Hey guys! Thanks so much for checking this out! I thought it would be fun to share with you guys a little bit about myself, what has led me into birth work, and the heart behind Love Your Story. So let’s just dive in!
My name is Whitney Hollingsworth and I am the doula behind Love Your Story Birth Services. I am a wife to Dustin and a mom to Jack and Amos. They are ages 2 and 1. So I guess you could say my hands are full - the good kind of full. Up until this past year, I have been an elementary teacher. I taught elementary for 5 years and loved it! However things got a little complicated around year 3 when I had my first son and then again when I had my second son. I began feeling very torn over work and serving my family well. The mom struggle of always feeling like I was failing them was too real. Thankfully, my sweet husband came to me one day last spring and told me that he had been praying about this and really felt like the Lord was leading us to make the decision for me to stay home. He was so right and I’m so grateful for that leadership. But another thing that happened since I began having babies was my passion for moms. Before becoming a mom, I was never so sure about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and just parenthood in general. But through my experiences, I have come to love all of those things. My heart started to become incredibly “mom focused." I wanted to encourage moms, whether it was about pregnancy, birth, a clogged duct at 2 a.m. or a tantrum throwing toddler. Let’s just be honest, being a mom is hard work. From the moment you begin carrying your baby, through their birth, and from the moment you bring them home, it's hard. We (and I mean me) can easily feel like we are failing at this tough job. But my heart longs to encourage mommas, to let them know that they aren’t failing. That when they are tired and so over being pregnant, they aren’t failing, it's just hard. That when their birth is turning out to be a much greater and harder task than they ever imagined, that they aren’t failing, it's just hard. That when they are up exhausted and crying in the middle of the night with sore nipples, that they haven’t failed, it's just hard. I could go on and on about the hundreds of areas in which moms could use encouragement, but I think you get it. My heart is to support mommas. Obviously my biggest passions are centered around serving laboring moms. To me, being a doula is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. To love and support mommas through their pregnancy and births so that they can be assured that even when their birth is hard and going the opposite of which they hoped, that they aren’t writing a story of failure, but that they are still writing a beautiful story.
So why “Love Your Story”? Well, long before I was even pregnant, my experiences with birth were minimal. Outside of dramatic TV births and hearing a few birth war stories, I didn’t know a ton, but I did know one thing for sure- one a scale of all things scary, birth was pretty near the top. I mean lets be honest, physically, it just doesn't seem possible right??? But I am SO thankful to learn that I was wrong. So when I first became pregnant I thought “Well, this is it. This baby is coming out eventually, so if there is anything I can do now to make it a more desirable experience, than I had better get started.” I began doing lots of research on my own, so much so that words like cervix and placenta became commonplace in our home. You can imagine how much my husband loved that! But even still, I found that there were a lot of people not really telling great stories about birth. In fact, I felt like I was hearing a lot of horror stories that just amplified those birth jitters I was already having. So at about 30 weeks pregnant, I signed my husband and myself up for a 12 week Bradley Method course. At first he was like “Oh great, we already talk about birth all the time, now we get to go to class for 12 weeks and listen to someone else talk about it.” But I can definitely say that after the birth, we were so grateful for the course. We were as prepared as we could be AND you know the best part? It wasn't terrible. We actually had a great experience. Through educating ourselves we learned that birth was normal. We learned that all of those things I was so afraid of, were indeed scary, but that they were normal. Our birth was so good, in fact, that we decided to have another a year later. Both of those births are among my favorite memories to share. Each are unique and each have changed us. These memories are what drive my passion for supporting women as they go through their own life changing experiences. To me, when someone gives birth, a story is being written. It’s a story that can only be written once and will leave her forever changed. My heart’s desire is to help moms make that a story that they love and are thrilled to share. As a doula, I have the amazing opportunity to educate and support women in the birth of their new family. I have the privilege of helping them write a story that they love. That, to me, is an incredible blessing.