Hi! My name is Vanessa Wester. I have a husband, two kids, and Red Deer is the heart of where I consider home.
In a sense, doula-ing found me. I had the opportunity to work very briefly in a birthing centre in the Philippines as a volunteer when I was a teenager and I loved it. I was fascinated by the culture of women helping women, of giving birth in a way that was focused not only on the health of mom & baby but equally on the comfort and experience of the mother.
Half a dozen years later I found myself doing my teaching practicum at a school for pregnant teens. I found it difficult to focus on teaching when what I really wanted to know was how their pregnancies were going, what their fears & concerns were, if they were getting good information, if they had a strong support system, how they were adapting to having a newborn, and so many other questions. While attending school for my teaching degree I worked at the University of Alberta hospital. I questioned many times whether or not nursing might be a better career option for me but never felt it was quite the right fit.
A few years later, my husband and I were expecting our first. I’m a bit of an obsessive compulsive researcher so I needed to have all the information. It was then that I came across ‘the doula’. The doula seemed like an amazing birth tool and I was sure I needed one. My husband is the type of man that would have rather sat in the waiting room, anxiously waiting with great anticipation the announcement of birth, so he was a quick sell when I told him I wanted a doula. She was so wonderful to have that when we found out we were pregnant a second time, we didn’t hesitate to hire her again.
So in early 2016, when I was considering jobs that would allow me to spend time at home with my littles while still giving me the fulfillment from helping people and doing something I am passionate about, becoming a doula was a natural choice. I took my DONA training in May of 2016 and will be completing my StillBirthDay training in spring of 2017.
Pregnancy, birth, and babies create such strong emotions and meaningful moments. It would be my honor to walk through this incredibly special time with you, lending you my experience, knowledge & support for the journey. It my hope that my presence at your birth will protect & nurture your birth experience, holding space for you to feel safe & supported through every decision you make and every path your birth takes.
Vanessa Wester – Hearts Together Doula Services