It’s a wonderful feeling to discover your true calling. It feels like….peace. For the first time in my life I feel like I know where I’m going and I know how to get there. I actually discovered my calling to be a doula about 11.5 years ago when my second son was born but only now after many many huge life changes have I had the ability to follow my true passion.
My second son was born at home in my bedroom in the first house we ever owned with his grandmother, father, and midwife in attendance. My doula almost missed it; it went so fast. Grandpa and big brother were in the living room on the couch waiting patiently for the new arrival. The labor was very fast and hard and the most empowering thing I have ever experienced.
The birth of my oldest son had not been a pleasant experience. He was born in a hospital with a rushed doctor surrounded by and engulfed in technology. It was over 4 years before I even realized the full implications of that experience and once I started learning, I couldn’t stop. I was determined to never let that happen to me again.
Initially, my reason for home birth was simply that I didn’t want to have pain medication available to me and I didn’t want interventions available to my care givers. I knew that if I went back to a hospital it would be too easy to have a similar experience. It would be too easy to take the medication. I wanted to stay as far away from that experience as possible.
After the birth of my second son I felt amazing. I felt strong and happy and healthy and ready to conquer the world. I wanted every woman to feel that way about their births. I became addicted to birth knowledge, breastfeeding and anything even remotely related to birthing. I became an advocate for natural birth and I loved it.
My third son was also born at home, in the same bed as his brother, and that birth was truly magical. It was easy, slow, fun, and relaxing. My new midwife, husband and two doulas were there with me, and we chatted and laughed between contractions. We had a photo shoot during my labor pause at 6 cm when contractions stopped for about two hours. We just generally enjoyed the experience. If I wanted more children, I would totally do that over and over and over again. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
The birth of my third son cemented in my mind that I wanted to be a doula. I wanted to be surrounded by that magical experience all the time, without actually having more children of my own. Unfortunately, with three little boys under the age of 9, a husband working full time, and no “village” to fall back on, the life of a doula was not yet within my reach. Being a doula requires being on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week for up to a month at a time and the availability of childcare to coincide with that.
Instead, I settled for working part time here and there when it worked for the family. I worked from home as a wellness consultant and volunteered for a natural healers organization in my “spare” time. I spent the next few years “virtual” doulaing my friends across the country, providing them with research and support even though I could not be there physically.
Fast forward about 6 years and life has completely changed for us. Some things are definitely for the better, some, not so much, but I did find myself with some expendable income and time to take a doula training class as well as a childbirth education class. I was ecstatic! I was finally going to follow my passion! And then, life got in the way again and I became the sole breadwinner in the household. Moving to a new state, getting kids in new schools, finding a new job, dealing with a shady landlord, the timing just wasn’t quite right.
Here I am, two years later, with a flexible job that allows me the time off I need, a 17 year old son who can babysit at a moments notice (he has no choice, bwahahahahaha!), a husband at home, and two, not so little ones, who are pretty much capable of taking care of themselves for short periods.
I joined a local doula organization, started working on my certification and made an awesome doula friend who started recommending my services when she wasn’t available. The first birth I officially attended as a doula was for a very dear friend. It was her fifth baby, and her second homebirth. It was very low key and she really didn’t “need” me much other than to just be there, but it was beautiful.
Today, I am 6 births into this amazing new journey with another little one coming next month. I’m also beginning my teaching journey next month, teaching Early Pregnancy Preparation and it feels like this is right. THIS is what my soul has been looking for and I wake up every day happy to be following my passion.