Hello and welcome! My name is Shannon McKenzie, and I am the mother of three amazing boys and live in Libertyville, Illinois. I love supporting and educating other moms and dads in their amazing journey to becoming parents. I believe that babies and birth are everyday miracles to be treated with reverence and respect. I also believe that women deserve to feel empowered, informed, and supported through their pregnancies and births so that they are better able to embrace, appreciate, and love their new role as a mother.
I was trained as a Childbirth Educator and Doula through CAPPA (www.cappa.net) by Barbara Harper and Kym Dalton in the fall of 2009, and completed all certification requirements (trainings, readings, positive reviews from nurses, doctors, and doula clients, a written test, etc.). Additionally, I am credentialed by Waterbirth International in waterbirth, and I am a certified "Hypno-doula" through Hypnobabies, trained to support women using hypnosis during birth (hypnobirthing). I founded Joyful Journey Doula in 2009, and have helped over 55 babies into the world, and taught hundreds of childbirth students! I am also a 200 hr Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance and a Certified Meditation teacher through The Open Heart Project (both in 2020).
I am passionate about helping others achieve their ideal births, regardless of location, method used, or provider chosen. I have birth doula experience with a variety of different types of birth: hospital births (namely at Lake Forest, Highland Park, Evanston, Prentice, McHenry-Centegra, Sherman- Elgin, West Suburban, and Good Shepherd Hospitals), homebirths, natural births, planned epidural births, successful VBACs, twins, inductions, unexpected cesearean sections, percipitious labors, long labors, midwife-attended births, and births attended by ob/gyns.
All of my birth experiences were wonderful, blissful, and ecstatic, but quite different from one another. My first son, Killian (Ki), was a long, "natural" (no pain medications or medical interventions) hospital birth with a family practice doctor, using the Bradley method and help from a doula. Breckin was a peaceful, serene home waterbirth, with the assistance of the Hypnobabies program, and a midwife (Debbie Boucher). And my newest baby, Boden (Bodhi) was an exceptionally fast (precipitous), intense home birth, with his big brothers as my doulas!
I am currently pursing my Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration through Bradley University. I have a Bachelor's Degree in English (minors in Sociology and Women's Studies) from Bradley University in Peoria, and a Master's Degree in College Student Personnel Administration (emphasis in counseling psychology) from James Madison University in Virginia. I currently work part-time in higher education. I have also served as a Certified Rape Crisis Counselor and spent many years counseling survivors and educating on sexual assault. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my children and my pets (dogs, cat, and ferrets), meditating, riding horses, practicing yoga, enjoying nature (hiking, biking, camping, etc), working out, listening to music, scrapbooking/crafting, and reading.