Serving the areas of Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Senoia, Henry county, and south metro Atlanta with lactation, birth, and bereavement support.
When I was the little girl you would often see me carrying around a doll and pushing a stroller. I had many young cousins, and a knack for calming them when they cried as babies. My older sisters would hand their crying babies over to me and be amazed at how I would naturally cease their fussing. During my teenage years, I babysat for several neighborhood families and worked in a home daycare, which propelled me to study Human Development and Family Studies when I went away for college. I obtained my degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2004.
I always knew my life would center around children somehow. My dream had always been to get married and start a family, so after college, at the ripe old age of 20 years, I married Travis and we're still going strong today!
Later, we moved to Atlanta, GA and met some amazing people through our small Bible study group. One woman in particular became a fast friend due to our many similarities and in 2005, she and I became certified Happiest Baby educators and began a nanny and newborn care placement agency.
In between having my own children, I worked one on one with many families, quickly realizing my niche was helping parents figure out how to manage their new lives after having a baby. Working overnight to allow parents adequate rest, I had the opportunity to showcase basic newborn care strategies to tackle parenting on their own. Being able to support families through the difficult first few months postpartum gives me the utmost joy and satisfaction!
My friend and I continued to run our nanny placement agency until the end of 2012 when I decided I needed a break from the administrative side of business and continued to work part-time providing overnight newborn care while growing my own family.
I had my first son in 2007 when I was 23 years old. It was an amazing first birth! My mom encouraged me to explore having a medication-free childbirth and after deciding "natural" was the right fit for me and my husband, I hired a doula, found a mother-friendly hospital and had a water birth. I was extremely grateful for my doula who kept me totally focused in reaching my goal of a medication free birth. Looking back on things now, she was definitely an integral part of my life and helped lead me to become the birth doula I am today.
When my son, Braydon was a year old, close friends had adopted two children from Ethiopia. Their adoption process went smoothly and, of course, we fell in love with their kids. It really weighed on our hearts to look into adopting! We had always wanted to parent a little girl but of course, biologically this cannot be guaranteed, so we decided to begin the adoption process for a 4 or 5 year old girl to join our family.
While we were completing the paperwork to be matched with our girl, a friend showed us a photo she took on a recent trip to the orphanage. Pictured was a young boy whose image would not leave of our minds. We felt the need to find out more about him and once we learned how he had lost both parents at the age of 6, our hearts were stolen by the sweet, smiling boy in the picture and we decided to adopt him too.
In March 2009, we made the trip to Ethiopia to bring our kids home. We had never been to a third world country and wow, what an experience! The thing that stood out most to me was how happy everyone seemed to be. With barely two cents to rub together, people were still filled with such joy and friendliness! It was a huge eye opener for us to realize how good we really have it here in America. Meeting our children for the first time was an amazing experience. Simply walking into the orphanage with many children of all ages, all with gorgeous dark brown eyes peering at us, melted our hearts. The little ones crawled up onto our laps, and the older ones would take our hands and guide us around to see their tiny living spaces that they were so proud to call their own. We wanted to take all of them home with us!
The day we arrived at the orphanage was a surprise for our children. Our son, Addisu, now talks about how someone had come to get him from his room and he remembers being annoyed, thinking it was another doctor appointment or some other boring place he was having to go to, when it was actually us there to bring him home. He and our daughter, Samarah, walked in and there were many hugs and lots of crying on my part! It was such an amazing experience, words fail to convey that moment in time. What I can share with you is how grateful I am to be a part of their lives.
A few months after we got our two new kids settled back home, Travis and I learned we were pregnant with a little boy, Weston. After having such an easy first birth, I was planning a home birth this time around since my pregnancy was similar to my first and I had no complications. At 39 weeks gestation, I went for a regular check up with my midwife and we could not hear Weston's heartbeat. His labor was induced later that evening - one of the hardest moments in my life - through our strong faith, community support provided by our church and family, we were able to continue on. His stillbirthday made me realize how little people talk about pregnancy loss and the importance of bereavement support.
A couple months later, we were pregnant again and surrounded by our closest family and friends, we had the beautiful home birth of our daughter, Addilyn. It was by far my favorite birthing experience up to that point in my life! Since homebirth was so special for us, we planned to meet our next baby in the same way and welcomed our daughter Violet in October 2014 with the participation of our older children. Samarah, in particular, provided me with plenty of positive encouragement, bits of food and sips to drink, and loving, nurturing care. It was a beautiful day for our family.
I became certified as a Stillbirthday Bereavement and Birth Doula in 2015. Although it is extremely difficult to support families through pregnancy loss, I feel I've been called to help where I may. Experiencing such heartache first-hand has taught me that everyone needs the help of someone who can sympathize and provide support through the process of labor, delivery, and the months that follow.
A few years ago, I joined The Happiest Doulas, an agency that provides childbirth education and doula support for people who want guidance on having a positive birth experience, whether at home, birth center or at a local hospital. I've attended several wonderful birthdays and love helping families meet their babies!
My doula team and I co-created Parent Nurture, a business focused solely on parenting classes and postpartum services. The team is made up of infant specialists and registered nurses, providing private, in-home prenatal preparation for living with a newborn baby.
Through the success of breastfeeding three of my children, I learned how much easier it can be with the proper tools and support. In 2016, I completed the Healthy Children's lactation training so that I can counsel people to breastfeed if desired. Via Milk Drunk, a team of experts providing lactation consultations, I offer in-home breastfeeding assistance and instruction.
If you're looking for a relaxed, supportive and warm-hearted doula to be a part of your special birthday or to give you guidance on newborn care, I'm the doula for you! I'd love to get to know you and your family, and welcome a conversation. Reach out and say hello!