WHO I AM

IMG_7566

P e a c e

o n

E a r t h

b e g i n s

w i t h

B i r t h

I was 19 years old, in film school at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, when I was called to serve birthing people and their families.

The simplest way I could imagine serving people was to start at the beginning … in the first moments of life. Drawn to midwifery, I cold-called every midwife in a 15 mile radius of my apartment. (Believe it or not, some of the most amazing events in my life have happened after cold calls.) This is how I met my mentor, a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) attending homebirths throughout the five boroughs.

In 2004, I attended Connie Sultana’s birth doula workshop through the organization DONA. Since the beginning of my career, I have believed that birth is a normal, yet profound, life event. Several thousand births later, I still do.

During my first years as a doula in NYC, I volunteered with Bellevue Hospital’s doula program, helping the most marginalized birthing women — recently immigrated, uninsured and non-English speaking women — achieve human-centered, and family-honoring births.

IMG_3134

HOMEBIRTH taught me to honor birth as a sacred, magical event. It taught me how to serve women through the hardest, longest of labors. I am grateful for each woman/person who invited me to attend their birth.

After returning to NYU for nursing school, I became a Labor & Delivery Nurse. As an L&D nurse, I’ve worked in hospitals all over the country. In my search for understanding I traveled to Guatemala for six months through the organization Midwives for Midwives. There I lived, learned and worked with indigenous midwives serving their rural highland communities.

I’ve served birthing women as a inpatient obstetrical nurse in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Omaha, California’s Central Valley and the Navajo Indian Reservation. Each setting taught me new lessons. Every single woman-baby-family I’ve served has taught me new lessons.

In 2011, I gave birth to our daughter at home in San Diego. I’m very proud of that. I realize now that it took incredible courage for me, a nurse trained in the medical model of care, to surrender to giving birth. {Listen to my birth story at the birth hour.} Motherhood has been my greatest teacher of all – it’s taught me humility, patience, and most importantly, resilience.

Each woman I meet in labor, I feel invited to serve with passion and love. I consider myself a “with-woman”, a guide and protector of birthing women and their babies. I consider this work my deepest calling. I’m grateful for this honor.

Top photo: Katie Engelbert. All other photos are mine.

One thought on “WHO I AM

  1. Pingback: 5 Things Your L&D Nurse Wishes You Knew | THE TAPROOT DOULA PROJECT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s