Rollyn Bornhorst, CD(DONA)
My passion for childbirth caught me by surprise.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2005, I didn’t know many pregnant women or new moms. Most of what I learned about childbirth came from books, and the outdated class offered by the hospital, which my husband and I skipped half the time. We both viewed childbirth as something we had to endure so that we could have our baby. While I expected that my life would change forever because of this new baby, I was completely unaware of how the experience of childbirth would also change me in the most transformative way. My daughter’s birth pushed me beyond the limits of anything I had ever experienced physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was amazed by the deep strength inside of me that could birth a child. I was forever changed.
I did not have the support of a doula during my daughter’s birth, in fact I had never even heard of a doula. The word “doula” is a Greek word meaning ‘woman servant or caregiver,’ but more recently it refers to someone who offers emotional, physical and spiritual support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth. During this birth I was fortunate to have Nurse Lesley at my side who functioned as both nurse and doula. I reflected in my journal after the birth that “she was energetic, positive and very encouraging. She and Mike (my husband) worked really well together as a team to coach me through each contraction. My labor became difficult and very painful at times, but because of the support surrounding me I was never afraid." Nurse Lesley’s doula-like presence was crucial to my ability to give birth to my daughter in a way that my husband and I could both look back on and be proud of.
I have since given birth to two more daughters (both water births), and spent my first ten years as a parent home with my girls and performing as a singer-songwriter. Over the years, the transformative experience of my first daughter’s birth has continued to impact and empower me in many different areas of life. It is this experience that set me on a path to support expecting families as a Birth Doula and training with Doulas of North America (DONA) in 2016. I have a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Gordon Conwell Seminary, training in Life Coaching and Leadership through The Coach Training Institute, extensive study of the Enneagram Personality Types through the Enneagram Institute, and an insatiable passion for all things birth-related. I have trained with Birthing Gently in Childbirth Education and Birth Doula Support for my certification with DONA. I am officially certified through DONA as of July, 2017. I have worked as a volunteer doula with Birthing Gently in Boston, and currently work on the volunteer doula team for the Connecting Young Moms program at Beverly Hospital.
If you live on the North Shore of Boston and are interested in working with a doula during your pregnancy and birth, please be in touch. I joyfully support all types of families (LGBTQ+ families, single parent families, whatever your family looks like you are welcome here and deserve birth support). I would love to meet you!