I’ve been fascinated by birth and babies ever since I can remember, especially after my youngest sister was born when I was 13. In 2014, during a time of professional transition, I took the plunge and (on the advice of trusted colleagues who unanimously encouraged me) participated in the DONA training course. When I attended my first birth in January of 2015, the sense of rightness – of being exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do – was overwhelming.

I’ve seen doula care aptly described as “being your birth Sherpa.” But it’s another image that resonates most with the way I practice: I describe myself as “the steward of the story.” It was fascination with birth stories, in all their depth and variety, that got me into doula work in the first place, and it’s the possibility of making birth stories better than inspires me in this work. If I have done everything I can to ensure that the couple can tell the story of their birth with joy rather than with trauma, then I have fulfilled my expectations of myself as their support person.