In May of 2016, my husband Peter and I lost our first baby when I was 11 weeks pregnant. The loss was more difficult than I could have imagined, and some days still is. I personally do not believe the age-old phrase that "bad things happen for a reason," but I do believe that God gives us beauty for ashes. In my life, an interest in birth work is the beauty that came from the ashes of our loss. During that first trimester, my eyes were opened to the "birth world," and I have loved being a part of it ever since.
I started photographing births while we lived in the Philippines in 2016 and started Annica Marie Photography + Doula when we moved back to Michigan in early 2017. Shortly thereafter, on Easter morning, we found out we were pregnant again. I continued pursuing birth photography, and trained to be a doula that summer. It was so special to build this business while anticipating the arrival of my own baby.
During Christmastime 2017, our daughter Linden was born at home. I am so grateful to be her mom.
Along with growth, putting down roots, and new offerings came a new business name in 2019. Sprout and Blossom encompasses it all.
Whether I am offering emotional and physical support or photographing the joy of new life, it is a gift to be welcomed into the birth space. It is there that I have the privilege to see the incredible strength of women who bring their babies into the world.
Finally I have found a path that brings together my love for art, women's empowerment, and community building. It took a degree in Studio Art, a master's in Community Development, two years living in the Philippines, training and certification through DONA International, and many life-changing experiences along the way to bring me to this point. I am grateful to be part of this profound work.
Fierce mamas sprout and blossom here.
I would be delighted to get to know you and talk about how I can journey with and support your family!
In addition to doula support work and birth photography, I run the local Sprout and Blossom group for moms. We regularly meet around Grand Rapids to connect, support, and build relationships.
Annica Quakenbush, MS, CD(DONA)
Grand Rapids, MI
+1 616 460 7932
"I know Annica personally and professionally. I love that she is so passionate about what she does, and she is all about making your experience everlasting. Her website and her work describes who she is, which is AMAZING. I would definitely recommend her!" - Damaris, friend and former colleague