Doula Spotlight: Megan Ray, BBCD
Hi all! My name is Megan and I’m married to the love of my life, Jaron. We have 3, going on 4, kiddos named John Luke, Jessa, and Jeanneva. We live on a small family farm where we have a host of animals. My house is overflowing with toys, dishes, and laundry on a daily basis, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! When I’m not doing birth work I’m teaching therapeutic horseback riding lessons at the local therapy riding facility or taking my kids on field trips and play dates around the DFW metroplex. I think to best let you know why I became a Doula I have to go back to the beginning and share a bit about my past and each of my births.
I’ve been a “birth junkie” ever since I can remember. I used to gleefully anticipate staying at grandparents during the summer because they had cable and I could watch “The Baby Story” on TV! When my now husband and I started dating I think he was a bit surprised by this girl that wanted to discuss how important not just having babies, but how they were born, was to her in the future. He supported me from the get go, and when we were preparing for our first baby we hired the first midwife we interviewed and dove head first into our plan for a home water birth. Unfortunately, the end of our pregnancy was difficult, we didn’t know our exact due date so I was very overdue, and a trip in to the local hospital nurse midwife group for a biophysical profile revealed a severe case of pre-eclampsia. I was admitted, induced, and given as much time as we could muster, but my health was deteriorating so we had to move forward with a cesarean section. We had a family centered c section and I’m so thankful that I have pictures and video from that birth because I was so sick I don’t remember much of it.
After that first birth I dove into our local VBAC community, attending support group meetings and being active in the Facebook groups. Around that time, I also started a Facebook group for local cloth diapering moms to meet up, have play dates, and enjoy sharing our diaper stash pictures. I became pregnant with number 2 very unexpectedly around the time our son was only 3 months old! I pursued a VBAC, but the pre-eclampsia came back a second time, necessitating another induction, which again, didn’t progress, and we brought our second baby, but first daughter, into the world via family centered c section.
I knew after that second birth that I had to become more involved in the birthing community. Our VBAC community was so welcoming and a great place for me to get information and share it as well. I wanted to be a doula, but wasn’t really sure I could qualify with the birth experiences I had so far. I began looking into becoming an ICAN leader. Then, we got pregnant with number 3. I was so determined to achieve a VBA2C with this baby. I changed some things about supplements and lifestyle and saw many different body work professionals to prepare. Pre-eclampsia didn’t show up this time thankfully, but a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes brought about our third hospital induction. This one went very different from our first two though and less than 12 hours after the start of the induction I pushed my third baby, second daughter into the world to successfully achieve a VBA2C!
After the birth of our third baby I worked with some lovely local ladies to help create The Cesarean Group, and I’m happy to lead VBAC and Cesarean support group meetings for the Johnson County area. I also began studying to become a Birth Boot Camp Doula. After getting pregnant very easily, if not “accidentally” with our first three children we found it difficult to conceive our fourth baby. It was strange for me to see babies be born that were conceived the same time we had began trying, but we still weren’t pregnant. Finally, during an incredibly stressful month in our family, we somehow became pregnant, and are expecting our 4th baby in June.
I love helping women plan for their births, no matter how their baby is choosing to be born. I have a passion for helping create a family centered atmosphere for families having c-sections as well as helping siblings attend and be helpful at the birth of their new siblings. Of course, with my previous birth experience I find great joy in assisting at VBAC births. In the post-partum period breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and baby wearing all are things I find great joy in teaching about and assisting with. I can’t wait to get to help more and more families add their new bundles of joy to their lives with the Orchard Births team!