My name is Brittney Volker. I live in Hoffman, MN with my amazing husband Travis and my three beautiful daughters, Teagan, Everleigh, and Liviah. I had all of my children naturally.
Teagan was born in a hospital with a CNM. I had a doula (who also happens to be my aunt!) at her birth. Her birth was traumatic for both her and I. I went into my birth uneducated, not understanding all my options, only knowing that I wanted a drug-free birth. I was given pitocin without my consent while in transition, resulting in a grey, floppy, unresponsive newborn baby girl who needed serious resuscitation. She ended up being transported to a NICU about an hour away for observation. I had to discharge myself from the hospital I was at just hours after birth, with little support, just to be with my baby. By the time I got there, my perfect daughter had been given medications and vaccinations that were not necessary without my consent. I was told to go sleep and let them do their job. Instead, I picked up my baby girl and snuggled her skin-to-skin in the middle of the NICU, and didn't leave her side until she was discharged with a clean bill of health 24 hours later.
Teagan's birth taught me a lot. At first, I was very numb after her birth, emotionally. I just went into auto-pilot mode, just taking care of my baby the best way I knew how. Breastfeeding was what I latched on to (no pun intended). There was no other option for us... I had decided that she was only going to breastfeed and that was it. And so I did. Because I was so dedicated, I searched out support in my breastfeeding mission. In the process of doing this, I came across birth information. The more I read, the more I became angry. I felt cheated, betrayed, used, guilty, disappointed, and swore that I would do everything in my power to change the story for my next baby and for any woman who wanted to listen.
In 2008, after years of educating myself and making choices based on evidence and my instincts, my 9lbs Everleigh was born safely and peacefully at home, unassisted. Only my best friend/ doula was present along with Everleigh's father. I felt healed, empowered, peaceful. Everything I had read, everything I believed in, everything I put my trust into was confirmed completely. It was profound. Her birth completely changed my entire world-view.
After Everleigh's birth, I knew my calling was to be a birth worker. I decided to start with being a doula. I've now attended 6 births since 2010, with many more to come I hope! I've had to take breaks because of hyperemesis gravidarum (severe pregnancy-induced vomiting requiring IV fluids, hospital stays, and bed rest) and of course giving birth to my Liviah!
Liviah was also born unassisted, a water birth, with my husband, two older children, my mom, brother, sister-in-law, my doula-friend, and my new friend and her 1 year old daughter. I had a lot of fears to work through with Liviah's birth being I was so ill throughout the pregnancy. But even so, birth went off without a hitch, and my 7 1/2 lbs baby girl was born peacefully into my hands, surrounded only by those who loved her. It was magical and especially beautiful as this was my husband's first child. Liviah and Everleigh never felt the cold sterile glove as their first feel of this world. They never experienced the bright lights, rough towels, unnecessary, rough, stimulation, bulb syringes, the cold stethoscope, the strangers talking and interfering, needles and pokes. They only experienced gentle voices, dim lights, mama and daddy's hands, skin-to-skin cuddles, gentle, loving stimulation, respectful handling, the warmth, comfort, and smell of never being separated from their parents. I thank Teagan every day for teaching me to make better decisions so that her sisters could be spared the trauma she had to endure.
All of my children's births taught me so much, and led me to know my passion for pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. I also appreciated the support, love, and encouragement I received from both of my doulas. This is part of the reason I decided to become one!
I also homeschool my girls, and am mostly a stay-at-home mama. I love gardening, fishing, hunting, crafts, cooking, and being a wife :)
I am, admittedly, a "birth-junkie"... I read, talk about, discuss, listen, and live birth every day. I am constantly learning... educating myself on anything and everything birth-related. This is my life's work... my passion. And I would be honored to be a part of your birth journey. Every woman deserves a doula!