Meet our newest birth doula, Katie!
Say hello to Katie, our newest doula. As always, we asked her some questions so you can get to know her a little better. She met her husband in 3rd grade at a spelling bee, how adorable is that?!
1) What did you do before you became a doula?
I have the joy and privilege of staying at home with my 11-month-old son, Raymond. Before he was born, I was a nanny for 4 years to two awesome kiddos who I still get to babysit pretty frequently. I was also a preschool teacher for a year.
2) What inspired you to become a doula?
I loved being pregnant and my whole labor and delivery experience. My husband was supportive, encouraging, and so involved through the whole thing! We read the books, attended the classes, made the birth plan, and then one thing led to another during labor and it didn’t go a thing like we had “planned”. But I look back on the experience in a completely positive light because I was informed, I was able to make my own choices, and I felt empowered, safe, and loved. But I’ve heard such a different story from so many other Mamas about how they felt out of control, helpless, and alone. So I looked into how I could help them during their pregnancy and delivery; a time that can feel so vulnerable, but also a time that is beautiful and where they should feel empowered, safe, and supported. I learned about the doula’s role and was hooked! I was trained through DONA International and now I’m so honored to be able to enter into such a special space with my birthing Mamas!
3) Tell us about your family.
My husband, Mike, and I met in 3rd grade at a spelling bee and grew up together as great friends. We were high school sweethearts, attended MSU together, and got married the summer after we graduated. We’ve been married for 4 years and last year we had our beautiful baby boy, Raymond David. He’s named after two of our Grandfathers who hold a very special place in our hearts. We’ve also just begun the process of becoming licensed for foster care and hope to be able to open our home to young children soon.
4) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
My parents are from Great Britain and all of my extended family still lives over there. Growing up, we were able to visit my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and cousins every summer for a few weeks. It was never about sight seeing, it was always about spending as much quality time with our family as we were able to squeeze in before we had to leave for another year. The trips are much less frequent now (because plane tickets are a doozy!) but Mike has been able to come twice to meet all of my family, and we hope to be able to share those beautiful countries with our children too.
5) Name your top five bands/musicians and tell us what you love about them.
I’m one of those people that can never answer this question because I just don’t listen to music very often. I like listening to the radio when I’m driving but I don’t pay much attention to the artist or song title. I generally listen to country music and love when I can roll down the windows and blast the radio in the summer. Mike loves the oldies, like The Beatles and The Eagles, and we do enjoy putting their records on our record player!
6) What is the best advice you have given to new families?
The best advice I can give is the same advice I was given: give yourself grace upon grace upon grace! The transition back into “normal” life after you’ve had a baby (whether your first or your fifth) can be challenging because everything is going to be gloriously different. Try not to put huge expectations on yourself to get back to your old normal; Instead, embrace your new normal with open arms and give yourself ALL the grace!
7) What do you consider your doula superpower to be?
I am a cheery and positive person, which I can remain as if that is the presence a Mama wants in the labor and delivery room. But, in serious or uncertain or trying situations, I am a strong, steady, calm, and focused person who will go to bat for whatever you need!
8) What is your favorite food?
I’ve spent a lot of time in Guatemala on mission trips, so a dish centered around beans, rice, and corn is my favorite!
9) What is your favorite place in West Michigan’s Gold Coast?
I love the Traverse City area! As a family, we love wandering around the little towns, visiting Fish Town in Leland, driving along Mission Point Peninsula, camping, and especially seeing all of the gorgeous Fall colors.
10) What are you reading now?
I am currently checking off books on my required reading list for certification through DONA, so I’m reading The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions.
11) Who are your role models?
My role models are the everyday Mamas that I get to do life with! My sisters and my friends who are doing their best as they love the Lord, love their husbands, love their children, and love the people around them. I’ve been so blessed to have a strong community to partner together in marriage and parenting, and I look up to these incredible women immensely.