The Courage Doula

Hi, my name is Emily.
~ I’m a wife, mother, christian, momcologist, doula, writer, nerd, entrepreneur and dreamer.
~ I like Apple products, chocolate, books, lists, being pregnant and purple.
~ I fancy myself as a quirky combination of dreamy Anne Shirley and feisty Scarlett O’Hara.
~ The tough stuff: my brother had lymphoma when he was 5 (now 20 years in remission), my other brother was killed in an accident at the family business in 2010, I’ve had two miscarriages and my son Ethan was diagnosed with leukemia this year.
~ My motto is: Be strong and courageous!

Why I’m Here

I love families and especially moms. My two little people light up my life! In 2003 I started teaching childbirth classes and attending births as a doula (coach). Over the last nine years I have attended 55 births and taught over 600 couples childbirth classes. I also went back to school and got licensed as a massage therapist. My passion was pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding… everything surrounding becoming a family. Frankly I had a cozy little life and I was doing my dream work.

Then on February 1, 2012 everything changed. My son Ethan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

All of my various businesses came to a screeching halt while we tackled chemotherapy. I quickly realized that everything I learned about coaching pregnant women through labor: pain relief, distraction, comfort techniques, interfacing with medical professionals, helping people navigate options… ALL of it I was using with Ethan. I was doula-ing my son! When he had procedure anxiety… I knew exactly what to do. When we had to make a decision about his treatment plan… I knew exactly what to say.

Eventually it hit me: I can help other moms do the same thing. You can be fully equipped to help your child through health challenges. Whether it’s a routine shot at the doctors office or extended chemotherapy. I have so much to share with you.

Who This Site is For

I have a special heart for moms of cancer kids (or mom-cologists as I call us) but this site is for every mom. At some point in your mom career your child will have some type of medical procedure. I can give you the tools to not only advocate for simple ways to make the procedure kid friendly but also teach you how to prepare your child ahead of time and coach them right through it.

If your child has ongoing health challenges, hopefully there will be even more useful information for you here.

  • Coping Skills
  • Medical Advocacy
  • Self Care: how to refill your tank and manage stress
  • Home Life: roles of spouses and siblings

It’s All About Courage

Experiencing everything I have in the last eight months the character trait that has been developed the most in my family is courage.

Courage is different than bravery. When something wreaks havoc on your emotions, plays to your fears and destroys your confidence, courage is what brings you through that mental and emotional blockade. Courage helps you take your fears by the horns and choose to persevere. Courage helps you redeem a trial and choose to joyfully fulfill a bigger purpose.

Being a mom takes courage even in the best of times. Feeling those first contractions creep up on you and knowing that labor is looming ahead takes courage. Sending your little one off to preschool the first time takes courage. Choosing to leave a full time job to be a stay at home mom takes courage. Putting your foot down and requiring responsibility & obedience from your children takes courage.

You’ll see me talk about courage a lot on this blog. It’s an admirable and desirable quality for moms and kids. We have great opportunities to foster courage when facing medical challenges.