Background and Experience
I serve and support all family structures, genders, sexual orientations, religions, ideologies, and socioeconomic classes - my pronouns are she/her
Trained through ACBE and DONA International and seeking certification
Experience with loss, PCOS, fertility treatment, In-vitro fertilization, male-factor infertility, high risk pregnancy, plus-size pregnancy, geriatric pregnancy, difficult labor, pre-eclampsia, and Cesarean birth, breastfeeding difficulties
Trained in identifying and providing resources for perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression
I may not have realized at the time, but my journey to become a doula began 16 years ago. I have felt a calling to make a difference and help people for the majority of my life. As a teenager I spent a lot of time and energy advocating in the church for more female leadership roles. As a young adult I went to school for mental health nursing so that I could help those that are marginalized. I was drawn to ecological movements and wanted to help implement more sustainable practices in businesses and homes. My passion has always been bold and vibrant no matter what shape it took, and it always focused on oppressed or marginalized people. I finally finished my BS in Criminal Justice in 2017 just two months after I got the wonderful news that I was pregnant with my son. I started that degree with the intention of becoming a police officer, but over the years I learned so much about our broken justice system – the discrepancies between races, classes, and gender in law enforcement, the judicial system, and in the correctional system. I knew then that being a police officer just wasn’t my calling anymore. I wanted to help fix the systemic issues, but police work just didn’t feel like the right path for me.
During the last four years I was finishing my degree, my husband and I were also trying everything imaginable to get pregnant. Over those long, hard years we grew so much together despite the surgeries, hormones, injections, pills, invasive procedures, and all the other “not so fun” parts of making a baby with science. Through our amazing fertility doctor, Dr. Alfred Rodriguez, out in Frisco, we were finally successful with our first frozen embryo transfer in March of 2017. Getting pregnant with this amazing little soul was the first step that led me to my calling. I won’t lie; I was one of those unlucky few that had a miserable pregnancy. From backne -back acne- :} and massive swelling to severe mood shifts and pain, I was so ready for it to be over, and so disappointed that it wasn’t the “magical” experience I was promised. Luckily for my clients I have a remedy for most pregnancy ailments! Truthfully, it’s not that hard on every person though so don’t worry too much.
In the final months of my pregnancy I was working with a midwife, and I was fascinated with the whole concept of medication-free, physiological birth. After all the medical intervention from fertility treatments I really wanted to do things as intervention-free as possible. I spent hours researching and reading every little bit of information I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, all of my knowledge wasn’t much help. What no one told me was that I could learn all my head could fit, but it didn’t really matter if I didn’t birth at a place and with a team that were going to be willing to work with me. The healthcare system has its rules and procedures that they must follow, so if you plan to specify how you want your body, your birth, and your baby to be handled it’s imperative that you choose the right place to birth. If you want a medication and intervention free birth it is important to choose a “baby friendly” labeled hospital, a birth center, or a home birth. If you want an epidural, but want to avoid a c-section it is important to choose an OB with a low c-section rate. These are all things that are difficult to navigate as a pregnant person. Especially when you are already in labor and realize you are in a hospital that is run completely opposite from what you had planned.
I ended up in a hospital I knew very little about because of some flooding at my planned hospital. I developed pre-eclampsia, and my care was handed over from my OB to the surgeons at the hospital. I was in a situation I was completely unprepared for and just went along with whatever the nurses and doctors told me. My labor was induced for safety, but I didn’t progress after entering the pushing stage so the surgeon pushed for a cesarean birth, which at that point I welcomed, but also dreaded. During this time I would have benefited from a patient, knowledgeable person who could hold my space on this journey. It was scary, but it didn’t have to be. A little preparation, a little knowledge, and a trained person there to tell me the things I needed to hear were the tools I lacked.
I dwelt on all the reasons I was unhappy after my birth veered so far off track. I confided in friends about my experience and found that it’s not uncommon to have questions or struggle with the memories of my experience. People told me to be grateful that I had a healthy baby boy. Something I learned though was that I deserved my experience of birth to be more than just me and my baby surviving it. I needed to find a way to help other people and myself experience birth in a way that empowered and evolved them. It was in that time that I really looked into doula work. It was the answer I was searching for all along. A companion to play all the different roles a person would need during their labor and birth – counselor, guide, space holder, cheerleader, supporter, and nurturer. I felt called to be this person for other people after my own experience.
As a womxn, I want to help inspire change in the way womxn and birthing people see themselves and each other. I want to help make changes in the healthcare system because right now it is lacking. The way womxn and birthing people in this world are treated and viewed in general is unacceptable. I want ALL womxn and birthing people, of all races, classes, sexual orientations, genders, and family structures to feel safe and supported. Being a doula is a small part of sparking that change.
As your doula, I want to lift you up in your choices for you and your baby. I want to give you a hand when you are overwhelmed, even if it is just to vent. I want to connect with you and make you feel comfortable enough to speak honestly and openly.
I truly and strongly believe in supporting womxn and birthing people, without judgment, especially during such a stressful, but exciting transition in their lives.
-Chelsea Wolfington (she/her)