As a mother of twelve, I’ve had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom for most of my married life. A few years ago, I began teaching childbirth classes in my Dallas area home, which naturally led to supporting local couples in labor and birth.
Since 2009, I have supported over 120 families as a childbirth educator and doula, and have attended over 90 births.
– Olivia Welkener
CERTIFIED DOULA (DONA) & CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR
My Birth Stories (in a nutshell)
My husband and I took a Bradley class when we were expecting our first child. I had a strong desire to have a natural birth, and I was able to do so with eight of our twelve children. During four of my twelve births, I used pain relief options, including, of course, my Cesarean section. My fourth baby was born by c-section and I am grateful for the medical care that allowed my daughter to arrive safe and well! Our eight children following were born via vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC).
Because of my own birth experiences, I feel a great deal of empathy for the laboring woman.
In addition, my training and experience as a doula enable me to be a reassuring presence and a guide on your unique birth journey. While all of my babies were born in a hospital setting, I can prepare you for your birth, whether you choose to birth in a hospital, birth center, or your home. (back to top)
Training and Experience
Certified Birth Doula – DONA International (2012 to present)
Certified Breastfeeding Educator – Texas Dept. of State Health Services
DONA-trained in use of the TENS during labor
American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth (The Bradley Method) (2009-2012)
Founding member of Natural Beginnings Doulas
Meet My Family
The Welkener Family, September 2015
I met my husband, Kent, at Fellowship Church while I was attending Texas A&M University in College Station. We married in 1988 and together we welcomed twelve children… six sons and six daughters. In recent years, we have welcomed a son-in-law, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.
Celebrating the marriage of our son and newest daughter-in-law, January 2018
My four grandchildren! October 2018
We enjoy playing games, family dinners, and meaningful conversations…
Some of my kids are distance runners, and others play soccer or Ultimate Frisbee. We enjoy listening to Christian worship music, pop, Disney favorites, and whatever the kids are playing on the piano, guitar, or violin. We have a family of readers, enjoying authors varying from Laura Ingalls Wilder to C.S. Lewis to J.R.R. Tolkien to J.K. Rowling. I have long-loved the book, Honey for a Child’s Heart – the Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life, by Gladys Hunt.
Our oldest six children are spread out across the state, the nation, and the globe – from Denton, to College Station, to Oklahoma, to Washington, DC, to Abu Dhabi. Our youngest six are at home – two at UT Dallas, three in public high school, and the youngest schooling at home until she enters high school.
Kent and I are more deeply in love today than we were 30 years ago, but we are definitely a work in progress!
Lest we sound like the “picture-perfect family,” I must add that we play and fight like any family! God has used our relationships to show us how much we need His continual work in our hearts. Our marriage has benefited from tools like the Re|Engage Marriage Ministry and professional counseling. We would not be where we are today apart from committed friendships, timeless principles from the Bible, and most importantly, the grace of God.
My kids and grandkids live too far away for this mother’s heart, but I am grateful to stay in touch through the wonders of modern technology. There is no substitute for being together though, and we all treasure our family gatherings, especially as a new generation is born.
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Beyond Birth Work
My husband, Kent, and I have been members of Grace Church in Allen, Texas since 1994. Together, we help lead the Re|Engage Marriage Ministry at Grace. Through the First Fridays Ministry to Mothers of Preschoolers, I have had the opportunity to speak and encourage mothers during this important time.
Kent and I share a desire to help strengthen marriages and families because we have experienced first-hand the challenges, and the beauty, of God’s design for relationships.
I love communication in all of its forms – reading, writing, speaking, having coffee with a friend!
I value authentic faith and community. I exercise only because I have to, and only if a friend or one of my kids will join me. My running buddies and I have been on the 9-week Couch-Potato-to-5K running plan for the past 9 years! I have jogged in a few 5Ks, but mostly, I enjoy my early morning runs as an opportunity to stay in shape and keep up with dear friends.