After a career as ICU nurse, medical sales representative, and traveling the world with my family, I became a certified (via DONA International) birth and postpartum Doula in 2018. My husband and I have 3 children, they are young adults now. One studies in The Netherlands; one takes a gap year and the little one is a Junior in Highschool.
I had three completely different birth experiences. The first two were born in the hospital; one was induced three weeks early because of medical reasons and the second came naturally around the due date, whereas our third child was a home birth. Because of my nursing background (I've worked for 9 years as an ICU/Cardiac Care nurse), I have experience in a variety of medical settings. Working now as a Doula, I realize every day that these experiences are invaluable when guiding expecting parents throughout their pregnancy, labor and delivery.
People describe me as warm, loving, enthusiastic, devoted, caring, and compassionate coupled with maturity & responsibility. I get along well with people from different backgrounds. I am comfortable with touch and a good listener. In my spare time, I like to hike with our dogs and my husband or friends. I cycle (road bike), like to socialize with friends, and love reading a book. I like to explore restaurants, but I am not the best cook (according to my family). As a family we like to travel, sail and to explore different countries.
Since 2010, we have lived overseas, in the republic of Georgia (Tbilisi) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam). In 2016, we moved to Bethesda, Maryland which gave me the opportunity and follow my dream.
Being in the USA has given me the possibility to follow my dream of becoming a Doula. I have always been inspired and touched by birth, the mysticism around birth, and how a newborn baby can change the life experience for parents. Meeting a newborn baby for the very first time is still a miracle. I look forward to being part of the beginning of a new chapter in your life.
The birth of our children was a positive and memorable experience. Childbirth is a life-changing experience which can leave the most joyous and beautiful imprints .... unfortunately, this is not always the case. However, studies show that by preparing yourselves and working with a doula increases the odds significantly.
While I can look back on three positive birth experiences, I know that it can be overwhelming and scary, in particular for the first birth; being alone with your partner in the hospital room for a long time not really knowing what to do and what to ask for. No being sure about what to expect and if the things that are happening are "normal". When I gave birth to my children, I did not even know that doulas existed! I would have loved to have had a doula helping and guiding me and my husband; it would have saved us a lot of anxiety.
"I am a person who likes to make a difference for people, I hope to make a difference for you!"
I always ask families for feedback after the birth during the postpartum visit
Feedback partners often say:
"You were a lifesaver" "I could relax" "You gave us the privacy we needed" "You helped me be able to help my wife better" "You made me a rockstar" "We couldn't have done it without you" "I could grab a coffee downstairs knowing my wife wasn't alone" "I could take a nap" "When the baby needed to go to the NICU, my wife wasn't alone"
"A doula is like a trail guide, familiar with the path, she keeps you hiking through the hard parts, knowing the view at the end is incredible.”
- Author unknown
HAVING A GUIDE IS PRICELESS
When we lived in Tanzania, I climbed the Kilimanjaro in October 2016, in six days. It's Africa's highest peak (5895m/19340 Ft) and the world's tallest free-standing mountain. Why did I go on this journey? First of all, I wanted to challenge myself - you can do it! The second reason was our upcoming move to the USA. Climbing this mountain was my personal way of saying goodbye to a beautiful country that will always be in my heart.
Climbing a mountain is a metaphor for giving birth (I dare to say this after my own experiences). It was a challenge; beautiful, inspiring and very tough. So tough at times, that I was afraid I would not make it. I faced a lot of anxieties; about the cold, about health issues (altitude sickness), and not having enough stamina...
Having a guide is priceless when climbing a mountain. I often think back of this experience and how I'm now blessed to work as a Doula and guide women during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period; it is such a privilege to be part of this unique and important journey in their life.
The key: Preparation & Coaching - What helped me was a good preparation. I did the training necessary to climb this mountain. I made sure I had all the equipment needed and very important, I had two fantastic guides. They were invaluable during my climb. Those guides they coached, encouraged and supported me. They believed in me! They let me walk at my own pace. They showed me how beautiful this journey was and how inspiring. We bonded together; they became family.
On the fifth day we planned on reaching the summit. The guides took really good care of me. They carried my day backpack. They made sure I drank enough water. They rested with me as much as I needed. They even helped me to get my gloves on or off. And when I almost was unable to reach "Stella Point", they pulled me forward to it. When I finally reached the top, I was tired but so proud!