My name is Michelle and I have been interested in medicine and childbirth since I was a small child. However, I also have a great love for music. This love took me to college to study Vocal Performance, where I earned my Bachelor of Music in 1997. Soon after, I began teaching choir, band, and private voice lessons at the Portland Waldorf School.
But it was during my sister’s pregnancy that I started thinking again about working with women in childbirth. I decided to check into doula training so I could be by her side as a support and took the training course at MotherTree Birth Services. I really loved the classes, and being a doula for my sister was an absolutely amazing experience. I knew I wanted to pursue becoming a doula for more women. I joined PDX Doulas in the summer of 2012 and received my DONA certification in November 2013.
My music students have taught me many skills that crossover into births. First is a great respect for alternate views and helping parents follow their wishes. Second, I have become a great listener, both with my ears and eyes. Staying quiet and watching for nonverbal cues is often better than asking questions. And last is patience.
My training as a performer has given me many tools to stay calm under pressure. I believe this trait serves me well in childbirth as well. Labor can be unpredictable and having someone with you that is calm and reassuring is very important. I will always do my best to be that person by your side.
Outside of the classroom and birth rooms, I am a wife and mother of two wonderful children. My family is the highlight of my life and I love to support my husband and children in their many interests. For myself, I love to cook, knit, read and craft.