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In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.
What is your name?
What do you always find yourself saying?
What day is it? (As a birth worker, it is easy to lose track of days and times).
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Rhiannon, my inspiration for my artistry, and I hope to be like her one day when I grow up.
If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?
I strive each and every day to run my business with integrity and passionate commitment. One future day I hope to be known for my service to families in Kelowna.
If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?
Susan B. Anthony. Because of her courage and dedication to improving the lives of women.
Who inspires you?
My wife and my incredible daughter.
What are three things on your bucket list?
There are so many! I will try to add just three.
1. Travel again to the two cities my wife and I adore (San Fran and LA).
2. Finish recording my album.
3. Contribute to the formation of a holistic birthing centre for pregnant people and their partners: midwives, doula, OBs, counsellors, and support people. Oh, and a birthing centre. All in the same place.
If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?
If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?
My very next holiday together with my family. I am so lucky to have the family I do. Our holidays are spent with fun and always humour. We laugh a lot.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my work. I thrive on making a difference in the lives of families who I have the honour to work with. It is so amazing to me to watch the transformation into parenting when women are guided gently, supported with education and unwavering emotional dedication. The changes that occur, the birth of a new person into the lives of women is an extraordinary event. Having the opportunity to work in the homes of these families, in the community circles of moms, and in the birth room while that baby is coming to greet his or her parents is like no other gift. It is life-changing. It is a memory that holds strong forever. My job is sometimes challenging, sometimes hard work, but I am always grateful for each path I cross. So lucky to be living my dream.
What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?
My wedding day. There are simply no words to describe how perfect and beautiful this day was. We were surrounded by love and family and music. I will hold the memory of that day close to my heart every single day.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
The birth of my daughter. She and I had some things to contend with to get her here, earth side. She was perfect, I became a forever changed woman, and I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have her in my life as she grows into a beautiful young girl. She constantly reminds me how humbling it is to parent, and what an honour it is to hold this place in her life.
Where is your favourite place to dine in Kelowna? What do you like about it?
Lake Tai. Because the owner is the best and her vegetarian cuisine is outstanding!
What is your favourite activity or event in Kelowna? Why?
Besides being with babies, it has to be hanging out in my yard. I know there is so much beauty in Kelowna; I am able to soak up the sun, dig in my garden and enjoy the beautiful climate
What is the name of your business/organization?
Birth Journey Doula Care
What does your business/organization do?
I am a birth doula. I support pregnant women and their families. I do this through prenatal education, birth doula support, postpartum support and new moms groups - where we share birth stories and heal and celebrate.
Where can people find you or your business online?
Where can people find your business on Facebook?
Birth Journey Doula Kathleen
What is your Twitter account?
How do people connect with you on Linkedin?
What is your mission?
To educate, inspire and encourage personal agency.
If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?
To provide education for all families, committed support to every woman birthing with an understanding of all option and choices. Empowered birth and new family transitions.
Where do you want your business/organization to be in five years?
I would like to be a place where new families know they can find care, support, knowledge, professional and knowledgeable commitment through all parts of their pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Who do you consider to be a forerunner within your field?
All the brilliant midwives with such ancient knowledge and understanding of the importance of nurturing women during this tender time in their lives.
What three qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?
I think my business is unique in that the care provided to the community of new parents and soon-to-be parents. We live in a culture of hard work, and it is important for me to help new mothers understand that it's crucial to slow down. It is important to acknowledge the incredible changes during pregnancy through birth to postpartum time. It is tender. And, it needs to be supported through education, which we focus on a lot. We do this so that every woman understands that her birth is her own, no matter how she chooses it to unfold. Then, we offer unwavering and dedicated support through the birthing process. And finally, the postpartum time, where women really need support, need a place to talk, share the biggest life changing moment for them and find community with other women who know what all of that means. Birth Journey Doula Care offers more than just doula care, it offers holistic support and community.
What would you like to say to your employees/volunteers?
We would not be where we are without you. For all the back-up doulas, waiting on-call, all the guest speakers, poster hanging folks. Thank you. From the bottom on my heart.
How does your business/organization impact the community?
Birth Journey Doula Care brings community together. It brings families together as Kelowna is an ever-growing city with opportunities and babies! We reach out and ensure our families are not left alone, and are plugged in to any resource available to them.
If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them to be experts in? What would say to them/talk about?
They would be experts in social justice and gender equality. How can we support our community to ensure we are caring for our land, we are listening to the needs of first nations, and we are removing socio-economic barriers.
If I could change one thing about Kelowna, it would be:
Tough question. I'm here because I love Kelowna. If I had to pick one thing I would have to say more summer, less winter.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Coming from Vancouver, I so appreciate the beauty of the still lakes here. But most of all, I love the community in Kelowna. There is so much going on, so many amazing opportunities, and in a way that community-oriented that larger cities are unable to harness. I love the heritage buildings, the indigenous history and culture. I love downtown. And most of all, I love the passionate people who I have met while living here, people making a difference every day.
My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Ann Marie McKinnon: My Women's Studies mentor and inspiration. She lit a fire in me and encouraged my interest improving the lives of women. She is the reason we have Women's Studies at Okanagan College and she is a force to be reckoned with.
Some general comments I would like to share are:
I spend a great time of my life as a singer and music teacher. I still do this, I still love to bring singers together in community and improvise. To me there is nothing quite as wonderful as watching people go out on a limb, challenge themselves, improvise and create something they didn't know they could create. I think this whole part of me is what brought me to birth work. I was always passionate about women's issues, I was honoured with the Gert Beadle award a couple of years ago and wow, that was humbling (and incredible). All the things that excite me about singing with others is exactly like what my work is: It is a witnessing of transformation in women (and partners too). It's about seeing that power within each woman being harnessed as she births her baby. As my life has unfolded, as I have taught over the years and completed formal education, it has always resonated with me that I want to help women feel empowered and have agency when they might feel most vulnerable. I want them to know how strong they can be, offer support and a listening ear, knowledge and resources so they can be champions of their own experience. I love to meet new families, am honoured to be invited into new lives and am fiercely dedicated to doing all I can to ensure the experience is one that is always remembered fondly.
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below, and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna!