My name is Maria Armstrong and I live in Southeast Portland with my husband, our 4 children and our two cats. I became a mother for the first time in 1998. I am from The Netherlands, and it was only normal for me to look for a home birth midwife. Most everyone I knew growing up had home births, and it is with fondness that I remember meeting the babies right after birth –the peaceful atmosphere, the smells, the love and warmth, the magic that something miraculous had happened.
The experience of the birth of my firstborn son was incredibly intense. Something hidden had been awakened in me: My inner strength to give birth; the power to share in Creation. I learned from this birth that our bodies are amazing and unpredictable. I learned that giving birth was simultaneously beautiful and very raw.
Between 1998 and 2006, I gave birth to five more children, two of whom are angel babies. Each experience made me into the woman, mother and doula I am today: Trusting our bodies and our innate knowledge, as well as accepting of the process wherever it may lead us.
As a doula, I have mostly supported families who choose a hospital birth. The reasons to need and want a doula are numerous, but in the end, it is about the deep need for someone to feel safe, comforted and supported, as if they were in their own home. Though our experiences are different, I find that supporting someone in birth crosses over those differences –without judgment, respecting choices, trusting decisions, knowing that we all have to do what is right for us and our babies. It is my hope to support families with all of my being in their transformative moment the same way that I was carried and cared for in mine.
I have worked as a doula since 2006 and later completed the Birthingway College of Midwifery Doula Program. I studied Hypnobabies, Acupressure and Homeopathy, and was a midwifery student for two years. In October of 2016, after a two year sabbatical during which I had hip replacement surgery, I was happy to join Baby Nest Birth Services and become part of a wonderfully supportive doula tribe.