My journey as a doula started when I first decided to venture into parenthood. I always thought I'd be the type to get drugs right away, bring on the epidural! why suffer in pain anyway? I joined a chat group for parents, soon to be parents, and those waiting to concieve and I connected with a mom locally through that group. She was the first to tell me about doulas. My google search led to more searches and learning. I soon had a plan to use a midwife and hire a doula before I was even pregnant.
With the conception of my son came more searching and learning. I was using a midwife but still wasn't sure about the doula part. I thought my midwife would be there to support me and a doula would be unnecessary. I signed up for a childbirth class around 32wks and that's where I found out that my midwife would only be there at the very end, I'd be on my own during labor. The practice had grown and they were no longer able to spend the time supporting women in labor the way they had in the past. I interviewed several doulas and settled on the one that clicked for us. She was a combination of mother figure and experience which was perfect for us.
The birth of my son was both exciting and wonderful although nothing like what I had planned or expected. We had taken a childbirth class and felt prepared until the moment that labor started. My birth went on to unfold in the way it needed to although it wasn't how I had expected it to happen. It was so wonderful to have someone experienced there to guide us along the way. She knew the positions that relieved pressure and made contractions just a little easier to handle. She knew hospital rules and how to work with them to make things easier on me. She called the nurse when I needed her, guided my husband on how to help me, and explained why labor was taking so long and the contractions were all in my back. After the birth she was there to talk over my birth experience with me and when I became pregnant again with my second baby she was there to give me books and information on how to make that birth different from my first.
It was after my second baby that I knew I wanted to be a doula. Again my second went nothing as expected but it was a very empowering and wonderful experience. I felt prepared, supported, respected and validated in my decisions about my birth. This was what I had been looking for and it's what I wanted to pass on to other women. I learned to have patience with the process that is birth and to let it unfold in the way it needs to.
My journey has continued as I serve women, grow, and learn. I've come to realize that every mother is different. Every pregnancy is different. Everyone has different goals for their family and their birth. I want to honor these wishes and empower women to seek out the care and the birth that fits their family. With my first two a hospital felt like the right place and it was. With my 3rd child we had a beautiful home birth.