Becoming pregnant, giving birth, and becoming a parent have been experiences that have changed me in the most fundamental of levels. I think that this is the case for most people. Before joining the board of the Birth Network of Monterey County in 2015, pregnancy and birth in my mind was only what I saw in the movies: big dramatic breaking of the waters, a frantic rush to the hospital, lots of screaming, and very often some kind of scary ending like a c-section. When I found out that this was not really how it all went down, I was totally shocked and honestly a bit annoyed. How did I not know this? My mother, grandmothers, and aunts had all given birth to children and for some reason none of this had ever come up at Christmas dinner. I felt intensely ignorant. I had always seen education as an amazing and transformative tool. I began my teaching career at Hartnell College teaching English as a Second Language in my community of Salinas and in working with adults, many of whom were parents, I began to realize that I was not alone in my ignorance. What I was learning about birthing practices supported by evidence as compared to the experiences of many of the people in my classes was simply not matching up. I slowly started to realize the massive need that was there and little by little began to awaken to the idea that I could be someone who could fill that need. When my daughter was born in 2019, a lot of things went really well and some things didn’t go so well (that’s for another blog post) and I again had a realization about what it truly means to receive support during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. My personal experience deepened my understanding of the process and how intensely personal the journey is. I have always been a people person. I love meeting people, getting to know who they are and why they are that way, and seeing them thrive. I knew that with my combination of professional and personal skills and my newly found passion for birth that this was what I wanted to do.

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