Family Life

Some will wonder why I am sharing my birth stories on a business page.  The care and support that I got during my pregnancies is what lead me to become a birth worker.  I feel they are important to paint a background of what I have experienced personally.  Also, my experiences give me a huge wealth of knowledge to share with clients. 

 

I am "mom, momma, mommy" to 5 incredible children.  I have been married to "my Marine" for the past 19years.   I began my journey in birth work after the experience I had with the pregnancy and birth of my oldest son.  His birth showed me how important it is for families to have support and education, to help them feel empowered on their adventure as parents.

 I will forever be grateful for the love and support that was poured into our family during my pregnancies, miscarriages, births, and postpartum journeys.  Also, the lack of care and lack of options I experienced and have seen clients deal with is what inspired me to become a midwife. 

I became interested in birth doulas when I was pregnant with our first child.  On my "due date", my husband was to be away at out of state training exercise, preparing to deploy to Iraq.  Living out of state with no immediate family close by, I was very nervous about my birth. I took the Lamaze classes offered by our military hospital and also a dear family friend did some one-on-one education for us.  This education was the foundation I needed to advocate for the birth I wanted. 

 

My husband was able to fly home for 2 days while I had a social induction at 39 1/2 weeks.  I was so thankful to have him there for the birth.  The induction meant that I experienced most every medical intervention you can imagine with the exception of an epidural and a C-section.  I miraculously got though the entire birth without any pain medicine.

 

When all was said and done, I could not believe all that had happened in a short period of time.  I wished I would have had a doula to help me understand all the things that happened to me in the process of the birth.  It was truly a roller coaster of ups and downs.  I did have a postpartum doula who did "virtual support" phone calls to help with my nursing concerns. 

DF2A7438.jpg

I had our second son 19 months later and was blessed with an amazing birth. He was a week overdue, and gave me a BIG lesson on how to deal with back labor and he was also my biggest baby with a birth weight of 9.9 lbs. Again, I had an un-medicated birth.

 

I delivered our older two boys at Naval Medical hospitals and had amazing care, though was probably not the best patient, pushing and insisting for the births I wanted.  I am happy to have used midwives who assisted with my births and prenatal care.  I was able to breastfeed both of our boys until they were over one year old, so know tons of tips to make this easier!

"Having two births in the midst of such uncertainty motivated me to learn about this process that became such a big part of my life."

After we lost a baby with a miscarriage we were thrilled when I became pregnant in 2010.  I had spent the past two years in Virginia as a doula attending a wide range of births from hospital scheduled c-sections to home births. After a great deal of consideration and visiting with the staff at the Virginia military hospital we decided a home birth would be my ideal birth choice.  I had attended several water births as a doula and also wanted to be able to have this option during my labor. 

USMC Family Photo - Change of Command Cropped_edited.jpg
CA Family Beach Photo.jpg

We found a midwife who did home visits and was experienced with water births.  It was so nice to have my prenatal care at home and not have to drive all over, especially with two other little ones in tow.   I had our third son at home in the water!  It was an absolutely amazing experience (although not easy!).  However, I can attest how hard it is to be patient and let babies come when they are ready as he was 11 days late and I had lots of "practice labor".  My husband and I could not have been happier with the amazing care and support we received. It was so nice to be with people who we knew, that supported our birth preferences and were encouraging.  I had two doulas who were also friends, my midwife, birth assistant and a midwife student all assisting with the birth, so needless to say we felt like we were having a party waiting for the baby to arrive and in very capable hands. I could not have asked for a better experience!

Again for the birth of our fourth baby we again decided to have a home birth with a midwife.  It was interesting to see how the medical laws vary from state to state as we moved from Virginia to North Carolina when I was newly pregnant.  We were anxious to meet the newest member of our family and very surprised but thrilled we had a daughter to add some pink to the mountains of laundry at our home. The midwife who delivered our second son at the Naval Medical Center also delivered our daughter at home.  Again, we were so thankful for the amazing care we experienced and felt so supported during our daughter's arrival and very thankful for the amazing postpartum care we were spoiled with.

Kids w Cherry Blossoms_edited.jpg
Amanda w kids Thanksgiving okuma.jpeg

​I had our fifth baby when we lived in Okinawa, Japan.  It was an eye-opening experience to see how different the care provided at the Japanese Birth Center was.  I am looking forward to incorporating some of the great traditions and tips I have learned this pregnancy into care for my clients.

Our family has done "school at home" with our kiddos for the past 10 years.  It defiantly takes some shuffling coordinating with birth work, but I am thankful I have this opportunity to nurture and learn along with my children.

Image by Alexey Marchenko