Doula Spotlight: Hillary Stillwell, BBCD, BBCI
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a wife to a wonderful Law Enforcement officer and amazing husband. We live in Ellis County with our 3 crazy kids; Wyatt-6, Olivia-4, and Elliott- 2. I am one of the owners of Orchard Births and serve clients from Dallas, Ellis, Johnson, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. I am also one of the founding board members for Ellis County Birth Network and serve as the Ellis County leader for The Cesarean Group, a local Cesarean support group.
Why did you decide to become a doula?
I love supporting women and helping families grow. I always thought that would be through medicine and it wasn't until the birth of my daughter that I knew this is what I wanted to do. My first birth and my second birth were completely different and the big thing that was different (besides my husband and I being way more educated) was the presence of a doula. Her amount of support, knowledge, and confidence not only in the system and process of birth but in me as a woman to know and listen to my body and my husband to listen and learn how to help support me was invaluable! I knew immediately afterwards that this is the way I wanted to support families.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
I love seeing a woman push through those hard moments, where she thinks she just can't do it another minute to holding her baby in pure joy and bliss. I also enjoy getting to watch as the couple works together as a team to bring their blessing earth side and as the dad gets to stare at the mother and baby as two of the most beloved people in his life.
What other Professional Birth Services do you provide?
I teach all of the Birth Boot Camp Childbirth Education curriculum. I provide Birth and postpartum doula services as well as placenta encapsulation and belly binding.
What are your hobbies?
So my biggest hobby right now is what my family and I call my old lady craft, cross stitching. I am working on Christmas stockings for my kids. My other hobby is more service rather than hobby, but I work every Sunday (provided I'm not at a birth or on vacation) in our church's children's department, loving on and playing with sweet little babies. I also serve on the check in team helping families get their little ones safely checked in and to their correct classroom along with service coach and other tasks our church leaders may need.
What is the last song you listened to?
You're My Best Friend by Don Williams. I feel like I need to explain this. So my youngest is not a great sleeper and was a really fussy baby the first couple of months as we got a dairy sensitivity figured out. Well my husband, being the country music lover he is, would play Don Williams to try to calm him down and the crazy thing is, it worked! So ever since, if we ever need to get him to calm down, or we want to see him immediately get happy with a huge grin and dance, we play the Don Williams greatest hits cd. It is one of the best, if not THE best thing to put him to sleep!
What is your favorite flower to watch grow?
Man, to watch grow, probably the tulip as you can really watch it form and open up compared to other flowers. However, Gerber Daises are my favorite flower. If you could only choose one vacation destination where would you pick and why? I think right now, Australia. It is nothing too crazy with language barriers and has beautiful sights. Also, heck, the reality of ever getting over there before my husband and I are old and can’t enjoy it to the fullest extent....well those are slim.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what change would you make?
I would be more proactive...... basically not such a procrastinator. However, I work best when under pressure.
What would you most like to be remembered for when you are reminiscing about your life in your old age?
I would love to be remembered for my serving and caring heart.
What aspect of your personality adds the most value to the world?
Compassion/empathy. I truly try to see situations from others’ perspectives. I want to have compassion, empathy, and a learning and forgiving heart when needed. I may not always agree with the perspective but I will always try to understand it and respect it as we all deserve to have that shown to us.