Get to Know Heather
When I was 5 months pregnant with my second child my friend, Jennifer, asked me to be with her and be her “doula” during the birth of her daughter. Through that day as I encouraged Jen and offered my assistance and care I was completely blown away by the amazing process of labor and the miracle of birth. It was that day that my passion for becoming a doula was ignited. Since that day and after many births I still find myself awestricken by the miracle of birth. I am honored that so many families have asked me to be a part of this intimate and joyful journey. I am privileged to serve women and their families in such a manner. For me, there is deep joy in helping women go through the extraordinary experience of birth and becoming a mother. This is exactly where I’m meant to be.
- Location: Anchorage, Alaska
- Certifications: DONA Certified in January 2007
- Experience: I’ve had the honor of helping 100 + women and their families through the birth process at all of our local area hospitals. Each birth is in itself different and unique – some ending in cesareans, some with vacuum assisted deliveries and others yet that seemed to go on for days or be over before they’ve really started. Each one is special and close to my heart. It’s been fun to work with moms and dads as they grow together through this process. I’ve been able to offer a variety of physical support (so sore the next day that I couldn’t move!) and been challenged to effectively support the moms with their emotional needs. Each birth presents its own challenges and obstacles and I come away each time with not only a renewed appreciation for laboring women but a new skill or technique learned or fact garnered.
- My Philosophy: After birthing two children I feel as though I can deeply empathize with a laboring woman. With my son I had a long labor that ended up being augmented with pitocin. An epidural provided the wonderful relief at 8 cm from my seemingly unending back labor. My only source of support was my wonderful husband, who kept asking me what he could do to help and one nurse who checked on us every couple of hours. We had asked to labor alone and that’s what we did. Unfortunately, for the life of me I couldn’t remember a single thing from childbirth class and had no idea how to help my husband help me! After many intense hours we greeted our son and couldn’t have been happier. To this day I wonder what that would’ve been like if I had had a doula or experienced friend with us. Eighteen months later my daughter was born after only 2 hours of an unmedicated labor in the shower. I was surrounded by support – my husband, my best friend, two nurses and my midwife. Everyone was there focused on helping me and guiding me. These two very different experiences help me come to the table with no preconceived ideas of how labor should go but convinced that women in labor need to be supported. I’m there solely to support the mom and dad with whatever decisions they find best for their family. I’m not there to replace Dad but rather to take the burden off his shoulders of having to remember everything from classes, books, and videos and freeing and allowing him to participate at whatever level he is comfortable with. My goal is to help my clients have a positive memorable birth experience regardless of circumstances. No woman should go it alone and I hope to be able to provide labor support for many years to come.
- On a Personal Note: My wonderful husband, Travis, and I have been married for 19 years and have two awesome children and a handful of high energy huskies. All our kids (furry and not) keep us busy year round. We are active in our church and in our children’s schools. We love to be outside enjoying all the different seasons. For me, to be a doula fits so perfectly into our family and it’s great to say that both my husband (who is a firefighter and EMT) and I are able to make a difference in people's lives each time we go to “work”.