Looking Back, Looking Forward


So much has happened in 2015!  After living in California's Bay Area for the past seven years or so, we packed up and moved to Salt Lake City, UT.  We were ready for a change, a new adventure, and a great job had opened up for Spencer at Primary Children's Hospital.  I saw this as the perfect chance to put in the time and effort it would take to build the doula business I'd been dreaming about for years, and so I dove into the birth world here in UT head-on! 


We found a great little duplex to rent near Liberty Park, which I walked around just about every day with our pooch Griffin. 


Planting a nice perennial garden made it feel more like home. 


We checked out SLC Pride in June, which was great! That was where I met Marina Lloyd, a local doula who's business - The Doula House -  had a booth at Pride, and she helped me so much in connecting with the doula community here.  She told me to join the Utah Doula Association, which I went home and did that day, and she also pointed me in the direction of which Facebook groups would be helpful to join.  She was instrumental in helping me get connected, and I don't think she even realized it until I saw her months later and thanked her! 


I was hired as the first-ever music therapist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, which is part of the University of Utah health care system.  I work there 10 hours a week and am building the music therapy program and seeing clients both inpatient and outpatient through the Wellness and Integrative Health Center. 

I also started as a volunteer doula at the University of Utah! On my very first day there was a second-time mom who was at about 8cm who wanted some doula help, so I got to help her have her second baby!  It was a great way to start my volunteer work there! 


We saw lots of the famous Utah sites, and wow, what a beautiful state we live in!


I joined a band! We're called Rabbit Rabbit and we play folksy music with lots of vocal harmonies. Fun fact, all the members are music therapists by day!  Here's a photo of us at our first gig in SLC, with our good friend and music therapist/amazing photographer Lyndi Benson joining us on fiddle! 


I worked with a great designer named April Davis (who also happens to be a birth worker in Southern UT) to design a logo for my  business.  We came up with this design...


Which finally turned into this design!


I attended a wonderful training on the Curtis Method of Hypnobirthing.  Lauralyn Curtis is a wonderful educator and birth worker, and I learned so much from her.  I also took a great training called "Providing Culturally Sensitive Care to LGBTQ Families," which led me to write this blog post. 


I had the pleasure of attending the Utah Doula Association's fall retreat which was full of sisterhood, creativity, rest, relaxation and connection. 


And I also got to lead an amazing drum circle at the retreat! It was truly magical.  This led me to start offering drum circle facilitation as part of my services here in SLC. 


I presented on Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth at the SLC Positive Birth Group, which was great.  I love sharing information about what I do and how music can help parents during labor and birth.  

I also had the pleasure of providing Birth Music Consultation services to two couples this fall, one in California and one in Texas.  Thanks to the magic of Skype, I met with them multiple times and helped them to understand how to use music during labor and birth.  


I joined a great community called 100 Percent Doula that is led by Alice Turner of YourDoulaBag.com and YourDoulaBiz.com.  100 Percent Doula is a community of doulas that want to grow and hone their skills in running a birth business.  Here I am sporting my "100% Doula" t-shirt! 

2015 has been a year of growth, change and movement.  I know that 2016 will be even more so, as my business continues to grow.  Here are a few things I am looking forward to in the coming year...

- I already have one couple that I'll be doula-ing for in August, and hope to continue to grow my clientele until I have 2-4 births per month.  My goal is to attend at least 10 births in 2016, and I have a feeling I won't have too much trouble meeting that goal!
- Sending in all the paperwork in order to get my postpartum doula certification through Doulas of North America (DONA).
- Starting as part of the Hypnobirthing Utah doula team! I'll be seeing clients in Salt Lake City who are using the Curtis Method of Hypnobirthing for their labor and birth. 
- Taking some great trainings - in January I'll be taking a training called "Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss" that is put on by the Institute for Birth, Breath and Death.
- I will be participating in group supervision with other music therapists who provide Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth services all around the country. 
- Continuing to volunteer as a doula at the University of Utah for at least the first several months of 2016. 
- And in my non-work life, Spencer and I are going to be closing on our first house in late January! Woo hoooooooo! It's a single-family home near Liberty Park, with a nice fenced yard for Griffin to enjoy. We can't wait!    


My word for the year 2016 is "bloom," because I know that my business and life will be blooming like never before in the coming year!   Cheers to 2016!