About Tara Lussier, Birth Doula in Northern Virginia

We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong. –Laura Stavoe Harm

Hi! My name is Tara, thank you for visiting my website and learning more about what services I offer. I am a mother to four little loves, a wife to the greteast "doula dad" on the planet, a birth doula, as well as a  birth enthusiast and teacher in the Northern Virginia area. As of July 2015, I have supported almost 200 families on their own journey to birth and each one has stayed with me in their own special way. The births I attend and the families I serve are my greatest teachers. I am incredibly humbled and honored that you are on my site and are considering inviting me into this magical upcoming birth and parenthood journey.

I started Begin Within Birth to combine my loves of everything about birth, bellies, babies, and the childbearing years. I gave birth to my twins in August of 2009, and they became the best part of me. It wasn't until I became a mother myself that I comprehended how much love my heart could hold. I needed a lot of support with the pregnancy, birth and postpartum/nursing time with my twins, and am forever grateful to those that helped me during this most important time. When we became pregnant again, I looked forward to a VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean. In February of 2012, I gave birth at home, and achieved that dream. I then went on to have another home birth VBAC (HBAC), in September of 2014. We are blessed to have four beautiful chidren and words can't express how grateful I am for them every day.

I feel that as a birthing woman I have had a wide range of birth experiences to draw from... From my first birth, a cesarean at 36 weeks due to preeclampsia, to a long and arduous vaginal birth, and finally to a short and blissful birth. I am passionate about meeting you wherever you are on your birth and motherhood journey. Please feel free to look around my website and call or email with any questions.

Degrees/Certifications

  • East Carolina University; Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science,  Spring 2004
  • Registered Yoga Teacher, Shambhava School of Yoga, Spring 2006
  • Certified Birth Doula, toLabor, workshops taken Spring 2007 and Spring 2008
  • Certified Holistic Health Coach, Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Summer 2008
  • Columbia University, Certificate in Integrative Nutrition, Summer 2008
  • Neonatal Resucitation Certified, by Karen Strange, Spring 2011
  • Former Co-Director, Birth Matters Virginia, Northern Virginia Chapter
  • Co-founder and former leader, Holisitc Moms Network, Loudoun Chapter
  • Member, ICEA
  • Co-founder, Just Birth, Fall 2013
  • Co-founder, Loudoun Birth Circle, 2015

 A Journey Into Birth

My own journey into birth ironically began long before I ever gave birth myself. After college I spent years traveling and at one point was living in Eugene, Oregon, a vibrant birth community. I befriended a very special woman there that was a doula. She told me stories of births she attended and it sparked an interest in me that has ultimately led to my most sincere passion. Sadly, my friend passed away in a plane crash on New Years Day, 2007. That Spring, I took my first doula training in her honor. I wanted to explore and learn more about the seed that she had planted within me. The toLabor (formerly ALACE) doula training was so eye opening and life changing that I went home and told my boyfriend (now my husband) that we had to make a baby right away! I didn’t care about a big wedding, I just wanted to be a mommy as soon as possible! I had truly fallen in love with birth and everything it encompassed. I couldn't learn enough. I read books, watched documentaries, talked to people about their births, started attending births and dreamed of my own future births. I was lucky in my early birth experiences that the first three births I attended were in a birth center, hospital and home birth settings.

I have been blessed and changed by each and every birth I've been to. Each family is unique and has taught me a new lesson that I carry with me to the next. I feel it is an honor to be a part of every birth experience and my greatest joy is when a mama thanks me for helping create her birth wishes come true. I miss my friend Stephanie but know that she is with me with every family I support. She was planning on becoming an international doctor, delivering babies abroad…I hope to follow in her footsteps again and do the same. 

 

My husband and I were married in 2008 and quickly became pregnant, but that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 13 weeks. As hard as the miscarriage was, I feel it has given me the experience to support another woman through her own loss. In August of 2009, we were blessed with twins, a boy and a girl, Lyon and Poet. Although they were born by cesarean section, I felt like an active participant in my birth experience. They were born at The Birthing Inn at Inova Loudoun Hospital, and I had a great experience, despite the surgical birth. It has taken me time to mourn the fact that I didn’t have my babies vaginally; but I can find it in myself now to feel gratitude for having had the experience. Having had a c/section myself enables me to help others, that much more, especially those that are looking to avoid a surgical birth, or, if they do have one, to support them in coming to terms with it. I feel fortunate  that my birth experiences were starkly different, and I have come full circle, not only for myself and my family, but for my work with pregnant women as well. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture of my first two babies, Lyon and Poet, at 2 years old....a rare pic when they are both looking at the camera! They are currently five, time surely does fly!