowing my power.... I was no longer learning about it and I had an easy time managing the pain. There was no fear and every single part of this labor and delivery felt easier than my others...... I was just so fully confident in myself and it felt amazing.