LM, CPM, CLEC
Welcome to my little corner of the internet.
The journey to becoming a midwife has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I truly enjoy taking care of all of you SO much.
Despite my profound connection and appreciation for midwifery, there are so many other parts of me that make up the care provider you see in your appointments, at your births, and in your home to care for you. I believe that connection on a deeper level allows us to restore humanity and community to the way we connect with one another. I'd love for us to get to know each other!
I'm originally from the east coast (Maryland), I've spent some time in the south, and in 2008 I landed on the west coast in beautiful San Diego. I met my love, Tyler, almost immediately after moving to San Diego (his mom introduced us) and we've been together ever since.
My first born is my daughter, Olivia. She is spunky, sassy, energetic and creative. My pregnancy, birth and postpartum with her opened my eyes to the deep and profound experiences enmeshed in reproduction and family growth. She taught me so much about the importance of self-compassion, emotional processing and presence, and unconditional love. She raised me into a Mama and continues to raise me each day. She is how I learned that our babies raise us just as much as we raise them!
My son is Odin. He is the sweetest, most rambunctious and funny little dude - ever eager to keep up with his big sister. My pregnancy, birth and postpartum with him taught me the importance of community, slowing down and honoring my truth. He also gave me the opportunity to experience midwifery care as the patient, for which I am forever grateful. The labors I experienced with my daughter and son were very similar, but the way I felt and the way I was cared for differed drastically, and by far I prefer the care of midwives to traditional obstetric care. I was heard, respected, honored and supported. But most importantly, I was loved. I was a person being cared for by other people. Humanity was restored to mine and Odin's process, and it has forever changed my life and the way I choose to practice and care for others.
Between Olivia and Odin, our family has also experienced great loss. We have another daughter, Penny, who had anencephaly, a neural tube defect that is incompatible with life. We honor the short time we had with her every year on Dec 11th, the anniversary of when we said goodbye. Penny taught me so much about connection, courage, eternal love and faith despite despair.
These people are my family. These people are the people who give me light and fill my cup and challenge me to grow and fill their cups in return. Together we find balance and support each other with a foundation of mindfulness and love. We are not perfect, by any means, but we are for each other and I'd choose to spend this life with none other.
As of the conception of this website in January 2020, I have attended over 250 births in hospitals, birth centers and in homes. I have experience supporting families as their birth doula, advanced doula monitrice, midwife, lactation specialist, placenta encapsulation specialist and vaginal steam herbal consultant.
Reproductive wellness, pregnancy & birth, and women's health are my passion, and I am always eager to learn more. I have attended dozens of continuing education workshops, classes and trainings to continue to hone and craft my skills as a provider.
Some professional areas of interest:
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Pre-Conception / Fertility
Improving Access to Midwifery Care
Community Care & Birthing Local
Sustainable Midwifery Practice
My formal education and certifications include:
BA in Women's Studies, Minor in Medical Anthropology, CSUSM
ASM in Midwifery Science from National College of Midwifery
Licensed Midwife through the Medical Board of California (LM)
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC)
Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
Basic Life Support/ CPR (BLS/CPR)
To be honest, I'm kind of a homebody! I love hanging out at home and spending time with my family. And in my family, food is love. I enjoy sharing this love with friends and family by cooking meals and baking sourdough bread (I'd be happy to share some sourdough starter with you). And I love to laugh and make others laugh!
When I do get adventerous, anytime I can escape to nature, it's a pretty great day. I grew up on a farm, so sometimes living in a beach city leaves me missing green hills and full trees. Some of my most wonderful adventures have been exploring places like Yellowstone National Park and Redwood National Park. Our next big family adventure will be to see the Grand Canyon - I've never been!
People like to ask me what I did before birth work. Mostly, I was finishing my decade-long Bachelor's degree (yes, it took me 10 years to graduate, because I kept changing my major). But I also spent a lot of time studying trauma and working with PTSD and trauma survivors. Up until I gave birth to my daughter, I spent my time facilitating equine therapy for veterans with PTSD and TBI. If you ask me about it, I'd love to share.
Horses have always been a big part of my life, even outside of equine therapy. My dad is a horse trainer, and my mom galloped racehorses while she was pregnant with me (!), so I've been closely connected to these incredible creatures throughout my entire existence. I feel fortunate to now be able to share a love and connection to horses with my daughter. We ride together every(-ish) weekend out in Lakeside.
I also have an artistic and creative side. I enjoy hands-on projects of all sorts! I sewed cloth diapers for the kids, I make their Halloween costumes, I write creatively, build furniture, I love to draw and paint, and I even made this website (ta-da!). I really like feeling capable and figuring things out. In our house, I'm the handyman :)
On this life journey I continue to deepen my spiritual growth. Meditation and spirituality are a big part of who I am and how I view and move through the world. I truly believe that honoring our whole process - the light and the dark - allows us to deepen our spiritual experience amidst this human existence.
LIFE UPDATE- 2023
Since drafting this autobiography in 2020, there have been a couple of big life changes for me and my family! In Dec 2021, we welcomed another son, Otto. I often refer to him as our "along for the ride" child, because he is the most easygoing and just happy-to-be-here kid. I feel fortunate to have been able to experience midwifery care during his pregnancy, too. And if you were a client of mine during the majority of 2021, Otto was there with me caring for you, too, but from my belly! I have to be honest... His birth was hard. And the postpartum recovery was even harder. I relied so deeply on resources I never had to use before. And I struggled for a long time after. Since coming out of that experience, I have learned a resiliency in me that I didn't want to believe was there. I learned more deeply the lesson that great grief and profound love can exist simultaneously. And that the most precious memories and moments are spun through the trials like a golden thread, so we can always find our way home.
Speaking of home, we also moved! In November of 2022, we created our little homestead in Ramona, CA, which we've lovingly named Pepper Tree Homestead after the Pepper Tree in our front yard. It's been a dream of mine to raise my children with a similar childhood experience as the one I grew up with living on a farm. And I'm so excited that this dream is finally coming to fruition. We have just over an acre of land where we raise chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits and a pig named Miss Piggly Wiggly. If you know me well, you know that list of animals will quickly grow. We enjoy living a life that is as self-sustainable and regenerative as possible, with a focus on growing and raising our own food and providing education and offerings to our community. If you're interested, you can learn more about what we offer over at www.peppertreehomestead.com.