Emily is a country girl from western Pennsylvania. She grew up with a love for adventure and an appreciation for the beauty and wonders of the natural world.
After leaving Pennsylvania, Emily followed her adventurous spirit to Reggio Emilia (The Region of Emily!), Italy in 1999 where she worked as an au pair for a wonderful family. From here she moved to Tallahassee, Florida and attended Florida State University. She graduated from college in 2005 with a BS in Anthropology, minoring in Italian language, and a renewed zest for life.
Emily is wife to Jack. They were 10th grade sweethearts and destiny would have them reconnected after 8 years, in 2005. Emily and Jack got married under a thousand year old Live Oak tree on a hot October day in Tallahassee, Florida in 2006. Eleven months later their daughter Elora was born at The Birth Cottage, a free standing birth center. Emily's labor was by no means easy! Her baby was OP (Occiput Posterior) and her labor was 17 hours long (The average for first time mothers is 18, so it wasn't too bad, right ;-) It was definitely the hardest thing she's ever done, before or since! But it was made easier by the physical and emotional comfort measures shown by her midwives. Her OP baby even turned OA (Occiput Anterior) before birth with the techniques shown by the midwives!
Inspired by the support she received at her first birth, Emily felt called to life as a doula. About three months after her daughter was born Emily saw a public showing of the film The Business of Being Born. A community based doula program was there recruiting new doulas. And so the seed was planted. Emily made plans to attend a DONA doula training, but shortly before the training was to begin, Emily and her family made the sudden decision to move back to her homestead in Pennsylvania.
Undeterred by the relocation, Emily continue to pursue her dreams of becoming a doula. She attended a DONA training with Jan Mallak in July 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Then, motivated by Jack's new job offer in the DC metro area, Emily and her family moved to Alexandria, Virginia where they currently reside.
In January of 2009 Emily worked as a volunteer doula at Family Health and Birth Center, where she attended her first birth as a doula. Then, in February 2009 she found out she was expecting their second child. This time around Emily felt the best choice for her and her family would be a planned home birth. After meeting with Liz O'Shea CPM she and Jack both felt confident in the decision to give birth at home. Their son Luca was born healthy and happy after just two hours of labor, with the last minute aid of birth assistant, Nicole Jolley. Quite a change from her first birth experience, which only helped to reinforce the important lesson that every pregnancy and birth experience is "as different and unique as the children that result."*
Emily created Doorstep Doula Birth Services while attending numerous births over the years, becoming a certified birth doula through DONA International, and training as an ICEA Childbirth Educator. The name 'Doorstep Doula' was conceived by her dear friend, another Emily, with a song by Bob Marley as the inspiration. Emily hopes that your pregnancy and birth will be infused with the same joyful, positive outlook. As the song sings, "Don't worry, about a thing! 'Cause every little thing's gonna be alright!" True, we can't predict all the variables and changes that may arise during your birth, but we can always choose our thoughts and attitude about the changes.
Things Emily enjoys about life: Growing closer to Jesus, making food for friends, being silly with her kids, learning new things about world cultures, history, and languages, being in nature, hiking, and camping, creating one-of-a-kind collage cards, homeschooling their preschooler, discovering a new favorite musician or artist, reading non-fiction, making the rare fiction story she picks up as delicious as dessert after eating a satisfying dinner, actually eating dessert (she has a sweet-tooth), writing "old fashioned" letters to long-distance friends, watching movies with her husband, reading/watching anything "birth" related, and generally being an encouragement to everyone in her sphere of influence.
*Quote is from blogger and friend, Melissa McQuillen.