Jen AvisCo-Owner: ”Hello Baby!” – Doula, Educator – Community Advocate
I struggle to write about myself – it always feels like I am painting such an incomplete picture!
So, since this project is all about amazing and inspirational women (pretty wild to think I have been included on the list) I thought I would think about the people and events that I think have been the most influential in my life to date.
My mother is definitely up there on the list of people who influenced the person I have become.
Like all mothers and daughters, we have had our frustrations and fair share of eye rolling but, my mother is a pretty bad-ass woman!
This woman NEVER backs down from a challenge. If something is broken, she learns to fix it. If something is hard, she digs in and gets it done. If she is unhappy in her situation, she takes a deep breath and jumps into the next adventure. When one of her kids was sick, you know she was right there with belly rubs and warm cocoa at 3am
in the friggin’ morning. My mother has never told me I can’t do something, and has shown me so many different ways to be a woman.
University was a game changer for me.
I had the incredible good luck to connect with some Professors (Professor Jennine Hurl-Eamon comes first to mind) who were willing to invest their time in me and who made space for me to find my academic voice which ultimately led to me putting down some of my first feminist roots and, eventually, led me towards the work I do now as a doula and educator.
I didn’t know that all the months and years I spent studying the medicalization and regulation of hospitals and women’s bodies would lead me to a career as a birthworker and community advocate!
Giving birth and, subsequently, struggling through some very dark times under the cloud of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. I don’t know too many people who would say that giving birth did not have a deep impact on them as a person. In my case, thankfully, birth was an incredibly empowering and almost supernatural event in my life which put the following year (or more) in sharp contrast.
It was my experience with birth, depression, and anxiety that were the tipping point for me career wise. I finished my work as an administrative assistant and trained as a postpartum doula.
This was empowering, healing, and one of the hardest things I think I have ever done. (Shout out to my amazing partner, Jon, who has continued to make space for me to do this work and run my own business. He’s a pretty great partner and an amazing father to our daughter, Wrenna.)
Currently, I am working with my incredible partner Steph as a doula, educator, shopkeeper, and community advocate with Hello, Baby!
I have an incredible partner, Jon, and a daughter, Wrenna, who is possibly part unicorn.
I love gardening, the moon, herbal medicine, my family.