Meet Annie Willems
How long have you lived in the Willamette Valley?
I was born at Salem Hospital 43 years ago… and never left. Salem is home. We love our community!
What does ‘self care’ look like to you?
It looks like quiet. I love people. I love my family. And I love my quiet. Sitting with myself allows my brain to calm down and focus. Some of my favorite silence is while driving in the car.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
Early 90’s love songs. Need to hear some Boyz 2 Men? I’m your girl. I could also potentially entertain you with any Dave Matthews song. Or most 80’s songs. (But in all reality- I don’t sing in front of people. That sounds terrifying.)
What is the best gift you have been given?
I have one child that magically appeared despite infertility issues and 3 others that joined our family via adoption. I’m so thankful I get to be their mom. I never imagined I would have 4 kids. I REALLY never imagined that they would range in age from 6 to 21 years old. But I love it.
Who knows you the very best?
That’s a good question. My husband definitely sees the most ‘real’ version of me. He gets to see me at my happiest and at my saddest. He’s one of few that I’m comfortable crying in front of.
U of O or OSU?
Go Ducks! (not that I actually care about sports at all.)
What shows are you into?
I really don’t watch that much TV, I don’t think. But if there’s a new Intervention or New Amsterdam on, I’m all over it. I also have a special affection for Dr. Phil. Don’t judge me.
What takes up too much of your time?
Honestly? Getting children ready in the morning. And I only say that because what should literally take 30 minutes MAX, always takes closer to 1.5 hours. Whyyyy??
What age do you wish you could permanently be? Why?
Right now. I’m loving my 40’s. My body can still do (almost) all of the things, but my emotions are so much better than they were 20 years ago. It takes more to bother me. I have more patience. And I’m more comfortable in who I am.
What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
A deck overlooking a river, a comfortable chair, a good book, slightly overcast skies, a hot cup of coffee. Perfection! Can we go now?
How do you like your coffee?
In liquid form. I have an addiction. I’m working on it. Okay, I’m not working on it.
What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?
We’re taking active steps to slow life down a bit. I’m looking forward to being at the point where there’s a bit more peace in our daily lives.
Why did you become a doula?
Oh, so many reasons. It’s been a desire for a long time, but the moment that made the decision for me was during a friend’s pregnancy struggles. I listened to her fears and concerns and guilt - and realized that there was so much I could offer people experiencing those exact same things. Becoming a doula puts together so many of my passions into one perfect package. I have the opportunity to offer the support that is most needed- and that support is individual to each person.
Annie Willems is a Labor and Postpartum Doula serving Salem, Oregon, and surrounding cities. She specializes in loss support, anxiety, and high risk births.