How I Chose to Enter Birth Work
My name is Audra Maurer. My husband and I have 2 wonderful daughters and and happily call Moorhead, MN our home. All my life I have loved being near and caring for babies. As I grew and became a mother myself, I discovered a deeper passion for birth itself and the journey surrounding new life coming into the world.
On our path to parenthood our experience taught us many things. Our first exposure to parenthood came from a chemical pregnancy, followed a few months later by losing twins to a miscarriage. Those experiences came with joys and deep sorrow. The physical and emotional pain taught me early about the worries and trials of parenthood and childbirth.
When we found out we were pregnant with our eldest, the entire pregnancy I was wrought with fear and anxiety around bringing a happy healthy baby home. I went to every hospital preparation class, read the birth books, and jumped into online due date support groups. When the time came I thought I was ready and prepared for the labor and birthing experience. What I learned was that in reality, I was not.
My first labor and delivery came with unnecessary medical interventions, pain, and fetal distress. All of these were trickle down issues that stemmed from the first unnecessary intervention that lacked informed consent. In the pain and stress of labor I didn't know what I didn't know. I was unclear about what I could ask, what was normal, and continuously questioned my own body and what it was trying to tell me. In the end, I was blessed with a beautiful healthy little girl, but I was also left with extreme emotional and physical trauma.
In the 10 months following the birth of my eldest, I traveled on the long and difficult path to emotional and physical recovery. I was plagued by intense postpartum depression and anxiety, painful pelvic floor guarding, and anger over the experience we had during her birth. Through connecting with other women I slowly began to unpack my experience and educate myself on my path to wellness. I sought out a pelvic floor physical therapist to help heal from the physical trauma and I worked to let go of the fear and anger by educating myself on what could be changed and done better in my future pregnancies and births.
One year later I found my myself in a very different physical and mental space. I had come a long way on my journey to better understanding my abilities and what was out there to have a beautiful and empowered birth experience. At that point I found I was expecting again and was passionate about changing the course of this next birth story. So I chose a Doula and switched from an OBGYN to a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). When the time came to bring our second daughter into this world I had changed my mindset, and did what I never thought would be possible. I delivered my second daughter with no medications, while standing, and helped catch her as she was born.
It was a surreal and stark difference from my first birth experience. In the following weeks I would relive those hours thanks to photos taken by our doula and the clarity I had from a calmer more informed birth. In those weeks it became clear that not only was motherhood a role that had called me in my life, but helping others through their trials and tribulations was also where I needed to be.
From being a volunteer leader in our local babywearing community, to helping women through all outcomes of pregnancy with support, compassion, and a nonjudgmental approach, I am committed to helping each and every birth giving person feel supported through every aspect of pregnancy. You have the power, I am simply here to support you on your journey to finding it within yourself.