I graduated with a degree in education and taught for five years in the public schools. I considered teaching to be the career I'd retire from, supporting students with a variety of needs. I loved all aspects of teaching, and though I thought I'd probably take a step away while my children were young, I saw a future of denim jumpers, apple decorations, and bulletin boards.
It wasn't until my daughter was born that I explored birth work; I considered midwifery but decided I didn't want to put myself in that medical role, even if most of my work might be straightforward. I loved the energy that happens in labor and birth, and discovered the role of a birth doula. I purchased my packet from DONA International, essentially the forms that would need to be filled out and returned when I was ready to submit my application for certification. After the fact, I realized I didn't actually need to purchase the packet until I was ready to begin attending births. For me, that time didn't even arrive until late 2008, but I think having the deadline for certification actually motivated me to complete my certification.
I spent my time reading books, websites, articles. I daydreamed about labor and birth, the excitement of seeing a baby being born. I attended my workshop in January 2008, around seven months pregnant with my older son. I sat in a room full of women, and we all were so eager and excited to move forward in our journeys. I was so excited to attend a birth, and that opportunity happened in late 2008, when I was hired for two clients' births. 2009 brought a handful of births, early in the year, and I was able to submit for certification by the deadline. I was so grateful to the families that welcomed me, an inexperienced birth doula, into their journey to meeting their sweet, new baby.
It's been over five years since I worked with my first family. I think about these children, no longer babies, and I wonder how they've grown. I think about how my perspective has changed in regard to medical intervention and the choices we make as parents. I wonder if the families with whom I've worked realize how important they've been to me, and I'm so curious to see where my journey takes me.