In 2007 I met Lauren, the person who would eventually be my wife. One day I asked her to go to Pink Prom (LGBTQIA+ prom) with me and we have been together since. In 2009 we were married. Together we have 2 incredible children, Saige (9) and Dorian (3), that we have raised together from birth, one now adult child whom we adopted as a teenager, Michela (22) when she came to us as a foster youth. We have also had a handful of foster kids, mostly hard to place teens who needed a second chance for love and support.
In addition to our kiddos, we have two fur babies, Jack Jack, our cat who is 10, and Milo our 1 year old German Shepherd that we adopted from the Tacoma Humane Society.
How I became a doula
The very first birth I ever attended and supported was a friend’s. We were both young, just out of high school, and I couldn't help but notice that her birth room seemed to be a revolving door of different nurses and practitioners. I knew something needed to be different. Several years later, I got pregnant with my first child. Knowing I wanted something different, I sought out the care of a home-birth midwife. Complications throughout my pregnancy led to some back and forth between my midwives and an OBGYN. As those complications resolved, I was able to continue on with my home-birth as originally planned. I felt much closer and more comfortable with my midwife. From a spectators view my birth was beautiful and powerful. Inside my brain was a battle. Before my midwives were there my wife was hilariously running around the house trying to fill our giant tub and stop setting off fire alarms. In those moments, I needed another person with me, but I wasn't sure how to voice it.
My midwife was awesome, and left me wanting to be a midwife myself, but I wasn't ready for that large of a role yet, so I became a doula. With my second birth, I had a doula. My daughter had broken her arm a couple weeks before my due date, and needed surgery to fix the break. She woke up a couple times while I was in labor, so my wife needed to attend to our recovering child. I was so grateful for my doula, because she never left me, and I never felt alone or isolated.
My favorite part about being a doula is no matter where or how my clients are giving birth they always have me by their side. People may transfer providers, nurse shifts change, but as a doula, I stay the same. Whether the birth is 2 hours or 28, I am by my clients side, perhaps with some intermittent naps.
I believe people have the right to choices about their care and their birth and they have the right to be supported in those choices 100% no matter what they may be.
BOOKS I LOVE
Reading for fun is probably one of my favorite things to do, but I don't get to do enough of it. Since I don't have a lot of time, I often listen to books on Audible (unless they are free through the library). I go back and forth between books that are for growth, parenting and fiction. My absolute favorite novels are dystopian novels. I will read them over and over. Here are my favorites:
The Handmaids Tale
No Such Thing as Bad Weather
Little Book of Hygge
Ready Player One
The Danish Way of Parenting
How Children Learn
Whole Brain Child
The Harry Potter Series
The Ice and Fire Series
His Dark Materials
The Book Thief
The Myth of the Spoiled Child
I LOVE TO BE OUTSIDE
If I could spend my life outside, somewhere warm, I would. But, here I am in the lush and green Pacific North West. There is a saying we have, "there is no bad weather, only bad gear." I have spent a lot of time miserable outside in bad gear. As I got older, I realized I didn't have to be uncomfortable, and neither did my kids. So we go outside rain or shine, and we love it.
At home we have a little garden where were currently growing plants that are pretty, and plants we can eat. Getting to tend to my garden has always brought me great joy. I love getting to learn about different herbs and what they can do as different things we can forage year round.
Providing my children with time ample time outdoors in the fresh air is a necessity for both their physical and emotional well being, so on any given day we may be hiking a trail in the forest or riding bikes down the hill in front of our house.