You’re in the Hampton Roads area checking out Stars & Stripes Doulas’ site wondering if we are the right doulas for you!? Of course we are. But choosing a doula to support them during their labor and 4th trimester is sometimes a daunting task. Aside from the credentials, what sets us apart from the other amazing doulas in the area? Our professionalism, our link to the military and public service community, but most of all, what sets us apart is who we are! Take a few minutes to get to know who we are. Questions that mostly have nothing to do with being a doula but everything to do with what type of people we are!
Meet Your Doula Q&A!
What was your dream job growing up?
Megan: Ever since I was little I wanted to be a doctor because I always wanted to help and heal people. Then at some point it changed to wanting to be a teacher to help people learn.
Amber: Anything that allowed me to help someone: everything from foster care/adoption to victim advocacy. I have always had a heart for others even at a young age. Oh, and tornado chasing because, well, tornado chasing.
Erin: I always wanted to be a Doctor. Started off my freshman year in college in pre/med but eventually changed to business. If I could go back, I would have stuck it out. Maybe one day, I’ll go back!
Cricket: An obstetrician but I knew I did not want to attend college for that long.
If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?
Megan: I wish I could master sewing! I inherited my grandma’s antique sewing machine that is in perfect condition, she would always sew on buttons or hem something so quickly! However, I struggle with square pillowcases coming out more trapezoidal!
Amber: I can’t wait to begin my breastfeeding counselor course. I would love to eventually be a lactation consultant and be full of information to help the women who have made the choice to breastfeed.
Erin: To surf!! We just moved to the beach and I would love to surf! The ocean is my therapy.
Cricket: I have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time so I would wish to be able to have more focus.
What is “home” to you?
Megan: Home is where the Army sends us! We do our best to make the most of wherever we end up at! Originally I am from the Dayton area of Ohio, and my husband comes from the coal mines of West Virginia.
Amber: Home is anywhere my husband and son are. I grew up in a small town in Oregon and I consider that to be where I am from. My husbands family is in Illinois and we visit there more often so, that has become a home as well.
Erin: Home is wherever the Army sends my family. We have moved seven times in nine years. We have lived in Germany and in six different states, in all regions of the US except the Southwest.
Cricket: Home is where my loves ones are and where I am loved!
What is the best concert you have ever been to?
Megan: Toby Keith in Kuwait! Hands down the best! His USO tour was amazing, and being 20 feet from the stage in such an informal setting made it even so much better!
Amber: The best concert I have ever been to would have to be Robert Randolph and The Family Band. Each member of the band could play every instrument so well that while they rotated throughout the whole song, you couldn’t tell that anyone was not as good as the other. It was an amazing thing to experience!
Erin: Dave Matthews Band. Hands down!
Cricket: I haven’t attended many concerts but Trey Songz in Nashville would have to be my favorite!
What’s your favorite comedy movie?
Megan: How do I pick just one? “Moms Night Out” would be my go to right now. Something we can all relate too, and laugh about at the same time!
Amber: I don’t watch a whole lot of movies or enough times to have a favorite. I do have a two year old so maybe I could say “Trolls”? We watch that every day.
Erin: “Just Friends”! I could watch it on repeat especially around the holidays.
Cricket: “Coming to America”
What words of wisdom would you pass onto your teenager self?
Megan: I would tell my younger self to see the big picture and to choose joy in every situation. Things will happen that may seem like the end of the world, but in the big picture it won’t matter that much.
Amber: Slow down, you don’t have to have all the answers now.
Erin: To enjoy every minute of being young. You’ll be an adult soon enough.
Cricket: “Confidence makes YOUR world go ’round. Chin up, shoulder back baby!”
Tell me 10 things that I would see when I walk in your door?
Megan: Pile of shoes at the front door, living room with the couch, a coffee table with a stack of books, kids chairs, entertainment center, fireplace with our wedding picture, family pictures, piece of coal and our “Harless Family, Established 2005” sign.
Amber: A tall wooden ruler that I have been meaning to hang up for three months now…I swear, it will be up before my husband returns from deployment, possible the night before, A family photo, My husbands commissioned photo, Stair case, Hallway, Office Door Closed to the right, Living room straight ahead, Couch,Toys, More Toys.
Erin: A picture of the US Flag, A large wine cellar, Antique sailboat pictures, Family pictures, My black lab (Clifford), A small wooden seagull, A large beach bag, The first couch we ever bought, Sand on the floor from the beach, A basket filled with large and tiny shoes
Cricket: Two lazy labs, vacuum, pictures of everyone and then some, remote controls (like 5), candles, chore board, donation bag, military awards, shoes, flag
How many pillows do you sleep with?
Megan: Only 2! But I could easily go for more!
Erin: 1. Always 1
Cricket: 1 but it’s a BIG pillow!
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Megan: 30ish minutes, but will linger out to an hour if I have time or kid free.
Amber: 45 minutes
Erin: 5 minutes. 10 if I’m going somewhere. I’m a simple gal!
Cricket: 30 minutes
What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
Megan: The magical toaster
Amber: French Press
Erin: Coffee maker, all day, everyday
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Megan: “Warning! Not afraid to make things awkward!”
Amber: “Will Burst into Song if you say a phrase that reminds me of one.” This is almost uncontrollable. I love music. I how music is full of emotional expression.
Erin: “Loves movies but will fall asleep before the first scene.”
Cricket: “You won’t like me when I’m angry.” Bruce Banner says BACK AWAY!
What song would you say best sums you up?
Megan: I NEED AN ANSWER FOR THIS!!! Thinking on it!!! (Melanie’s Note- Apparently this is the hardest question! Every single response was “I can’t think of one!” So I guess it is my job to get to know our doulas so well that I assign them one!)
Amber: I couldn’t possibly pick one song to sum up myself. Currently, my favorite artists are Jack Johnson, Bruno Mars and pretty much anything that is upbeat and empowering.
Erin: Oh gosh there’s too many to choose from. I like all genres of music so to pick just one song would be impossible.
Cricket: “Say I Didn’t” by Vic Mensa
Why did you chose your profession?
Megan: I have always wanted to have a career where I could help and support people. After taking some time to be a stay at home mom after leaving the Army, I started thinking about what I would want to do. Something that I was always drawn to was the experience I had with my second child when my husband was deployed, I went into labor early, and essentially birthed by myself. As joys as the time was, I also remembered what it was like to be alone. It became my hope in being a doula, I could support other families going through similar situations.
Amber: By chance I was able to present for a friend of mine’s labor. I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me. After experiencing my own delivery, I realized how beautiful it all was. I didn’t know at the time I could even be a part of such an amazing group of professionals until a friend of mine asked me to help her and suggested I become a doula. A doula? You mean I could help people prepare for and provide support during labor as a job?! Sign me up! It is truly the most humbling experience ever.
Erin: I finally understood the importance of having a doula by not having one during my third pregnancy. My husband unexpectedly missed the birth of our third daughter, due to a deployment. I wish I would have had the emotional support and help that a doula can provide. I decided I wanted to be that support for someone else with the hopes of providing them the best birthing experience no matter the circumstances.
Cricket: I think this profession chose me. I supported an active duty member, pregnant with her 2nd child by going to all of her prenatal appointments. In the end I organized the gender reveal party, baby shower, cut the baby’s cord and received a new family, before I knew what a doula was.
What was your childhood nickname?
Megan: Megdawg or Sunshine
Amber: Amber Fanny Flapper…well, I just couldn’t not dance if music was being played, everywhere.
Cricket: Kista (pronounced Key-sta)
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Megan: Cold Stone’s Sweet Cream mixed with Chocolate Cake Batter and some sprinkles!
Amber: “Rocky Roooooad?” Goonies
Erin: Cookies and Cream
Cricket: Cookies & Cream
What is your favorite birth/pregnancy/parenting topic to talk about?
Megan: The family adjustment and self care. Weather you are bringing home your first child, or are a seasoned parent, adding another baby completely changes the family dynamic. That adjustment phase can be pretty hard for some families, or isn’t at all what they think it should be. Even kids have a hard time too. I also like to remind parents about a little self care for them too after having a baby – anything from a hot bubble bath after a long day or going out with a friend for some coffee. Having a baby doesn’t mean you lose your identity, you need some time to care for you too.
Amber: Some of my favorites include: The surprises of new motherhood,Breastfeeding and other options, DIY baby food, Postpartum Survival/Recovery, How to handle stranger advice/judgement.
Erin: The birth experience. Every single one is completely different and utterly amazing!
Cricket: Labor stories!
What is your favorite moment when supporting a client during a birth?
Megan: One of my favorite moments is that point during labor (usually near the beginning) where the “ah ha” moment happens. The realization has set in that the baby is coming and this is it! The adrenaline for everyone kind of picks up, and the parents get excited about meeting their new little one!
Amber: Hand’s down most favorite moment is witnessing the mother and child take their first breath together.
Erin: The moment those first cries are heard. There is nothing like it!
Cricket: When I realize the birthing woman trusts me. Trust is SO important to me!
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