I’m Holly. I have been married to my boo Trace for 10 years and we have 2 beautiful little girls together: 4 years and 2 years old. I am a born and raised Memphian, and I have been a doula for about 4 years now. Both of my daughters' births have been very formative for me, especially the birth of my oldest daughter that pushed me to become a birth doula! Motherhood is one of the hardest and best things that has ever happened to me, and helping other moms prepare/adjust to motherhood is what I am most passionate about.
I believe that my most important role as a doula is to support a mom and her partner in their decisions and what they feel is best for their family. When a mom is educated on her options, I trust that she will make the right decision for her and her baby. No one else's preferences matter: not mine, not your in laws', not your over-opinionated aunt. Just yours. And I think it's really important to empower moms and partners to own those choices for themselves.
With my first baby, I knew that I wanted to try for an unmedicated birth. Right off the bat, when I mentioned wanting to forego an epidural my doctor told me, "Well, you say that now but things will be different when you're in labor.".... "There's no prize for giving birth without an epidural."... "Labor is painful and many women can't stand the pain." I felt very unheard and condescended when I left appointments.
The day came and I went into labor, and unfortunately my labor went the same way that my appointments had gone; leaving me feeling unsure of my body and like no one was listening to me. My husband was a great support but in the end the pressure of interventions set in. 16 hours of labor and I finally decided to get an epidural. Gabriella was born happy and healthy 2 hours after my epidural, but I was left wondering if I had just had the support, could I have gotten the outcome I was hoping for?
Gabriella's story pushed me to getting my birth doula certification so I could empower other moms through labor while nurturing a birthing environment in which they felt in control and listened to.
When we found out that we were pregnant with our second baby, I knew that for me personally the only way to go was to give birth at home. If you know me you know that I don't like people telling me what to do (haha), and at that point I had attended plenty of hospital births as a doula and just knew that this baby was going to be born at home.
I declined all cervical checks my whole pregnancy, and only received the ultrasounds that were necessary to confirm baby was healthy. I went over a week past my due date but stayed firm in trusting my body and declined all checks/ultrasounds.
When I finally went into labor, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Hazel came fast (a little too fast- my midwife and doula didn't even make it to the house in time!) and my husband and I delivered our baby right next to our bed. Blissed OUT. We loved the feeling of crawling back into our own bed with our newborn baby after the midwives and assistants and doula had all gone home.
This may not have been everyone's ideal birth, and that's okay. But for me it sparked my love for birth and the belief that birth does not have to be incredibly painful or daunting. I wish more of THIS type of birth was put out there for women to see.
Hazel's birth pushed me to get my postpartum certification because I struggled in silence with postpartum anxiety/depression for the first ~6 months after both hers and Gabriella's births. After having her I realized the importance of caring for a mom both prenatally and postpartum.
In September of 2019 I got my birth doula certification through International Doula Institute. In September 2021 I got my postpartum doula certification through International Doula Institute. In March of 2022 when my original birth certification expired, I renewed my certification through a local Memphis doula training program called Embodied Doula Trainings. In July of 2022 I attended a Spinning Babies TM course to further my education in fetal positioning during labor.
I have been a part of the Memphis Birth Collective for 3 years, which has placed me in a beautiful community of doulas in the Memphis area to learn and grow with!