Meet our new birth doula, Ryleigh!
Meet our newest birth doula Ryleigh. We love to share interesting facts about our team. Ryleigh and her family reside in Muskegon.
What did you do before you became a doula?
Before this I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I have dabbled into a few different degrees in college, did some nanny jobs in between, and have been consistently working at an assisted living home for 7 years now.
What inspired you to become a doula?
I’ve always been a “helper” at heart, and have always wanted to stand beside people in hardship. Once I had my first daughter and realized just how much of a village it takes to go all the way from pregnancy to postpartum, I realized I wanted to be that help that women could count on during this vulnerable time in their life. Knowledge is power in my eyes, and if I can help someone by giving them information and being their support through such a difficult season, then why not go full speed ahead!
Tell us about your family.
I am married to my husband Brody. We met in 2015 at the YMCA daycare where we both worked and started dating shortly after. Brody is a silly, sport enthusiast, Jesus loving man. He’s very supportive in all I do and was very excited for me to take this next step into something I have been talking to him about a lot! We have 2 children earth side! Penelope is our 3-year-old. She is as goofy and smart as they come. She loves everything from princesses to tools, and keep us on our toes for sure! Gemma is our 5 month old. She was our literal gem, our diamond in the rough, our rainbow baby. We had a pretty traumatic ectopic loss between our two girls and Gemma could not have come at better timing. She has filled the gap in our family and has truly been such a light in a dark season for us. She’s smiley and chubby and that’s just the way we like her!
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
My favorite vacation spot would have to be Disney World. I love the combo of shopping, riding rides, watching performances, and the magic there. Even at 25, there’s still magic being there!
Name your top five bands/musicians and tell us what you love about them.
Truthfully I’m not a huge music obsessed person, I’d rather listen to a podcast or sermon. But I’ve been listening to Walker Hayes, Brandon Lake, Ron Pope, Garret Jacobs, and Vince Joy. I tend to listen to music for their lyrics, I love creative lyrics. Or because it has a funky beat I can dance to in the car!
What is the best advice you have given to new families?
Water or fresh air can fix almost anything, all the way from the baby to the mama.
What do you consider your doula/consultant superpower to be?
I’ve always been told I’m a good listener. I would rather sit with someone for hours on end and listen to them and whatever they have to say than talk about myself. I think sometimes when we try to help someone we tend to overshare and give unwanted advice or try to fill the space too much, and I’m hoping I can use my love of sitting and listening to people as a safe space for them to get their feelings and emotions out!
What is your favorite food?
If you asked me from the time I could eat till right before my last pregnancy, I would’ve said spaghetti. But now I don’t love that. I would probably say tacos now, a good chicken taco with a little bit of kick to it and a lot of cheese!
What is your favorite place on West Michigan’s Gold Coast?
Grand Haven. That’s where I’m from and where I grew up. I love that it feels like home to me, walking the pier, swimming on the beach, all their festivals and fairs, yummy places to eat. I love pretty much everything about it!
What are you reading now?
“Oops! The 9 Ways We Screw Up Our Toddlers” – By Michelle Smith
Who are your role models?
A lot of the women in my life are my role models. They have all had their peaks and valleys in their own journey yet they are all relentless and have kept moving forward! I hope to be half as resilient as they are.