My doula journey officially started about a year and a half ago. My son who is now 3 ½ is the main reason why I became a doula. When I became pregnant with him it was a bit of a surprise. My husband and I wanted to start a family eventually, but I didn’t feel ready at that moment. I was actually terrified of the idea of motherhood; my husband on the other hand has always been super excited to be a dad. Not really sure why I was so scared, but I guess seeing how parenthood is something that is forever I wanted to feel more ready for a lifetime commitment.
Child birth was also something that I thought was this awful, painful, and traumatic experience and it really scared me. No one ever really talks about how great birth is! After learning I was pregnant, I first thought I would just go into my labour and let whatever happens happen (which in hindsight would have been a horrible idea)! Then I thought, maybe I should at least do a birth prep class to be a little bit prepared and know what to expect. I ended up coming across hypnobirthing and it was the best thing that I could have done for my birth experience.
I then started researching everything about birth and figured out that my fears of childbirth were really around the epidural and all of the medical stuff. I decided I wanted to try to have an unmedicated birth. When I told people that they laughed, said I would be asking for the epidural right away. Well I didn’t, and I had a fairly fast, unmedicated, and intervention-free birth. I laboured mostly at home and when we arrived at the hospital at just before midnight on June 30th, I was at 8cm dilated and my son was born at 1:37am on July 1st.
After my birth I felt so empowered, I felt like I could do anything, and a lot of friends and family just couldn’t believe that I did it without any medications or interventions. Little did I know this would be the start of my interest in birth work. I found myself wanting to share my positive birth experience with other expecting moms, so that they knew they didn’t have to have a traumatic experience.
I didn’t jump right into doula work and it took me a bit to even come across the idea. I spent the first year of motherhood home with my son and trying to get used to all the adjustments that come with being a mom. Motherhood didn’t come easy for me either (I’ll save that for another blog post). The job I had prior was a contract gig so I knew after my maternity leave was up, I didn’t have anything to go back to and would be starting all over. I had a background in fashion and I worked as clothing buyer. I loved my job but I knew the demands of it and being a mother really changed my priorities. Being home with him more and more I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of going back to work full-time to pay for someone else to watch him. I wanted to find something that would allow me to work from home in the hours that worked around raising my son. It took a while to figure out.
Just before my son turned one I tried a direct sales opportunity, but found it really stressed me out and that it was not for me (I’m not a salesperson type at all). I found I was really interested in infant sleep as well after all the sleep struggles we had been through in the first year, but some of the training I looked into was very expensive and it seemed a little risky. I also knew that I wanted to be able to help parents overall with their parenting journey and not just sleep troubles.
One day I had a follow suggestion, or maybe it was an Ad that popped up on my Instagram feed for bebo mia inc. and I checked it out. They were doing a doula training info webinar and I thought maybe I should tune in and hear what it was all about. Suddenly a light bulb flicked on: this is what I had being looking for all along but just didn’t know it. I always thought doulas just supported births, but when I learned they support and educate in pregnancy and postpartum as well, I enrolled in the training almost immediately. I’m so glad that I did and a few months later I also took their infant sleep educator course.
Being a doula allows me to be home with my son, work the hours I want to work, and be my own boss. I get to use my passion for birth and postpartum to help other parents on their journey into parenthood. This is still a fairly new journey for me, but I know this is the road I was meant to take and I’m excited to see what the future brings.