“Motherhood has helped me realize that it’s really not about me, and I am OK with that.”
Mom to Matthew, age 31, Joshua, age 30, Daniel, age 28, Josiah, age 26, Benjamin, age 24, Samuel, age 23, Mary, age 21, Jonathan, age 18, Michael 16, Manassas, VA
Nominated by Brittany Schwemley:
“Amy Bookwalter is a doula, mother of nine and grandmother to six babies. She has helped coach hundreds (if not thousands) of women and men through labor and delivery, including myself. She is not only an exceptional mother, grandmother and mother-in-law, but also like a mother to many. Amy gives with her entire heart, is selfless to her core, and can provide advice and guidance that can change the course of your life and how you live it … like she did with my life. I deeply respect, admire and want to be like Amy as I grow and continue to be the best mother I can to my own three children. She helped bring my kids into this world through her encouragement, instruction, hands-on support and prayers.”
Q&A with Amy Bookwalter
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, DONA International certified labor doula, birth doula trainer, approved peanut ball trainer and physical therapist assistant
Three fun facts about you and your family:
1. My husband and I were married exactly six months from the day after we met.
2. One of our family traditions is that a family member sneaks up, when you least expect it, and rubs butter on your nose on your birthday.
3. We have eight sons and one daughter. At one of our son’s wedding, our daughter caught the bouquet. When my usually quiet, mild-mannered husband realized our daughter had caught the bouquet, he yelled at the top of his lungs, “Throw it back!”
What advice would you give to new or expectant moms?
Enjoy the journey! It is such a high calling to be a mom and a true privilege that not every woman gets to experience. Expect it will be hard, but totally worth all the sacrifice that goes with it.
How has motherhood changed your outlook on life? Motherhood has helped me realize that it’s really not about me, and I am OK with that. It has taught me that having children to love, many children to love, does not divide my love for them – it multiplies it.
What’s your superpower?
My superpower is the ability to “fritz out” all things electronic. I seem to have a magnetic “force field” around me and when I come around or just touch computers or other electronics, they suddenly don’t work properly.
What are three things you use every day that you can’t live without?
My reading glasses, my cell phone and my dear husband. I just love to be with him, even after 34 years of marriage. What’s the best thing you are reading right now? “Made for This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth” by Mary Haseltine.
How has motherhood helped you succeed at work? Motherhood is my work. Because I helped so many other moms have their babies, I decided to become certified as a labor doula. I wanted to help supplement our family income after September 11, 2001, when my husband took a catastrophic pay cut due to the attacks. It would take too long to get my physical therapist licenses back, so doula work became a reality for me. Because I had nine children, most new moms figured I could help them deliver their babies. I have attended over 600 hospital births as a labor doula and over 60 home births as a birth assistant to the midwife. Motherhood helped make this possible.