Over the last 16 years, I have had the honor of supporting and learning from hundreds of families as they navigate their pregnancy and birthing experiences. After completing my doula certification at the Seattle Midwifery School. in 2004, I began attending births in homes, birth centers and hospitals. I then worked my way through college and graduate school as a labor and postpartum 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.
My path to Mindfulness
From the first birth I witnessed at age 7 in the candle lit living room of my mother’s best friend, I knew I wanted to be involved in birth. Being from the kind of family that brings their daughter along to a home birth, means that I was also exposed to a variety of meditation forms, yoga and energy work from a young age. This was balanced by a healthy level of skepticism that comes with growing up on the east coast. It wasn’t until 2011, that I really began my own regular meditation practice after completing a 9 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 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, this 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 temporarily 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. When not engaged with her in deep appreciation of the water, birds and trees and recitation of favorite books and rhymes, I have delighted in having the time to dedicate to meditation and the development of tools to offer expectant families. The rest of my days are filled with playing with new recipes, baking bread, gardening and rediscovering flamenco dance.