I'm a doula-in-training in the greater Portland area (that's Portland, Maine!). I started working on my certification following the miscarriage of my first baby and continued learning and growing through my second pregnancy. My beautiful little boy was born at home in Maine in June of 2019 attended by two midwives and a wonderful doula. My own experiences of labor and early motherhood have awakened me to the needs of women in my community who need someone to support them through this transformative process.
As a follower of Christ, I hold a deep reverence for new life in all its forms. I have a special place in my heart for single mothers, women with a history of prior loss, and families seeking to deepen their connection to their spirituality through the process of pregnancy and birth.
I have a BA in medieval history and French from Wellesley College, where I focused on communities of women in the early Middle Ages (and read a lot of historical fiction about medieval birthing practices!). While my studies have equipped me to read, write, and theorize about the meaning of sacred space, birth work is a place where I can bear witness to the beauty and mystery of creation.
Why sacred circles?
A few years ago, I went on a solo retreat to a community of Benedictine nuns. While I was there, I learned about their rules of enclosure--the particular boundaries they set between themselves and the world. One of them explained it to me as a sort of semipermeable membrane, allowing certain elements to come and go, and requiring others to remain on either side of the enclosure.
Years later, it dawned on me that birth, too, is surrounded by layers and layers of enclosure. At the center is the womb, the locus of new life that is inseparable from the embodied experience of the mother. Next is the woman, whose experience of labor and birth is entirely unique. Surrounding her are her loved ones and caregivers, each one reaching out to provide help and support. The birthing woman might have certain desires or beliefs surrounding birth, or she may not. Either way, she has the power to choose which people, procedures, and comfort measures she wishes to allow into her birthing space.
My job as a doula is to preserve the integrity of that sacred space. While I do not speak to medical staff on behalf of my clients, I encourage the women I serve to speak for themselves. Through my attention to the particular needs of the laboring woman, I strive to help maintain an atmosphere where her wishes are honored, her voice is heard, and she has the freedom to draw her own circles around the birth.