Who I am:
- A mom in Oregon, at home with my three kids. My eldest is an adult and nonbinary. My middle child is starting middle school this fall (2016) and has a rare chromosomal issue, 4q deletion syndrome. For more information on 4q deletions, please see our yahoo group, Facebook group, or this paper from Unique. My youngest is four and currently genderfluid. I live with my husband, near my family, and in one of the most progressive places in the US. Our extended family is our mainstay and our lifeline. I spent more than twelve years of my life breastfeeding.
- A writer. I have written a number of published nonfiction articles about midwifery and parenting, as well as a number of fanfiction stories and novels. I am currently working on an original work of science fiction. Some of my works include:
- An LGBTQA activist and strong voice for social justice issues.
- Neurodivergent, genderqueer and bisexual.
- One of the cofounders of Nine In, Nine Out (NINO), a nonprofit organization dedicated to babywearing advocacy and education. I was also on the board of directors. NINO is now defunct. The current organization to promote babywearing is Babywearing International.
- An inventor of the gathered shoulder ring sling. Jamie of Sling Me Mommy also came up with the same design and construction method independently around the same time I did. We were unaware of each other’s work until several years later.
- The designer of the MamaBaby sling system, the Mama Tie, and the Upsidaisy wrap mei tai hybrid.
- Previously a consultant for a large number of babywearing companies. I have also helped with many educational products, and was involved with thebabywearer.com in its earliest days. I also contributed a page to Maria Blois’ book, Babywearing. I am not currently active in the babywearing community, but did, before I stopped being active, become a Master Babywearing Educator through BWI.
- The coordinator for the 2006 First International Babywearing Conference in Portland, Oregon.
- One of the primary editors of the Wikipedia Babywearing and Slings pages. My involvement with the pages is intermittent.
- A babywearing expert. I was first known in the babywearing community because I wrote a series of articles and reviews on babywearing products, including instructions for making basic slings and carriers. Since that time, the babywearing universe has changed, and I have not had time to update my sling pages. HOWEVER… better information is widely available online. This is a list of “jumping off points” and is not intended to be comprehensive. Here are my recommendations:
- For general babywearing information, comprehensive reviews, articles, and a fantastic online community: The Babywearer
- For comprehensive and excellent sewing instructions for a wide range of baby carriers: Jan Andrea’s Babywearing Crafts Page
- For product reviews, a blog I sometimes do joint reviews on for new products: The Babywearing Blog . The mama who organized The Babywearing Blog lives in my town and runs our local babywearing group.
I am living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism and several other medical conditions that affect my life day-to-day, as well as parenting a special-needs child.
In the past:
- I have worked as a graphic designer/editor for Midwifery Today magazine.
- I was certified as a childbirth educator through ICEA, as a doula through DONA and as nursing assistant through the state of Oregon.
- I was a young, single, welfare mama to my oldest daughter.
- I was a working single mom for many years.
- I provided breastfeeding and early parenting support to dozens of families.
- I did 3-d design work in Second Life