Anne praises Ritual Care

“During my first pregnancy, I couldn’t decide on the best way to get ready for labor. I’d read a lot of books, but I felt like my husband and I needed “live” support. My husband especially wanted someone who “just knew what to do” to make the process easier and less stressful, so that we could just focus on our baby. So, we hired Kelly as our doula, to help us prepare for my daughter’s (and, later, my son’s) birth.

Kelly gave me such confidence that I honestly enjoyed my labor! I was concerned about medical interventions but wasn’t fully set on the idea of giving birth totally naturally — a bit of an oxymoron. Kelly helped me to recognize that it all would be okay (which became my mantra) and helped me to balance the medical side to having a baby with the true beauty and joy that every mother should be so lucky to feel. By teaching me how to breathe, how to power through some tough contractions, and how to just relax into my experience, she helped make my daughter’s and son’s birth days the absolute best days of my and my husband’s life.

Since my daughter was born, I have struggled to come up with the right words to truly thank her for all that she did for me and all that she continues to do for me. There are too many words for it. I truly had the most amazing birth experience and so much of that is a testament to Kelly’s support throughout my labor and delivery – as well as throughout every stage of my pregnancy.

Once I got home from the hospital with my baby girl and began my full adjustment into motherhood, I was not fully prepared for how hard it would be to eat the right foods for both myself and my baby — remembering that what I eat goes to her and acknowledging that, with many a sleepless night, the only way to stay energized was by eating properly. Too often, I found myself subsisting on too many granola bars and handfuls of jelly beans!

I invested in additional postpartum sessions to help revamp my diet and adjust to this new crazy life! Kelly and I spoke regularly, and she was instrumental in helping me to get my eating back on track, making sure that I was getting the right nutrients and eating enough for breastfeeding. As much as I knew it to be the case, Kelly helped me realize just how much of a difference a healthy and nutritious diet can make to a new mom!

When our second child was born, life seemed to get especially crazy and a little out of control. While I absolutely adored this tiny little boy, managing toddler and a newborn was FAR more challenging than I ever could have imagined. Trying to find pockets of quiet and peace in our very loud house seemed next to impossible, and trying to staying on top of endless to-do lists had me in a constant state of stress. I had also been elected to the leadership of a local non-profit, and still worked in our family business. My mind was in a constant state of “what other, ‘more important’ item I should be tackling next?!“

Thankfully, my sessions with Kelly helped me take better care of myself again — while raising two little kids, managing our household, working part-time organizing local events, and running a business. During the daily chaos, my self-care is what kept me grounded and helped me design practical, simple and effective ways to take better care of myself while raising my two little ones.

My sessions helped me prioritize my time and be a better mother by not forgetting about myself. My “new” mantra became “do more of what makes you happy.” That principle has helped guide me ever since.

– Anne Ashley, Mama to 3, Business Consultant + Event Coordinator