I think it worked. They only made it to 50. ;)
Today's feature is my dear friend Aubrey Slabbert of Liminal Spaces. I look up to her so much and have learned a lot in the short time that she's taken me under her wing. Her gentle nature and quick smile have won over the hearts of many a family.
I have been profoundly deaf for 31 years. I'm 32. I definitely feel like ASL is my home language even though my English is probably stronger because when I use it, it feels like coming home.
I could say the same thing about birth work. I am fortunate to have had many passions in life ranging from acting (google me, Aubrey Kramer, and see what you find ;) ) to dog grooming, poetry and writing.
I have a teacher heart and a degree from BYU that says as much. Some of the fondest memories of my life are from teaching high school at American Fork High School in Utah. I am so proud of those kids and all that they achieved.
I discovered my passion for birth like many birth workers do: by giving birth. The birth of my first baby was a little bit of paradox because on one end of the experience, I discovered my body's power and on the other, I had discovered another person's cruelty. I was in love with birth, but hurt by the experience. One thing I really loved about my first child's birth was the Hypnobabies program my husband and I used to prepare for it. I learned how to listen to my body, relax, and enjoy the experience. I was surprised by how comfortable I was for the majority of that birth experience enough to want to do it again.
When an instructor training came along for Hypnobabies, I got excited, and I thought about it, and I stalked their Facebook page for a while until I decided that yes, I really did want to become a childbirth educator. I was already an educator, and this just felt right to me. I certified with Hypnobabies in 2011 and I have been teaching hypnosis for childbirth in Utah and Salt Lake Counties ever since. It's been a blast. And it hasn't taken much to get me hooked on childbirth.
Becoming a doula was like a logical progression for me, and I began attending births in 2012. To date, I have averaged 2 clients per month, give or take. I keep my practice small enough to really focus on each mama, and large enough to stay happily busy. I love to be busy and I love, love, love learning new things. If something strikes me, I have to learn about it!
I've always been a shutterbug and adding photography was the next logical progression for me. I really wanted mothers especially to see how amazing they really are in birth because I feel like too many mothers, myself included are needlessly critical of themselves and when I can show them the photos from their birth story and see the spark in their eyes when they say "i really did that!" then my doula heart is happy. Mothers deserve to be celebrated and pampered, especially at birth, and my mission has been to design a full service birth business that caters to that.
My favorite memory from a birth that I've attended is almost impossible to narrow down, because I have so many! Favorites include watching a second time mother deliver her baby right into her own hands after a really lovely, and peaceful birthing time. Another favorite: a vbac mama leaning over her hubby, swaying and realizing that she had to push, and her baby descending so rapidly that the nurse had to catch her baby in exactly the position that she had chosen to birth her child. Another favorite: holding the hand of a sweet first time mother during the cesarean birth of her child, and feeling the mixed cocktail of emotion as a single tear slid down her cheek. There is something beautiful in each birth, and I really do remember every single one of them. What an amazing privilege it is!
One last question before you go, what's you favorite tv show?
Whatever I am currently Netflix bingeing on hahaha. I watched all 9 available seasons of Criminal Minds while I was pregnant with my third baby because my dad is a retired police officer and it reminds me of him.
Thank you Aubrey! I can't begin to say enough good things about this lady. She recently collaborated on a gorgeous stylized maternity shoot with our lovely Emily Brooksby of Picture Perfect Birth. I can't wait to see more of what those two are up to!
Be sure to check out her blog as well. Beware though, her expertise and way with words means you'll melt into reading it like a familiar blanket. Enjoy!