A Bit About Me
My husband, Jesse, and I currently live in Richardson with our four (living) children. I am a homeschool mom who is active in our church, Prestoncrest Church of Christ. I became passionate about natural birth after my first birth, an induction with no epidural. After two back surgeries, I was thrust into the natural birth community learning the day my son was born that I wouldn’t be able to have an epidural. I knew the experience I had could have been better, and that’s where my passion for birth began.
My second child was born at home with a doula and midwife. God was slowly placing the desire to do birth work on my heart. When we found out we were pregnant with our third child, Jaycee, we planned another home birth. After our routine anatomy scan we learned Jaycee had anencephaly and would not live long last birth. We chose to carry her as long as we could, and at 33 weeks had a C-section. Her birth taught me so much and God used it to shape me into the mom/wife/doula I am today. My doula played a huge role and I knew I wanted to do that for other families walking that road.
In 2017 I got certified as a birth and bereavement doula. I currently work with Labor of Hope as the Director of Outreach and Administration. I have been a doula for over 20 families and have since had two VBACs of my own. I truly love what I do, and I am passionate about education surrounding birth so families can be empowered to make the decision that is best for their family.
What people are saying...
Our experience with Riley Chestnut was phenomenal! As first time parents, we didn't know what to expect in labor. Especially having a high risk pregnancy. It was then when we realized, we needed the support of a doula. Riley was recommended to us by our birthing class. She guided us with my birth preferences, and towards the end of my labor, it lead to an emergency c-section due to my health condition. Still, she guided me to continue going as natural as possible. She stuck with us and made sure that the outcome was for me and baby to be healthy, and for dad to understand everything from beginning to end. She made sure dad was part of the whole birthing experience.
It's now been 2 weeks and she's still available with answers to our questions and great advice! If/when we decide on baby #2, we will for sure have her as a doula once again! She was great from start to never ending!
I was navigating my first pregnancy and knew that I wanted to pursue a natural/unmedicated birth, but knew that I would need support to be able to make that happen. I connected with Ryley through a mutual friend and felt completely at ease from our first (almost 2 hour long) phone call. Ryley was incredibly sensitive to my situation, both in my pregnancy and regarding my anxiety around pregnancy/birth. As my pregnancy progressed, Ryley quickly became a trusted friend who was always available to answer questions, ease my concerns, or help me talk through possible birth scenarios. When it came time to deliver, Ryley was my only support person in the room. She was gentle but firm in her approach, which was exactly what I needed. She knew when to push me to change positions and when to let my body do what it needed to do. She was incredibly in tune with my needs during those intense hours. Ryley remained calm, even when things started to get concerning. She was right by my side, directing me and giving me only the information that I needed. It was so helpful to know that I could trust her to filter everything that the doctors and nurses were saying, as things got slightly chaotic and people were talking around me. She advocated for me and my daughter throughout the process and, when the doctor asked who was cutting the cord, Ryley was the obvious choice! I'm not sure how I could have navigated pregnancy and birth without her, and am forever grateful for the role she had in bringing my daughter into the world!
Ryley was the perfect match for me for my pregnancy. She is extremely attentive, responsive and knowledgeable. I felt she truly cared about me as an individual and my hopes and worries-- and did not come with any judgment. She was always available and helped to prepare and educate me on all kinds of things . no question was off limits . During labor she helped created a great environment in our hospital room where I felt very supported and comfortable . Ryley was a wonderful doula and now is someone I consider a strong and faithful friend.
From prodromal labor to induction and delivery of my 4th baby, Ryley was calmly and patiently supporting me through it all. She reminded me of all my hard work to do what was best for my baby, worked with swift changes and action taken in labor and delivery room, and kept my husband and mom calm even when things didn't go quite as planned. She was a pillar of strength and an encourager when I needed it. I can't imagine that birth without her support!
Ryley was Godsent. A mutual friend referred me to her. When Ryley and I first spoke on the phone we talked about our kids, life, and I learned her story- I heard her passion. Knew her faith.
She was the exact doula, the exact person I needed to support my desire to have a Vbac delivery.
We went through 86 hours of labor. She sought out all her resources and questioned her peers, comforted me with her knowledge, prayed with me, and walked curbs with me. We talked everything through. She came to midwife appointments so our team was on the same page the entire time.
During labor she brought so much peace to my husband and allowed him to just support me and comfort me and my needs. She was a key player in my Vbac success story. A natural birth at a birth center.
I could go on and on about this beautiful soul. Ryley is a true gem. Not only forever my doula but she is my friend.