I am Dana Patterson, daughter of the King, wife of one wonderful man, and raising 7 precious blessings for the glory of the Lord. I call the Upstate area of South Carolina home and serve families in all birth settings: hospital, birth center, and home.
My personal birth experiences span a range of issues, so I like to think that the Lord has brought me through a lot so I can reach out to help others. I have had 9 pregnancies and 8 third trimester births (my 7th pregnancy ended in a first trimester miscarriage). My third child was born via an emergency cesarean (j-incision) at 36 weeks. I was told I could never vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean), so my next two babies were born via a scheduled cesarean. Baby number six didn’t want to wait for his scheduled cesarean, and arrived via an unplanned homebirth. Baby number seven was a planned homebirth, and baby number eight was a hospital induction, but I was able to birth without pain medication (my 3VBA3C).
During my first few pregnancies, I didn’t know much about pregnancy, labor, or delivery. I went to a birth class with my first pregnancy and read What to Expect When You are Expecting, and I thought that was all I needed. When I was pregnant with my fifth baby, I started learning everything I could about pregnancy and birth in the hopes that I would VBAC. I ended up having that baby by cesarean (my last c-section), but I fell in love with the amazing way that our bodies work. After my amazing VBA3C with baby number six, I was hooked on natural birth and continued to grow in knowledge and understanding.
With my expansive personal experience with birth, I greatly desired to help other families during their special time of pregnancy, labor, and birth. I felt that my birth experiences helped me to depend on the Lord and to deepen my walk with Him, and I wanted to minister to other couples to encourage them in the Lord, during their pregnancy and birth. After being involved in the local birth community for a number of years, I finally decided to become a doula after a friend planted the idea in my mind. It has been a great blessing to walk with families as they welcome their baby into the world. It is such an honor to be welcomed into the lives of the families I serve and each and every birth has touched me in a special way.
In addition to “happy birth”, I have a heart for ministering to parents who experience a loss. My second child was a 37 week stillbirth. Losing a precious baby is the hardest experience of my life, but the Lord was my strength through it all. Since Grant’s birth, the Lord has allowed me to walk beside countless families during their darkest moments of loss. I once again felt the pang of loss in 2011 when we lost a precious baby to a first trimester miscarriage. I believe that every life has value and the lives of all babies matter. In 2014, I became a certified Birth and Bereavement Doula through Stillbirthday. The training equipped me to better assist families through various situations including miscarriage, stillbirth, and poor/fatal prenatal diagnosis, as well as those who are expecting a Rainbow Baby (baby after a loss). In addition to serving families with my training, I have also served SBD doula students as a Student Lead to encourage them as they train to minister to families.
Additional roles, interests, and certifications:
HUG Your Baby I Certified
Chapter Leader for ICAN of Upstate SC
Committee Member of the SC Chapter of NACPM
Planning Committee Member for 2016 ICAN Conference
Served as Student Lead of Stillbirthday Doula Training
Member of the BirthNetwork/Upstate BirthNetwork
Member of Professional Upstate Doulas
Board Member of SCHEA (2015-2016)
Member of Greenville for Life