What is more fundamental than birth? Aside from her wedding day, the days that her babies were born are usually the most important memories a woman carries with her. She never forgets how she was made to feel, whether she was respected, and if it was peaceful or frightening when her child was born.
When I was pregnant with our first, I was petrified with fear. Despite knowing millions and millions of women had been through labor and birth before me, I was convinced that I would be the one who would not be able to do it. I don’t know exactly why I was so scared – I don’t specifically remember any horror stories or incidents that influenced the way I felt – I just knew that it was something new and I didn’t feel prepared and didn’t know how I’d be able to do it.
Clearly I had never heard of doulas at that point.
Thankfully my husband was absolutely wonderful support (he calls himself a “doul,” get it?). Our oldest child was there with us for the labors and births of our fourth and fifth children, which brought a whole new level to those experiences. I look back on my birth experiences with fondness, some frustration, but mostly gratitude. When I learned about doulas I almost instantly knew that I was called to this work – not just a job, but more of a vocation. My primary vocation is wife and mother, but there are elements from those that flow into how I support clients and their families. I think for me, mothering has always been a calling, and finding doula work was a natural step for me. The services I provide are deeply fulfilling for me, knowing that I can assist in bringing confidence, peace, compassion and so much more to my clients in their birth experiences.
As I have added services over the years and expanded my roles in the birthworker world, I still always come back to my work as a birth doula as one of the best, most humbling things I think I can do with my time, aside from spending it with my family.
I hope your work brings you as much joy and fulfillment as mine does for me.