I’ve always been an empathetic person, greatly in-tune with those around me. It’s certainly a blessing (and sometimes curse) to feel everything so deeply. My path to becoming a doula, and harnessing this gift, has been a winding one.
I majored in Communication and Rhetoric at Pitt, with a focus in Intercultural Communication. I have my Masters of Arts in Teaching as well. For the past seven years, I’ve been teaching English as a Second Language in a local public school. When I started trying for a baby, being the info junkie that I am, I began studying fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth like it was my job. It wasn’t until a few years later, when one of my friends went into preterm labor around 33 weeks, that I realized being a doula should actually be my job.
My friend’s husband was out of town, in Maine for a wedding. She needed to run her symptoms by someone who, in her words, “would know what was going on, but wouldn’t panic.” Big shoes to fill… As she described her symptoms to me, intuitively I knew she was in labor. I calmly insisted that I would take her to Magee to get some answers, and sure enough, her son was born later that day with me by her side. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, especially when the new daddy showed up to the hospital, wearing swimming trunks with his duffle bag in hand, a few hours after the birth. Presently, their son is happily thriving, and I look back on his birth as one of the most memorable and profound experiences of my life. This birth inspired me to embark on a career as a doula.
The sense of purpose I get from working as a doula is unbelievable. To help a woman and her partner have the birth they wish for is an honor. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to use my gift of empathy; to support and guide growing families on their journeys.
When I am not working as a doula or teaching ESL, I spend most of my time playing with my daughters Amelia and Adele, or fixing up our old Victorian home with my husband, Joe, in Evans City.