Email: [email protected]
Hi, I'm Donna - I'm a registered nurse and board certified lactation consultant, the only one in the Abilene area, and I've recently opened a private practice to better help moms with breastfeeding. However, I'm more than just a nurse and lactation consultant - I'm a Christian, a wife, a mother of four, a grandmother and a Bible class teacher for 2-year-olds. I love every aspect of my life but the one that is the most fun is when I'm called "Mamaw." There are almost six who call me that. Heidi is 4 and her brother, Jonah, 2. They are having a sibling in October 2011 but we don't know who that is yet! Heidi decided her baby brother or sister should be called Love Bug so that's who we talk about. Alyssa is 2 ½ and her brother, Clark, is 2 months. And then there is Little Miss Madeline who is 18 months. Our house will be busy this Christmas! I always knew I would love being a grandma but I had no idea how much fun it would be!
My husband, John, and I just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. My life with him has never been boring. I grew up as a child of missionary parents who spent 50 years in Japan. I went to Abilene Christian College (Abilene Christian University now) where I met an Englishman whose parents were also missionaries from England to Rhodesia, Africa (now Zimbabwe). Three years later we married and three years after that, after our first son was born we went back to live in Rhodesia where he worked for the government. Unfortunately, right after we arrived, a civil war erupted and we had to travel in armed convoys, had a dusk to dawn curfew and had to be armed whenever we left the house. I learned how to shoot a revolver and frequently carried a British Sten gun. I was a pistol packing mama - a baby on one hip and a gun slung on the other. (My kids really have a hard time believing that!)
There were many happy and sad experiences in the 18 months we lived there, including the death of our friends' six-month-old baby girl who was killed tragically as a result of the war. I was expecting our second child and we left soon after that to come back to Abilene. The next year John joined the USAF and we lived many other places including San Antonio and Minot, North Dakota and truly enjoyed every place we lived. After retiring we moved back to Abilene in 1995 where our two oldest children were attending ACU and I began working at Hendrick Medical Center. I left the hospital in December 2010 and with the encouragement and support of my family and the moms who I was privileged to meet and work with, I began the process of starting my own lactation consultant practice. Not knowing how to begin, I asked a friend to help me and, with her expertise and willingness, we launched this business at the Baby Expo in May. I never thought I'd have my own practice - but oh my goodness how much I have already been blessed by the people I have met on this new journey!
I love babies and children which is why I have devoted both my professional and personal life to the care and nurturing of them. I have been a baby nurse for 38 years and the last nine of those I have also been a lactation consultant. My personal goal in starting this business is to help moms who want to breastfeed be as successful as they want to be. However, sometimes, in spite of my best efforts and for whatever reason, I will not be able to help every mom I meet achieve her goals. In certain situations all the effort given by the mom and by me still may not produce a happy ending with a baby breastfeeding successfully. In these cases, I will not attempt to make a mom continue to breastfeed when she is through trying and I do not believe in making moms feel guilty.
My pledge and promise, however, is to do all I can to give every mom the very best care, attention and respect she deserves and my hope is that when I leave her she will feel valued and validated no matter what the results. Breastfeeding moms are near and dear to my heart, from my two daughters, my daughter-in-law and all the moms I have met over the years. I have always said - and I will continue to say - "I have the absolute best job in the world!"
Heidi and Jonah's baby sister, Clara Louise, was born on October 11. She's beautiful, she looks like her big sister and we are so glad to have her here safe and sound!