“Who’s Your Doula?”
A closer look at the women who make up Ann Arbor Doulas. Your glimpse into their worlds…
Meet Jodi Long
Aka: ‘Jo’ to family and friends… sometimes Josephine to mom (no clue why). Lover of animals and passionate about things I hold dear. As a kid I would get the entire neighborhood involved in helping me ‘adopt’ whales from World Wildlife Fund, and went door to door asking for donations. I had visions of one day saving the whales, working as a marine biologist. Although that never quite panned out, I still am obsessed with wildlife and can be found wasting my free time (and extra $) away checking out what the elephants are up to in elephant sanctuaries around the world.
I grew up in a small town outside of Lansing with my parents and 2 siblings. Found I enjoyed traveling (and just leaving home) and so I spent the summer of my 16th year in Central America, learning about life and practicing street drama Honduras and Guatemala.
Becoming a doula
My life as a doula began after the birth of my first daughter (Milah -she’s just recently completed her freshman year at Grand Valley State University!) when I knew in my heart that there had to be a better way…..things just ‘happened’ to me in my labor. I was never given choices…I spent those first days as a single momma wondering why it felt like my body was destroyed and how it could have been different.
Fast forward many years (and many births with friends and clients) and it was time for my second daughter to come earth side. Celeste gave me a run for my money the whole 9 months…but I felt empowered when I welcomed her into the world. I made choices! I had the birth I desired and I was in control. So very different from the first time around…and I knew I was on the right path with my life.
It’s such a blessing to be able to empower other women to take charge of their own health, to recognize that it’s their bodies and their babies and that the healthcare providers that we choose to work with should be team members and not ‘doctors’ who ‘deliver’ their baby. That the healthcare team we choose for our entire lives should be consultants we bounce ideas off and work with to make decisions about how to be as healthy as we can but that we are, ultimately, the directors of our own destiny. We are the captains of our own vessel.
My work as a doula, a nutritional educator and eventually an herbalist has made my life’s work and my mission that much more imperative. I am so blessed to be able to help women get healthy and conceive, have healthy pregnancies and birth and then walk with women in their journey to the wisdom years.
I love what I get to do and look forward to helping as many women as I can in the years ahead.
When I am ready for some down time, you might find me in a yoga class somewhere in Livingston county, kayaking on Winans Lake or taking long walks or working in our ever-expanding gardens at home. When I am not on call I may be off enjoying a glass of wine with my husband or a good hoppy micro-brew because it’s all about balance! I can’t wait for us to meet.