I was always envious of people who grew up knowing exactly what their career trajectory looked like. How did they know that? Were their parents more strict? Did I lack some internal barometer of my own abilities? I still don’t know the answer, but now I am too old to give a shit. Sometimes callings find you late, and being late to the party is always a little hip.
My path forked in 2016, when I was pregnant with my first child. I had a normal pregnancy and a fairly standard, lackluster delivery. Nothing really to write home about, but I didn’t know that at the time. It always felt like my pregnancy and subsequent labor and delivery just happened to me, rather than being an active and informed participant in it. When I found out I was pregnant again, I knew things needed to be different.
Enter: Doulas! But what was a doula? Was I “that crunchy” now? Do I always ask myself so many questions? No and Yes. But those are questions for another day. My second pregnancy was such a distant reality from my first because I hired doulas. I say that with 100% confidence. They offered my family and I guidance, resources, an ear to listen. A heart for space. I was given information on choices I didn’t know I had before. I felt empowered, and I was fucking pissed. I felt like I had been duped by the medical establishment during my first pregnancy. Maybe I have a flair for the dramatic, but people have been procreating for a really long time. I felt as though the meaning, beauty and life experience of birth was being stripped away. And honestly, for what? To make doctors lives easier? To help their litigation rates? Birth is a life changing experience, and people were being robbed of that.
I wanted families to have the same information I did my second go around. I wanted people to feel confident about starting their families, not petrified. I wanted to make all of the various and healthy birthing options known to families so they didn’t feel like the world was deciding for them.
I became a doula to help families find their voices, because all families deserve the facts. The only way out is through, and to make it through you need a path. So why not bring a guide?