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 other pregnant people or new parents. Most of what I learned about childbirth came from books, and the outdated class offered by the hospital, which my husband and I skipped half the time.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 giving birth 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 birthing person and their partner before, during and after childbirth. During the birth of my daughter, 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 at the former North Shore Birth Center), and spent the first ten years of parenthood split between being home with my girls and performing as a touring and recording singer-songwriter in the folk/Americana circuit. Over the years, the transformative experience of giving birth continued to impact and empower me in many different areas of life, and eventually set me on a new career path supporting expecting families as a Birth Doula. I trained and certified with Doulas of North America (DONA) in 2017 and began the exciting new chapter of life attending births.
Along with my background in music, I have a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Gordon Conwell Seminary and have worked as a family therapist. I completed a year-long coaching and leadership program through The Coach Training Institute (CTI), and have studied the Enneagram Personality Types in depth through the Enneagram Institute. My latest adventure is that I am currently a student at the Midwives College of Utah studying to become a Certified Professional Midwife. I especially enjoy attending out-of-hospital births in both birth center and home settings and am passionately committed to helping expand access to midwifery care in my community.
If you live in the Boston area 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, solo parents, whatever your family looks like you are welcome here and deserve birth support). I would love to meet you!