We’ve gotta start with the fact that last year you had brain surgery. Tell us about why, and how you are doing since then.
I sure did… it was wild. It’s kind of a long story but I like to refer to it affectionately as my brain hole. I have a congenital defect in my skull base, and my brain was coming out into my inner ear. Apparently it was starting to do that, and then my second pregnancy really gave my brain the push it needed to bust all the way through. People felt sorry for me having to go through the surgery, but I was absolutely miserable for about a year prior to surgery - and surgery made me feel (almost) normal again. I feel SO much better.
You’ve been a nurse practitioner for over a decade, and recently made the move to building a platform and podcast for health education, DabbleCo. What inspired this huge career change?
I kept seeing medical accounts on social media that were focused on one particular problem. That’s wonderful, but it’s so specific. How do you know if you need that page if you don’t even know you have the problem!? I didn’t see any collaborative medical sites, particularly for women, where each day had different information about issues that could affect anyone. So I thought why not bring all these different providers together to reach more people!?
One of your siren songs is fighting junk science. Why is this important work?
Now more than EVER medical professionals are fighting junk science every day in practice. Why? Because anyone can have a voice on social media, and the loudest voices gain the most traction. There are so many movements right now that are just straight up wrong, and those of us with the training and knowledge have got to step up and educate.
If you could make one myth disappear tomorrow, which one would it be?
Vaccines cause autism, or basically any vaccine myth.
You are a mama to two girls. Did you always want to have two children? Do you want more?
I wanted 4, then I had one, thought “3’s probably enough” got a brain hole with the second and now I’m good with two. I would love to foster.
How long did it take you to get pregnant? What did you do to increase your chances of pregnancy?
The first time took me several months. I went ahead and got on prenatal vitamins for sure. I was already in great shape and eating really healthily, so I felt prepared.
What was your favorite part of pregnancy? Least favorite part?
I felt like a cute pregnant lady most of the time, I didn’t hate the body changes. It’s lovely when people want to help you too because they can tell you’re pregnant. Then you’re immediately postpartum when you need the most help and no one knows and they don’t help you anymore. With my second I had CRAZY sacroiliac joint dysfunction and almost couldn’t walk towards the end. That was not cool. Also throwing up every day is not cool.
You are known for your sense of humor. How has this trait carried you through motherhood?
My kids probably don’t think I’m funny because I’m definitely the disciplinarian…
But the other day I had my kid’s poop all over my pants and my husband would have had an actual stroke. I made a TikTok.
Last question: what advice do you have for other aspiring mamas?
I have seen so many people getting all kinds of worked up from info they find on the internet. Listen, good info is hard to find. Additionally, a good community is hard to find. So when you find something like Natalist, STAY THERE! Stay out of Facebook groups. Stay out of communities spreading information not from professionals. Even though it may seem helpful, those communities can be super toxic.