Hi! I'm Mary, a mother of 3 and a Holland native who loves to travel and go on adventures with my family. In my own birth journey, I've had 2 cesarean births and 1 successful VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 cesareans) with the full support of my birth team, including a Birth Doula!
My doula journey began after birthing my first child, through an unexpected cesarean delivery. I did very little preparation during pregnancy and had an overall 'wing it' mentality. I didn't realize that my partner and I had options involving my maternity care! In the immediate postpartum, I struggled with breastfeeding and had to supplement and pump on a strict schedule to increase my milk supply. As a new mother recovering from a major surgery, I was overwhelmed, tired, and stressed, eventually suffering from postpartum anxiety. When my second daughter was born, I was pigeon-holed into a second cesarean procedure and felt even more defeated as a mom wanting the best possible birth circumstances for myself and my child. I was very dissatisfied with my overall birth experiences and wanted to learn more about my births and how to move forward.
In my exploration, I discovered the Birth Doula profession. Immediately, I resonated with its purpose of helping birthing families and supporting them throughout the course of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
Now, I'm a DONA Certified Birth Doula, a VBAC Advocate, and a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist with previous nursing experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse. I also hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Grand Valley State University.
Oh, and my third baby? A successful VBAC! Listen to my story on The VBAC Link Podcast which covers all 3 of my birth stories (episode 120 Mary's VBA2C + VBA2C Tips).