I delivered our first son in November of 2014 after 6 LONG saddening years of trying to conceive. We wanted a natural birth and thought we had a provider that would help us achieve this. Sadly, we ended up with a typical hospital birth, intervention after intervention, epidural, Pitocin, and lots of tearing. I developed a fever right before delivery and an infection a month after in my uterus. I had taken The Bradley Method® classes and thought I was prepared, only I didn’t do any of the additional readings or the exercises and relaxation techniques because I thought I knew enough. I was SO wrong! I was better prepared with my second and went back over my Bradley™ training, read the books, did the homework, did the exercises, practiced the relaxation techniques, but most importantly I took it all serious. In October of 2016 I delivered my second son in the comfort of our home with my midwife, her assistant, my Bradley™ teacher (AKA my doula), my husband, one of my best friends, and a photographer that our doula gifted us. It was magical, empowering, and exciting. I couldn’t believe what we accomplished that day as a team. I couldn’t have delivered my sweet baby without any of my amazing birth team as they all worked together to encourage me and give me the space I needed and the freedom I needed to birth. Then in October of 2018 I had the chance to do it all again, and I did. I delivered our third baby, a little girl, in our home with my amazing midwife, Bayla Berkowitz (same midwife from my second birth), her two wonderful assistants, Tova Brody and Katrina Nakao, my husband, and our ever so quiet and hidden photographer, April Bly.
I am saddened when I look back at my first birthing experience that I couldn’t give my son this magical moment but I have to find a bright side to the way his birth occurred and what I have found is a way to truly connect and help expecting couples. I’ve been there, I’ve had the hospital birth with the medication and interventions and I’ve had the natural birth in the comfort of my home. Because of my hospital birth I feel I can better prepare and equip parents for things they might not think of until it’s too late. I am a helper by nature (for any of you Enneagram peeps out there I’m a 2) and through having my firstborn son I have discovered I love birth and the joy of helping bring babies into this world, and empowering the parents that they CAN do this!
After my first birth I realized just how important not only my Bradley™ teacher’s job is but also how desperately important a doula is! I set out to become a teacher and after my second birth, first natural birth, I started my training in The Bradley Method®. After endless nights reading, studying, testing and three days of in person training I was finally ready to start teaching. At first, I expected to just teach although I was also a trained doula. I began with my first class of two couples, which just so happen to be two of my very good friends, pregnant at the same time with their first little ones, teaching classes in my living room while also pregnant with my third! It was such a sweet and special first teaching experience. As I kept teaching, as my classes kept growing, and as couples kept coming, I realized I was missing something. I was missing one of the most important parts of teaching these couples. I was missing their beautiful births! I found myself pacing the floors when I would get a call or text that a student was in labor, constantly checking my phone waiting for updates and arrival of baby. I knew I needed to start using those doula skills and knew I wanted more than to just teach, I wanted to assist in any way I could if my students would have me.
After 22 years of every job you could possibly imagine I finally found what my heart and soul had been searching for in a career and I started immediately on forming a business. I loved where we lived, was proud to call Baltimore home for the last 6 years and really wanted a business name that screamed Baltimore…so…Bmore Birthing was born. The minute I had the name (thanks to some encouragement from my midwives) I immediately had a vision for the logo and design in my head, but sadly my artistic skills are lacking. I quickly sought out an artist that could bring my vision to life and I couldn’t be more pleased with her work (you can find her on fiverr under katerinadot).
I’m now currently in my third year of teaching natural birthing classes and just started my second year of attending births as a doula. I feel so honored that couples not only allow me to speak into their life about birth but that they allow me to be part of such a special space and moment when they bring their baby earth-side!