Birth Stories 2020
...because sharing stories is powerful!
Meet the winners of the Birth Story Contest and read their birth stories.
We believe these stories are the beginning of a birth culture change, a culture of solidarity between birthers, a culture of strength and resilience.
If you missed the Birth Sharing Circle, a Zoom event held on October 3rd, 2020, you can watch it now. Such a beautiful and powerful event where some winners of the Birth Story Contest shared their stories.
This week birth story is a poem by Gretchen Huntley called
Ashley Lightfoot from Squamish, BC
Lori Sebastianutti from Stoney Creek, ON
Mercedes Papalia from York, ON
Danielle BoByk from Kingston, ON
Angela Douglas from Summerland, BC
Susan Flanagan from St. John’s, NL
Christine Folan from Chatham, ON
Jenna Kovacic from Richmond Hill, ON
Dana MacDonald from Kingston, ON
Sheena McDonald from Toronto, ON
Julie Meier from Calgary, AB
Kristin Nuttal from Pemberton, BC
Brittany Oliver from Welland, ON
Camille Ramsberger from Keswick, ON
Alison Ryder from Kingston, ON
Sharon Chisvin from Winnipeg, MB
Leah Timmerman from Maberly, ON
Sara Wettlaufer from Petawawa, ON
Sara Wood-Gates from Burlington, ON
by Ashley Lightfoot
Residing in Squamish, BC with her partner, Eric, two kidlets, and a kitty, Ashley became a certified doula after the birth of her first child. She adores helping families create peaceful and joyous transformation. Ashley is a member of the BC Doula Services Association, as well as the Tantalus Wellspring Society, a charity which assists those experiencing barriers in accessing mental wellness therapies.
She can be reached at www.moonbeamdoula.ca
by Lori Sebastianutti
Lori is a writer and teacher from Stoney Creek, Ontario. She is the former managing editor of the Fertility Matters Canada blog and her most recent work appeared in The Hamilton Review of Books.
You can find her on Twitter @sebastianl74 and on Instagram @sebastianlwrites and can read more of her work at lorisebastianutti.com.
by Mercedes Papalia
Mercedes is a multi-disciplinary storyteller through art, design, and creative writing. Her journey began as an acting and vocal student at a young age and she continues to expand and diversify her creative practices. She currently works as an interior stylist, visual artist, and production designer for film and television. Mercedes is a devoted mother, wife, and lover of fresh flowers and authentic Italian food, forever in the pursuit of a beautiful life.
by Susan Flanagan
Susan Flanagan has worked as a freelance journalist (BJ, King’s College, NS, 1991) and columnist in St. John’s, NL for almost 30 years.
Two of her novels will be published in 2021: The Degrees of Barley Lick (Running the Goat Books & Broadsides) and Supermarket Baby, winner 2019 Percy Janes First Novel Award (Flanker Press).
by Leah Timmermann
Leah Timmermann lives in rural Eastern Ontario. She works as a midwife but is currently on leave with her 3-month-old daughter. She and her family live in a tiny house that they built on their family's land. She loves reading, cooking, and anything outdoors.
by Camille Ramsperger
Camille Ramsperger is a 26-year-old single mother to a beautiful baby boy named Theodore. She is a full-time nurse working in the emergency department at her nearest hospital. She meant to write her birth story so as not to forget it, and the Birth Story Contest gave her the motivation to do so.
by Angela Douglas
Angela Douglas has written on and off through the years. Most of her University focus was dedicated to English, Creative Writing,
and Journalism. In her career, she has written copy, web content, brochures, and other trade-related material for various industries. Outside of work, she has recently produced a handful of manuscripts, yet to be published. She is currently a real estate agent and proud mother of two in sunny Summerland, BC.
by Brittany Oliver
Brittany Oliver has been an Ontario midwife for three years and has recently become a new mother! In fact, she is currently on leave with her beautiful baby girl, born on April 14th, 2020. The shift from midwife to mama has been wonderful, eye-opening, challenging and so fulfilling. Creative writing has been a hobby and outlet of hers since childhood. She lives in Welland, Ontario with her husband and daughter, their aussie shepherd, and 13-year-old turtle.
by Christine Folan
Christine Folan is a married mother of two living in Southwestern Ontario. She is a high school English and Drama teacher for the French Catholic School board in her region. An avid reader, she is trying to instill a love of fantasy, adventure and mystery into her children by making them lovers of books and stories.
by Dana MacDonald
Dana has been a registered nurse for 10 years. She is currently working as a surgical nurse at Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
She lives in Kingston, Ontario, and is a proud mom of two kids (Dylan and Zoe) and one dog, named Storm.
by Danielle BoByk
Danielle was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, before moving to Kingston in 2013 to be with her now husband. She has a degree in kinesiology from the University of British Columbia and worked in various positions as a registered kinesiologist before shifting her focus to a career in editing. She is now a freelance editor who works primarily with self-publishing authors as well as the editor for a vintage car club magazine.
by Jenna Kovacic
Jenna is enjoying life with her husband, son and daughter. After her first birth experience, she knew she needed to do something with her newfound passion and so, she became a doula! She is a promoter of self-care, a lover of meditation, simple living, books, any outdoor activity and tries to be as present as possible in her everyday life.
You can reach her on Facebook or Instagram : @over.the.moon.birth
by Julie Meier
Julie was born and raised in Calgary, and now lives on a farm where she can enjoy a view of the Calgary skyline and Rocky Mountains as she writes at her kitchen table. Her work has been published in several online journals and she has been shortlisted for a number of flash fiction story contests. When she is not writing, you might find Julie outside cuddling sheep, or devising new ways to embarrass her teenagers.You can follow Julie at Twitter @Julie_M_Meier
by Kristin Nuttall
Kristin has had the opportunity to attend many births as a doula and biodynamic craniosacral therapist. The more she learned about birth, the greater her reverence became and the greater her passion grew in assisting mothers to have empowered birthing experiences. Kristin’s greatest birthing support mentor is Gloria Lemay from Vancouver, BC. Many women of the Sea-to-Sky corridor had had "Gloria babies". Kristin took the "Wise Woman Way of Birth' and "Birth Takes a Village".
by Alison Ryder
Ali Ryder is a Canadian advisor on policies and programs that help the homeless. She's lived in Kingston, Ontario for 16 years since attending Queen's University. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, ultimate frisbee, and board games. This is her fifth pregnancy and first birth.
by Sara Wettlaufer
Sara and her husband Paul are originally from the Hamilton area. She is an elementary school teacher while he is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Due to his military career, they currently reside in Petawawa, ON with their daughter and two dogs. Prior to this recent move, they spent two years in Brantford, ON, where their daughter, Isla, was born. They are indebted to the Community Midwives of Brantford for their fabulous care during her birth.
by Sheena McDonald
Sheena lives in Toronto with her husband, two-year-old daughter and two cats -- who gets a shout out in her story! Although she is able to fulfill her love of writing on a daily basis as a communications professional in the non-profit sector, she will seize any opportunity to write creatively.
by Sara Wood-Gates
Sara Wood-Gates is a single mother of two children living in Burlington Ontario. She has spent most of her career in various customer service roles from serving in restaurants to planning events to counselling job seekers on their careers. Currently, Sara works as a Pre-Sales Solution Architect for an American company which has allowed her to work from home since 2013. Sara is excited to draw from her wealth of personal stories as she dabbles in writing.
by Sharon Chisvin
Sharon Chisvin is a Winnipeg mother of three adult children and a grateful grandmother of two precious grandsons. She works as a journalist, editor and oral historian, and is the author of the children’s picture book, The Girl Who Cannot Eat Peanut Butter.