As a newly married young woman in the 1980s anticipating my first pregnancy, I read everything I could on childbirth. One of the first books I found, Pregnancy and Childbirth by Tracy Hotchner, held a wealth of information for me. Why hadn’t I heard of these childbirth choices before? I decided that it was my responsibility to learn all I could. I found that people my age spent more time researching stereos and cars than they spent preparing for birth. The end of the book listed birthing centers across the US, state by state – and Albuquerque had one! – Southwest Maternity Center. My husband and I toured this home-turned-birthing center on Sandia and 4th Street NW, and we knew then and there that when our time came, we wanted to give birth at Southwest. Our daughter Jordan was born there with the care of their amazing midwifery team in 1983. By the time we were expecting again, Southwest had closed its doors, so we chose midwife-attended home births for our sons; Bailey in 1987 and Brady in 1990.
In 1990, I supported my first birth in a doula role, not even knowing that this was actually a profession. What I did know was that I wanted to do this again as much as possible. In 1992, I was trained to be a doula by the author of Birthing from Within, Pam England. The information I learned fed my passion for encouraging woman during pregnancy and childbirth. Over the years, I used all that I learned from the doula training to provide physical and emotional support to friends and family when it was their time to give birth. I continued to encourage pregnant moms to educate themselves so that they could have their best possible births.
When my daughter Jordan was expecting her first child, and asked me to be her doula, my life had come full circle! What a joy it was to see that my daughter believed in me and everything I had imparted to her in her lifetime. Her first 3 children were all born naturally in hospitals. Her last child was born at home.
In 2015, I realized that I finally wanted to become a certified doula. I trained with Penny Bussell Stansfield of Doulas of North America (DONA) International and have completed my goal of doula certification. I have since become a Childbirth Educator (Academy of Certified Birth Educators) and have trained to use TENS (Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) as a comfort measure during labor. Today, I am married to Brad, Mom to my three adult children and “Meemom” to my precious grandkids.
I am excited to be a part of New Life Birth Services – a group of passionate doulas serving the women and their families of Albuquerque one birth at a time.