Hello! My name is Abby Williams. I grew in San Diego California, but as the daughter of a Navy SEAL we moved quite frequently. I graduated high school in Germany and decided to go to Wisconsin for college where I first studied agricultural education (pretty random, I know). While I was there I did my time as a waitress and I also milked cows! My sophomore year I met my now husband when I was visiting my parents back in San Diego, he was serving on a submarine in the Navy. About a year and a half later, we got married and lived in San Diego for a year. When my husband got out of the Navy we moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey in October 2016 for his new job. I am now finishing my degree at Rowan University with a Bachelors of Arts, specializing in drawing and art history.
I started my journey as a doula in January 2016 when I read Peggy Baker’s “Baby Catcher”. Peggy Baker was a midwife in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s in the San Francisco Bay area. Her storytelling and love for what she did and who she worked with inspired me to pursue working with pregnant women. I remember researching postpartum doulas (my mother was interested in becoming one when I was in high school, that’s the first and only time I had heard of doulas before my workshop) and reading for the first time the definition of a birth doula. Something clicked! Once I read more birth stories and books, attended my DONA workshop, and witnessed my first birth, I felt so incredibly empowered as a woman. The strength to endure and emerge a mother is inspirational. I felt connected to the profession on a deep level; I was and forever will be in awe of every woman who gives birth, no matter what kind of birth that may be.
In January 2017 Jessica asked me to be apart of Two Hands Birth Services! Jessica gave me the wonderful opportunity to be an independent doula through THBS but also be my doula guide and mentor. I am also apart of PALS (Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support) where women are paired with birth doulas. In April 2017 I will be starting my certification towards becoming a postpartum doula. Labor and postpartum, or the 4th trimester, are so intertwined, I wanted to learn as much about the entire process as I could to better help and prepare my clients.
Being asked to work with a family before, during, and after labor is an amazing honor. I hope that as a doula I can help the mother and family achieve the beautiful birth envisioned, and also work through difficult situations that may arise. I leave with one of my favorite quotes, “There is a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful but that women are strong”.