Daughter of Woman, your healing task is not to become a new, improved or changed person. Rather it is to reclaim your natural and essential self, in all its fullness.
Patricia Lynn Reilly
My interest in women’s health began right before my first pregnancy. During my late teens and early 20’s, I was able to witness and support a few of my friends during their pregnancy and birth. I witnessed different birth scenarios including home birth, hospital birth and cesarean birth. Each experience was so special and presented different challenges for my friends.
When it came time to have my own baby at 23yrs old, I decided I would find a Midwife and try to give birth at home. Since I didn’t want any medical interventions, I tried to be as healthy as I could. I read about herbal medicine, dutifully drank my pregnancy tea, practiced yoga and meditation. Aside from the occasional pregnancy craving of Sourdough Jacks and Strawberry Kiwi Snapple, I did pretty well. ;-)
My birth was incredible! Even though I had a few weeks of prodromal labor, once my water broke, it was only two hours later that my son was born. I was lucky enough to have one of my friends act the part of a Doula and I will always remember the comforting feeling of her rubbing my lower back and calm presence. I can tell you first hand that a 2-hour labor feels like being on the most insane rollercoaster ride! It could have been very scary. I could have panicked when we realized the midwife wouldn’t be there in time and certainly my husband was. But for some reason, with the comfort of a Doula and the freedom to do what my body needed to do, I always felt completely safe, supported and calm. My son was born into his Daddy’s hands, beautiful and completely healthy in our bath tub.
It was afterwards as I was sharing my birth story with other new moms that I realized my experience was not the norm! Many mothers I spoke to seemed angry and sad. I heard many stories about long, painful labors, how they felt scared, that their partners didn’t know what to do, they didn’t feel like anything was explained to them. Some felt cheated or flat out lied to for the convenience of medical staff. It tugged at my heart and I just knew then and there that I had found my purpose. I decided I was going to be a Midwife. Every woman deserves to have some joy and dignity during the birth process.
My little boy was only 1yr old at the time, so my midwife told me a great first step would be to become a Labor Doula. Back in 2006, the only Doula certification companies in existence did not come to Nevada. So, I started out by taking a Child Development class at the Community College of Southern Nevada. I found other birth professionals in town and took every class and read every book on childbirth that I could find. For the first two years I offered free Labor Doula services to those that couldn't afford a Doula.
When Well Rounded Momma was founded in 2007 I became an active member and continued my studies and practice with them. Through camaraderie and continued education (including taking a Doula course with Birth Arts International) my skills advanced. I continue to be an active member of Well Rounded Momma today. In fact in October of 2012 I become one of four proud owner/directors of Well Rounded Momma and now, a decade later, I am blessed with the opportunity to train other Doulas in our organization.
In February 2012, Heart of Herbs Herbal School certified me as an Herbalist after two years of independent study and I demonstrated skill with over 60 herbs. When my children began school, I took a two-year hiatus from providing Doula services, but continued to provide herbal counseling and education. Herbalism is very near and dear to my heart and so I continue to provide those services. I also offer handcrafted herbal teas and products geared towards women's health, that are sold at Well Rounded Momma.
My work is regularly posted in the Well Rounded Momma newsletter and on their YouTube channel. You can see me speak at various Well Rounded Momma functions and classes.
When I'm not working, you can find me at home with my two kids, researching and playing with old-fashioned remedies. (My kids are the official taste tasters of all of my new tea formulas) I also spend much of my free time reading about women’s health, history and spirituality.