Welcome to day 2 of a 2 part series on the doulas who helped raise me up! Happy World Doula Week Day 3, Y'all!
Becky Core - Labor Is Love
Becky and I met when I trained her to be Giving Austin Labor Support volunteer in 2016. She was a powerhouse of a volunteer and attended something like 7 GALS births in the first 2-3 months volunteering.
She's also one of the bravest people I know. When we first met, she left her career as a teacher, moved to an entirely new city, and jumped right in to doula work. I face a lot of my own trepidation leaving my career but, Becky's story inspires me anytime I am in doubt about whether or not I can make it as a professional doula.
Becky and I back each other up for births now (even though we haven't had to use each other *yet*) but, I love that we have similar personalities and styles. I'm so grateful that we're teamed up!
Alexis Edwards, LCSW, CD - Birth360
Alexis is by far one of the smartest, funniest, and honest doulas I know. She is always on a quest to learn more about everything and shares her passions with everyone around her. We first met at a Austin Birth Professionals meeting about a year ago and her business card (a Moo card... *swoons*) has been rattling around in my purse ever since.
Alexis and I debrief about births together and, for all of the ferocity and feistiness she embodies, she is equal to in gentleness, kindness, and empathy. She's a cuddly, warm, rock of a woman.
In addition to being a birth and postpartum doula, she's an LCSW and sees patients. She is also passionate about gathering families together in a safe space to process their journey towards, and start of parenthood, as well as helping mamas process trauma together. On top of all of that, she is part of the leadership team for Postpartum Health Alliance, blogs on her mama blog, Mrs. Mombie, and creating training for Trauma Informed Care for Birth Workers. I don't think she sleeps.
Alexis also bats back-up with Becky and I. Her love for learning, teaching, and sharing her stories provides a solid foundation for the three of us to grow in our doula-ship together.
Sarah McElvain, LCSW
Sarah and I first connected as GALS Volunteers working the Dispatch Line. The first year of our relationship was high-fiving each other over GroupMe any time there was overlap between us on Google Voice. We spotted each other at the Texas Department of State Health Services Breastfeeding Peer Educator Training (seriously consider taking this training - it's affordable and awesome).
After the last day of the training, we waited out traffic by walking through IKEA together where she helped me discover the cuterus.
Since then, it's been monthly lunch dates, dishing to each other about business, family, life coaching, celebrations, venting, pregnancy, and so much more. I had a tough Fall and she taught me about the recognizing thought patterns that don't serve me, and to honor and grow towards the more mature side of my psyche while being compassionate to the more immature one. She taught me about what abundance really is. She shows me that the journey of self-compassion and growth is non-linear.
Sarah is a infant sleep educator, infant CPR teacher, newborn care educator, & the owner/powerhouse behind Barn Chic Boutique!
Tamara Salas-Tull, MED, LPC
Tamara is now working with ATX Doulas but, before she was making waves with this great team, she was my back-up doula. She's famous to Mama Fox Doula as the woman who showed me the power of doula care by 'letting' me yak all over her during our doula training together (yeah, the one that she let me know about, invited me to, arranged sleeping arrangements for, drove me to/from San Antonio to Austin, fed me... yeah).
Tamara is an incredibly talented psychotherapist, and she has taught me so much about current modalities and communication styles in therapy. She often allows me to vent all my frustrations to her and cross-stitches my words in to something I can see as beautiful (she's a super talented cross-stitcher/crafter). She's been supportive of all of the craziness I endured these past few years and gently reminds me to take small steps back to re-group.
She is a jack of all trades. A wonderful doula and friend, she is also an infant sleep educator, and helps plan blessingways for fertility and motherhood. Tamara is an advocate for women's health, specifically pain management related to endometriosis. You can follow her instagram @counselingdoula!
Stephanie Spitzer-Hanks - RevDoula
Stephanie was one of my first contacts breaking in to the professional doula scene. When I sent in my application to post my listing on Central Texas Doula Association, she responded back with a sweet email stating that she loved my foxy logo... and then I died cause I've been fan-girling all over her work for months.
When Evidence Based Birth® opened up their applications for a new cohort of instructors I was immediately intrigued. I knew Stephanie was an instructor herself and she was immediately supportive of me applying (confidence boost!).
Since then, we've been partners in crime. Teaching together, grabbing cocktails at El Caribe and Thunderbird, and she's been so enthusiastic in her mentorship. If I'm going through a hard time, Stephanie will be the first to say "let's put something on the calendar to meet up" regardless of her own busy schedule. Many times she's come to my emotional rescue and, even though she's seen a ton of what birth work has to offer, she meets me where I'm at and holds space to let all of my experiences sink in at my own pace.
I observed one of her last live childbirth education classes in Austin and I'm so excited about the online class she designed with The Birth Hour! She's also a Lactation Counselor, certified birth and postpartum doula (she's moving this summer and not taking clients... my keyboard cannot express my grief), reverend, and... I'm probably missing something because this lady has a ton of credentials!
The love letters don't stop there, guys. In the meantime, tell me about your village and come back for my next post for World Doula Week 2018 Day 4!
World Doula Week 2018 Day 1
World Doula Week 2018 Day 2
World Doula Week 2018 Day 3
World Doula Week 2018 Day 4
World Doula Week 2018 Day 5
World Doula Week 2018 Day 6
World Doula Week 2018 Day 7