© 2017 by Marcus Padilla 

A Few Words About Me

        I have always found the world of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood intriguing, desirable, and beautiful. After a wild pregnancy, my husband Marcus and I welcomed our son Kasen into the world at Charleston Birth Place in August of 2014. Looking back on my pregnancy, it felt like two pregnancies in one. The first half, I received care from an OBGYN's office. At the 9wk gestation mark, I was sent into the ER for heavy bleeding. Naturally, we thought we had lost our baby. An ultrasound proved quite the opposite. Though we were filled with joy by this good news, many questions and fears remained. The bleeding continued over the next 8 weeks and because of this, I was scheduled to come in for checkups and ultrasounds frequently.

       My name and my story was never remembered. I left each appointment feeling more uncertain than my last. With the fear of losing our baby and anxiety lingering daily, we knew there had to be a better way. We made the switch to CBP and received clarity on our situation on day one. I was educated and encouraged at each appointment. Resources were readily made available to me to choose the best options for our family. I was later introduced to my doula via CBP. We are transplants from the Seattle, WA area. Being 3,000 miles away from our family and closest friends, knowing that support was going to be there made a world of difference. Kasen's birth was smooth and beautiful. Then, my postpartum journey began. It was not at all what I had anticipated. We came home 4 hours after Kasen was born completely exhausted and still in a surreal state. After showering and getting ready for bed - first, googling "what should a newborn wear to bed?" - we were ready to settle in for a good snooze... then I remembered that Kasen would be up to nurse in 2-3 hours. As I laid my head down on my pillow, a haunting reality came over me: "I am not going to be able to dictate my sleep for a very long time...."

       Without the support I received physically and emotionally from my doula, this process would've been much less easy. My prenatal, labor/birth, and postpartum experiences drove a passion within me to educate, care and serve women and families in this new, exciting, yet challenging season. Whether giving birth via cesarean in an OR, VBAC, water birth at a birth place, all natural delivery at home, or swearing by that epidural for a hospital birth, my mission is to hold the space for the birth of a baby the way that the family I am supporting desires. With the encouragement from mentors, family, and friends, I was lead to StillBirthday University and completed my training in October of 2015. I am continuously in awe of the process in which new life comes into the world, and humbled by getting the opportunity to witness this phenomenon. 
       Besides my passion for what I do as a doula, I also enjoy spending time with my guys, outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, long walks on the beach etc..., D-group, farmer's markets, football, watching "The Office", red wine, and eating/making real good food. 

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                 -Allisha