Founder of Iris Doula Care, Birth Doula

Griffin, Georgia

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in birth work. At age 10 years old I was able to witness the birth of my younger sister. It was not the plan for me to attend. My mother’s quick labor, lack of babysitters and wildly different hospital policies than today made this possible. And while this experience would have scarred some young people, it lit a fire inside of me.

I found my passion early and began to pursue it, serving expecting women. It was not until the births of my own children that I realized how proper support is vital during birth and postpartum. You see, each of my births were vastly different. This has allowed me to view birth, postpartum and even loss in multiple lights.

  My first born came earth side at 40 weeks and 4/7 days. We attempted natural induction methods at home and we tried all the things. I mean ALL of them! From my experience, castor oil was not the best route to take. While it did kick start labor, I was not effaced enough for things to progress smoothly. About mid-way through my labor, we discovered that he was occiput posterior or “sunny side up” which contributed to progression being slow and painful. After thirty long hours of contractions, I chose to have an epidural and it picked up quickly. I mean, I still pushed for two hours, but in spite of the ups and downs, I was able to birth him OP after thirty-eight hours of labor.

  My second pregnancy, unfortunately, did not come to full fruition as I miscarried at 10 weeks gestation. I went to my local ER around 10:00 pm after speaking with my midwife about spotting I was having. We waited to be seen for hours. My spotting changed drastically to large amounts of bleeding while waiting in the ER. When I asked for assistance the staff offered me nothing, not even something that I was able to change into. I was told, “we see blood all of the time. It’s not an emergency”. The intake nurse also told me that she had personally had multiple miscarriages and that they were “no big deal”. I’m uncertain as to why she thought that was appropriate to say to a mother who was terrified about losing her baby. If that was not enough, I was also trying to contact my boss who was out of state on vacation. When I finally reached her to let her know what was happening she said, “I’m on vacation. You will need to find someone to cover your shifts”. At the time I worked for a maternity clothing store. I never returned to work.

The ER doctor conducted an ultrasound that showed the baby only measuring 6 weeks and I had likely lost it weeks ago. I was able to leave the ER after that traumatic experience and release everything in the comfort of my home. Though I would come to conceive my rainbow baby, the baby I lost that night forever remains in my heart and will never be replaced.

   My third pregnancy and second full term birth was a whirlwind. I chose to be cared for by a midwifery group during this pregnancy and was pleased at how attentive they were to me. They found my baby to be OP (again!) around 37 weeks gestation. I spent the next few weeks trying all the tricks in the book to get baby in prime birthing position. It was not until I visited the chiropractor, whose adjustment immediately provided me relief, that baby moved into the occiput anterior position. I was had my adjustment at 9:00 am and by 2:00 pm contractions began. They continued on into the night and gained intensity with every hour. We made our way to the hospital when I began groaning that was coming from deep within. I was sure I was going to have him in the car.

We arrived at the hospital and I was 6 centimeters dilated. I begged the midwife for an epidural and she informed me that I most likely did not have time. As I moved from the triage room to the birthing suite and was transitioning on the walk over. When the midwife broke my water, my baby decided he wanted to come too. The midwife began to yell for assistance, basically holding him inside until she had an extra pair of hands in the room! Moments later and medication free, I delivered our second baby boy. My labor time was drastically reduced by my baby being in the correct position for delivery. I always recommend people seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy for this very reason.

My fourth and final pregnancy was quite an adventure. I had a tougher time with morning sickness and fatigue, but attributed it to being a mother of two young boys. After finding out we were having a girl, our hearts were filled with joy! The rest of the pregnancy moved along smoothly until I had an ultrasound during my 35-week appointment. I had never had this done with my previous pregnancies, but they were concerned about the presentation of my belly upon palpation. I am so very thankful that an ultrasound was performed because it was found that our baby was in the frank breech position and that my amniotic fluid index was exceptionally low, (4 on a scale of 1-10). My midwife sent me to the labor and delivery unit to be monitored and receive fluids two days before Thanksgiving. Thankfully, my baby was showing no signs of distress during our stay. I was released to home in the morning to continue with rest and increasing my oral fluids. The plan was for me to return for a follow-up on Saturday to have another AFI and NST.

I rested as much as I could over the holiday and even able to squeeze in an appointment with my chiropractor who attempted to assist baby into optimum positioning. When I returned on Saturday, which also happened to be my birthday, baby was still in a breech position and my AFI had decreased again. Because of the findings, it was recommended that she be delivered that day at 36 weeks gestation for her wellbeing. I immediately began being prepped for a cesarean delivery and while unexpected, received the most wonderful birthday gift in my arms a couple hours later.

I found my c-section birth to be my most difficult for various reasons. The ones most prominent in my mind are the spinal tap caused me to itch uncontrollably all over my body and was quite painful. I also had a skin reaction from the steri-strips along my scar line. While I am thankful for modern interventions in times like these, I was disappointed with how difficult my recovery was. It was so different from my vaginal births. I had not realized all the different struggles that can come along with birthing this way.

My variety of births has given me perspective that no everyone possesses. And while I did not plan it this way, I consider it to be a privilege. My stories can help past and future mothers, and/or families who are experiencing a similar situation. I hope to use my personal experience in providing the most exceptional care for the birthing community.


Registered Nurse, Labor & Delivery

Denver, Colorado

I have loved birth, and known I wanted to help women deliver their babies, for as long as I can remember. As a child, I watched ‘A Baby Story’ instead of cartoons, played OB-GYN and patient with my little sister and assisted with a thousand “births” as my baby dolls were pulled out from under shirts. I always thought of pregnancy and birth as healthy and happy experiences. It wasn’t until I experienced my trauma that I realized the sad, painful part of making new life – but also just how important empathy and support are during those times.

Almost exactly 10 years ago, the October of my sophomore year of college, I had a miscarriage. I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was on the pill and had been very consistent about taking it. No missed period, no morning sickness – no signs of pregnancy. What I thought was just an especially painful period and menstrual cramps turned into the worst pain of my life in a few short hours. I called my closest friend who had a car, sobbing, asking her to drive me to the emergency room. I told her I was bleeding a lot and didn’t know why. She showed up 5 minutes later with a huge stack of towels, a hot water bottle and sped me to the ER.

I don’t remember much before the doctor came in to talk to me. The pain was so intense I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I peed in a cup and dozed (thanks to the strong pain medication they gave me) while the nurse drew my blood. Someone put clean pads underneath me and cleared away the bloody ones. I still did not know what was happening. My friend held my hand in silence the entire time.

A young doctor came in and stood just inside the curtain. He didn’t sit down, he didn’t come close to me or show any emotion. He gave me his scripted speech he had obviously rehearsed & said many times before to other women. He told me I was having a miscarriage and that we needed to be sure “all of the products of conception” came out or I could develop a life-threatening infection. He breezed over the miscarriage part, even though for me it was the most important part. He dove straight into treatment and the risks of not doing anything. I was stunned, foggy from the pain medication and intense discomfort I was still feeling. I left the ER with a little bottle with a few pills in it – something to make me “fully miscarry.” My friend drove me back to her house in silence as I stared at the bottle. She made up her couch and tucked me into bed while I cried, from pain, from shock, from loss of the baby I didn’t even know I had growing inside me. I cried because of how insensitive the doctor had been. I cried because I had not even known I was pregnant. It was double the shock of growing and then immediately losing a little person. I cried because of what might have been (a baby), as scary as an unplanned pregnancy at twenty years old is.

I survived the next few days after taking the pills thanks to this friend, and my mama, who dropped everything to drive the 3 hours to stay with me that weekend. It wasn’t until my own miscarriage that my mom told me about hers. It was like I became a member of a club no one wants to join – but one that has deep connection and understanding. My mom told me about the babies she had lost, all the pregnancies ended exactly like mine. It wasn’t until these conversations that I truly processed what had happened, what I had endured and lost. She validated my experience by truly understanding it.

It was the support of these two women, my dear friend and my mama, that got me through my miscarriage a decade ago. It was having someone hold my hand, or gently touch my ankle so I knew she was right there with me – all the while saying nothing. Just being there.

A lot has happened in my life over the last ten years. I fulfilled my life-long goal of “delivering babies” by becoming a labor and delivery nurse. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. It is truly my calling – not just because of my lifelong love of the happy and exciting parts of pregnancy and birth, but also thanks to my own painful experience with miscarriage. I learned a fundamental lesson that night in the ER: losing a baby, regardless of the situation, is always traumatic. And the most important thing is feeling supported on a personal level, and to have your feelings validated (even if you “think” they should be different”).

For a long time in modern medicine, a lot of stock has been put in stifling emotions – especially when giving patients bad news. Doctors are expected to tell a woman her baby has no heartbeat, but not cry with them. But we are learning (actually re-learning) that psychological health is inextricably linked with physical health. We have to support someone’s mental health just as much as their healing body and soul. That in fact we should cry with our patients, if that’s what feels right to do so. And I know this is a fact, thanks to both my personal and professional experience. I know that I was able to heal from my miscarriage experience mostly thanks to the nurturing, unconditional support and validation I received from my friend and mother. I know that my patients who are experiencing perinatal loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, etc) need these things just as much as I did.

It is my privilege and passion to help these women in all the ways I needed during my loss.

Hi, my name is Kim & I love birth.
I have been a Registered Nurse for ten years, with the last five specializing in Labor & Delivery.
I love human connection & the art of story telling. I believe it can be a major catalyst for change.
I would love to help you share your story or advice so that we may better support each other and the people we care for. 

Do you love birth? Heck yeah you do!

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