I grew up in a small southern town, but somehow I have always been a city girl at heart. I grew up romping through the woods, riding ATV’s and crawdad fishing in the nearby creek but the glitz and glamor of the city eventually drew me in. I was home-educated K-12. Although this was very beneficial for me educationally, it did not fulfill my social need to be around people. It was only a natural fit that I would love learning languages and ultimately, I decided to study linguistics in college. After I received my degree from Georgia State University (BA in Linguistics, Minor in Spanish, Certificate for Teaching English as a Second Language) I promptly shipped off to South Korea to teach English for the South Korean Board of Education. Teaching was not my passion but I loved the sweet children. My 2 years in Korea were some of the best of my life!
I returned to the States and decided to work as a fine dining restaurant manager. I loved my time in the hospitably industry. You learn so much about people. Anticipating the needs of our guests was one of our main priorities. It was an intricate puzzle to solve and every guest presented a new challenge. I became very good at reading the needs of others around me. This has served me well in my life and is a tremendous asset to the mothers that I serve.
My husband David and I finally found each other when I was 29. He was so worth the wait and we married 4 months later! (This is a story for another time. Ask me, I would love to tell you!) A week after our wedding I was whisked off to Germany to live with my Air Force man! It was a whirlwind for sure but it was during this time that I found my passion for supporting and educating women about birth and their amazing bodies.
A friend of mine, who is a doctor in Australia, was pregnant for the first time while we lived in Germany. I am so fortunate that she decided to tell me about her plans for birth. One of those plans was a Doula’s support. I was fascinated with the idea and immediately drawn to it because of my past experience with birth. Previously, I had been invited to be in the births of a couple of my friends and my younger sister. These experiences had been amazing for a young woman to have. With encouragement from my friend in Germany, I began to research birth, my body, and ultimately Doula work.
In the summer of 2015, I trained in Paris to be a birth and postpartum Doula. The same summer, The Center for Breastfeeding came to Germany and I was able to receive my Certificate for Lactation Counseling (CLC). It was an amazing honor to support so many of the ladies in our Air Force Squadron while I was in my training period. I was able to support cesarean births, natural hospital births, unmedicated and medicated births, and a home birth with a German midwife. These experiences have been priceless for me in my Doula career.
Since then, I have been able to support over 100 families through their birth and lactation needs. I feel so fortunate to do work that I am passionate about. Supporting a mother while she is bringing life into this world is nothing short of outstanding. How this process happens can be defining for the mother and the child and it is my honor and privilege to support these families.
Leading up to labor Ashley was a boundless source of encouragement & regularly checked-in to see how I was doing. Once labor finally started, Ashley was a calming presence. Through her guidance I was able to get my labor firmly established & was able to labor at home much longer than I would have if we’d gone it alone.
I felt comfortable with Ashley the moment my husband and I met her and it was an easy choice to hire her as our doula. Ashley remained calm and kept us positive during what became a marathon birth. She didn't bring any preconceived ideas of what our birthing experience should be and that helped a lot when things didn't go as we planned.
If you told me before labor/delivery that we'd end up having an epidural & a C-section I would have thought that a doula was unnecessary. I would not have been more wrong. I am grateful for Ashley's presence that evening and morning. I cannot imagine having another child without her there with us.