Meet Labor Doula in Denver, Colorado, Lauren Hasz!
Doulas of Denver could not be more excited to have Lauren Hasz on our team. We will spare you the gushy details our own love story with her, but go ahead and read this interview with her and try not to fall in love with this amazing, kind woman! Introducing, Lauren Hasz, birth doula.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a family of four sisters in Texas. My parents owned several acres that backed up to a creek. I was a tomboy through and through. Climbing trees. Racing the neighborhood boys. Riding bikes. Building forts. Spending hot summer afternoons in the pool and cooler evenings playing hide-and-seek in the dark woods. Honestly, childhood was idyllic and an experience that I would like to duplicate in many ways for my daughter.
What is your favorite part about living in Denver, Colorado?
Growing up near the Gulf in Texas, I hated the humid climate and beastly heat. Colorado provides gorgeous scenery, hiking opportunities in my backyard, smaller roaches, and fewer mosquitoes. The outdoors beckons me, and I relish the all-season opportunities to enjoy running trails, mountains, parks, and open spaces. I also love the eclectic, farm-to-table food scene and fabulous farmer’s markets! Yum!
What is your favorite part about being a doula?
The moment that the baby is placed on the mama’s chest, the partner lets out a sigh of relief, and everyone in the room is “high” on the euphoria of sweet new life. I love supporting a couple through early, active, and transitional labor, creating a safe space for them to labor as they want. However, there is nothing better than the moment when most of the work is over and a baby gazes into its mother’s face for the first time.
Why are you a professional labor doula?
My motherhood journey has neither been the “happily-ever-after” version nor the “1+1=3” kind. Years of infertility and several miscarriages mar the road that eventually led my husband and I to conception through IVF. However, despite a high-risk pregnancy, I was able to experience the un-medicated, natural birth experience that I craved with the help of my doula. After (wrongly) feeling that my body was a failure, birth gave me a glimpse of beauty and a foretaste of healing.
What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time when you are not attending births?
What a challenging question! I love a myriad of so many different types of activities. Going on adventures with my little girl. Cooking (especially without a recipe). Running outside. Reading. Hiking 14ers with my husband. Playing board games late into the night with friends. Trying out new local restaurants. However, if I had to narrow my list to just one thing, then I would have to say that my favorite way to spend a morning or afternoon is sitting in a coffee shop, enjoying the ambiance, with a good friend. My favorite drink is an Americano, slightly sweetened, with two inches of steamed soy/almond/coconut milk on top. What can I say? I’ve had years to perfect the concoction
What is your favorite food?
If I’m being perfectly honest, then I must admit that I crave ice cream. European gelato. Tart frozen yogurt. Just about anything that passes as an “A La Mode” topping makes my tummy very, very happy. A close second favorite food is cereal. Morning, afternoon, and (especially) when cuddled in bed late at night I love to eat cereal out of a teacup in a mix of local milk and almond/coconut milk. I prefer healthy cereal and granola varieties, but occasionally splurge on a sugary version from my childhood.
What foods do you not like that seem odd to others?
Despite most people’s love relationship with these treats, I do not like cheesecake or most desserts such as traditional cakes and cookies. Ice cream and dark chocolate are definitely my vices, but I justify them by disliking most other sweets. I also do not like fried foods (legitimately Do. Not. Like.) or anything greasy. Though I grew up in the South, I’m not a southern-comfort-food girl. Give me a fresh Colorado salad with goat cheese any day!
Who has inspired you in your life?
My grandfather Dr. William Schindler has always inspired me. Although he passed away in April 2013 after valiantly fighting relapsed cancer, his deep belly laugh, enjoyment of bacon (despite being Jewish), and words will never leave me. He was known to say, “Love your job so much that you would do it for free.” He made reaching for the stars seem possible.
Although he was one of the world’s top three reproductive endocrinologists and generous to a fault with his finances, everyone in the family knew that he loved a good deal. He would go to several grocery stores when shopping just to use his coupons. He was so humble that most people never knew his reputation in medicine. Bluegrass music festivals were some of his favorite events, and I helped him make his poker table for his weekly card games. He loved life up until the moment he died.
Where is one place you would like to visit in the world?
I would like to spend a summer traveling in the vineyards of Tuscany and along the coast of the Mediterranean. Although I’ve been to Europe several times, most of my time was spent involved in humanitarian outreaches. One day, I would love to go to just soak up the sun, drink wine, eat gelato, and take it easy. Now that I’m a mom, it will probably be a while before this daydream becomes a reality.
What is one of your favorite books?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is one of my all-time favorites. The story is a retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer, but takes a completely new perspective on the tale. Recasting the characters in the Old West, Francine Rivers spins a beautiful story of second chances, heartbreak, forgiveness, and hope. It’s not a “warm and fuzzy” book, but one that has helped my heart heal after painful life experiences of my own.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Ever since I was a little girl and saw the 1981 film “Chariots of Fire” that recounts the life story of Olympic runner Eric Liddell, I have loved Eric’s response to a reporter’s question regarding why the Liddell competed. These words have inspired me to do what I love despite the cost, struggle, and/or ridicule throughout my life: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” When I choose to commit to something, I do so passionately. I love the idea encapsulated in Eric’s quote that our callings should not just be jobs, but should also be what bring us pleasure. I have found that combination in my role as a birth doula. A calling. A job. A passion. A life-love.