Monday, October 26, 2015

Why I'm A Doula

It's been a while since I've written in this blog. I guess you could say that I've had a lot going on... 
Last May, the 20th in 2014 to be specific I had surgery to remove a brain tumor. I haven't written about it yet, but the story has evolved into what will be a major emotional drop and I still need a little time to get ready for that.
In the mean time, I've definitely begun to do things I've always wanted to do. Not exactly a bucket list, more of "seizing the day". My husband and I were going over together our 5, 10, and 20 year goals. I sat and thought about who I would like to be 5 years from now and also much further into the future. As far as life dreams go, the thing that has always called to me in the strongest way is to be a mother. I wanted to have my own children, build a home, have a family that was safe and warm and a harbor in the storm. And I'm very happy to say that I do have that. But my call to be a mother still pulls. Not just a mother to my children, but a mother to those without. I'm not talking about adopting children. I'm talking more about when someone has needs, usually emotional and doesn't have someone to reassure them, to take them under their wing, to be a mother to them.
Its strange, because I seem to have quite a few friends that don't necessarily have mothers. I certainly don't take the place of that, but I do try to offer nurturing support whenever I can. This has led me into the sacred place where a mother is born; the labor and delivery room. I have found myself helping women in a non-clinical way while in labor. I reassure them that it's a natural process that their bodies are more than capable of. I breathe and rock with them. I give them the feeling of safety that they will not be alone in this. I go to a safe place with them and ride the waves that come with them. I can empathize since I have been through this amazing experience as well. I give coaching and loving and support. And when these women are finally holding their beautiful baby and relaxed we talk about breastfeeding and what an amazing thing they have done.
Labor has always been my favorite part of having a baby. And I love being able to bring calm to a room that has anxiety. I love being able to help someone when they no one else to help them. I had entertained the thought of becoming a doula, but had never followed through with the formal training because of my health, or the kids, or money. But after this conversation of who I wanted to be, I felt it was time to do something about it. I don't want to look back and think about the opportunity I had missed. I know that I would regret it if I didn't do something about it. I made plans to save my braiding money and attend the workshops in the Spring. About this same time our good friends were over and talking about the baby they were expecting. I told her my news and she asked if I would be willing to come and attend her birth. I was elated! And then I began to get nervous. In my previous experiences it had just come naturally without expectations. I really wanted to make sure that I did the very best job that I could for our friends. So I decided to push up the workshop date. I took the plunge. I attended the three day workshop in Reno. It was AMAZING! I found that so much of what they were teaching I already did. That really gave the validation that I was good at this and it is a life calling. I also learned SO much. I came home ready to formally be called a doula. 
I'm reading, and reading, and reading. I really want to do my very best for the women that I am able to help. I feel so honored to be able to be a part of such a sacred experience. I really can't wait for in five or ten years to be able to look back on my life and feel accomplished. Feel like I have done something not just for my family, but for myself, and for the people that need a little extra mothering too.