Doula Spotlight: Kelli Cross, BBCD
Hi, my name is Kelli Cross, and I am a birth professional and doula serving the DFW area, focusing on Greenville, Tx and Rockwall, Tx.
When I first began having children, I found a lack of resources and support in our rural area in regards to pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. I decided pretty early on that someday, I wanted to change that for future local families. Fast forward to today, and I can proudly say that I get to do that with a fantastic group of women whose hearts are right there with me. A little more on this later, but for now, here’s a bit about me.
I am raising five sweet babes with my high school sweetheart. My husband is more than supportive of my big dreams, and he’s gone great distances (both literally and figuratively) to help us make informed, confident decisions throughout our parenting journey. Together, we have navigated unexpected cesareans, VBACs, perinatal mood disorders, birth trauma, lots of breastfeeding challenges and successes, and so much in between. He has seen these things shape who I am, as well as my passion for serving others through this season.
I spend my weekday mornings and afternoons lost in adventures with my kids...reading great stories, applauding LEGO creations, exploring nature, explaining math problems, and shuffling endless yet priceless water-colored artwork. I learn just as much as they do most days, and certainly learn more about each of them and how to best love, teach, and respect them. We throw some dishes and laundry and never-ending meal prep in, so our day is one of constant movement and togetherness.
In the late afternoons and evenings, I become business owner and birth professional, attending to whatever is on my schedule for the day. My husband works from home and picks up with the kids and household where I leave off when his workday is done and mine has begun.
Our weekends are a mix of more work, exploring and learning, family time, thrift store perusing, gluten free donut-finding, hanging with friends, movie watching, zoo fun, church going, and anything else we can squeeze in.
In my spare time, I’ve become a homebody. I used to love being on the go, but since life is filled with a lot of that now, my favorites have become snuggling with my husband after the kids are in bed, enjoying a hot tea or coffee, listening to records, shuffling our furniture around, reading, working on my minimalism skills, and needle felting tiny animals. It’s a good balance with the amount of energy expended with the work I do.
Of course, all of this goes out of the window when a birth or client comes calling. I am off to support a family and my family comes in to support me. Living a life on call is not easy, but worth it. Sometimes I miss events or birthdays, get behind on household tasks, or go several days without connecting with my family. I keep my client load low to help maintain my work life balance.
I have been passionate about the childbearing season of life for as long as I can remember. I did special projects in high school and college about pregnancy, worked for a pregnancy clinic after graduation, and absorbed as much information as I could in between. I decided to become a doula two kids in and started attending births back then, but only found time for certification after my fourth baby was born. I’ve been poured into by some fabulous professionals, studied, read, and researched as much as possible, and been blessed to help so many families over the years. I am also passionate about serving cesarean and VBAC women and have devoted countless (worth it) hours to the education and encouragement of cesarean families.
Loving what I do means it is hard to pick a favorite part. A successful latch after lots of struggle. A baby snuggled safely in a carrier for the first time. The way a partner looks on with adoration after a hard moment in labor. The quiet space right after birth when a family gets to know their sweet one. Carrying memories in my heart from each family whose story I’ve been a part of, whether small or great.
We started Orchard Births to be a place of community. To create better access to services for those in rural and suburban areas. To be a balm to parents experiencing grief or struggle. To be a source of alleviating fear and uncertainty. To be encouraging and inspiring to the families we serve. I am so proud of what our team has been able to accomplish, and we are so excited about serving our community in bigger and better ways every day.
This is my life, and I love it!