Over the last 16 years, I have had the honor of supporting and learning from hundreds of families as they navigate their pregnancy, birthing and early parenting experiences. After completing my doula certification at the Seattle Midwifery School. in 2004, I began attending births in homes, birth centers and hospitals. Upon graduating college with a degree in Public health I worked for several non-profit advocacy organizations to pass legislation that improved access to care for mothers and babies. As I later pursued my graduate studies, I continued to work as a doula and live in nanny before completing my training as a Certified Nurse Midwife at Oregon Health Science University in 2016. Over the last 4 years, I have worked as a full scope midwife at a busy practice in Oregon City, OR, catching babies and supporting women and their families through all stages and phases of their reproductive and sexual lives. I have a strong commitment to both provide trauma informed care and to help train other providers and staff in creating care environments that are patient centered, trauma sensitive and antiracist.
My path to Mindfulness
I grew up in somewhat unconventional working class family. My first home birth experience was at age 7 and I was exposed to a variety of meditation forms, yoga and energy work from even younger. This was thankfully balanced in part by a healthy level of skepticism that I attribute to growing up in the North East. In 2011, I discovered Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and completed a 9 week course with Ellen Goldsmith in Portland Oregon. This secular, evidence based form of meditation proved transformational for how I managed stress, anxiety and navigated physical pain related to an old bike accident injury. I have continued my exploration of mindfulness meditation via several other courses, retreats and daily sits with teachers such as Deborah Eden Tull, Robert Beatty and Tim Burnett , among others.
“Over time, I noticed I became less rigid, less focused on doing everything perfectly and learned how to be with and even deeply enjoy things just as they are. I felt my body relax and heart open and it was so relieving! “
As I started midwifery school, mindfulness training proved essential for making it through a rigorous program. I also began to notice how impactful mindfulness was for women and families; assisting them to be with however their pregnancy or labor was unfolding and how these tools significantly aided their navigation of the many anxieties, joys, excitements, disappointments and all the unknowns that can and do arise. When I discovered Nancy Bardake’s book, Mindful Birthing, her approach of grounding traditional childbirth education within a deep foundation of MBSR principles made perfect sense. It all came together for me at that moment and I knew I had to learn more.
I completed the Mindfulness Based Childbirth Education Teacher Training in March of 2020 while the world was deepening into its own profound transformation. I am deeply excited to be able to offer this series as a way to further support families during this time.
The silver lining of the pandemic for me has been relocating to a rustic cabin on the Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington to be nearer to dear friends and their 18 month old daughter, who has become my most persistent and delightful mindfulness teacher. I continue to be grateful for the time to meditate and partake in the abundant gatherings and discussions that are elevating the call to action against racism within all of our systems. Amidst it all, I am remembering to find joy in the simple pleasures of gardening, cooking, baking bread, and paddle boarding. I have ambitions of learning the fiddle, but have not made much progress.