In January of this year, I lost my mom suddenly. I’ve written about the grief and about how I’m coping. One thing I’ve come to realize is that I’m going to become a mom without my own. At first the thought absolutely depressed and frightened me. I don’t think any little girl grows up wanting to tackle motherhood without her own mother. After she died, it was clear to me that I wanted a female “mother” figure present with me when I give birth: a doula. I can’t imagine doing it without one. I love my husband so dearly, and I will always look to him first to meet my needs, but I feel like for birth I need an expert — I need a mother.
Understanding My Strengths
One of my greatest joys in teaching veterinary students was hearing that my presence reassured and calmed them. I loved teaching them and watching them grow. Being there during their successful triumphs and helping them when they just couldn’t quite get it brought me so much joy. I loved teaching them new skills and being their cheerleader as they honed those skills. In short: I loved mothering them.
Words of Wisdom for a Career
When I left my job at the veterinary school last fall, my boss gave me a pep talk I don’t think I’ll ever forget. In a nutshell, he told me to take the time I needed to discover what would really make me happy in this season. He reassured me that it was ok to not stick to one career path, and that pursuing things that brought me joy would only fulfill my life.
From October to January, I had no immediate plans to return to traditional work. Then, my mom died and I was absolutely not ready. I couldn’t make a decision like that during that time of grief. I’m thankful my husband was patient with me in this way.
The Back Story
I’ve always been fascinated with birth. As a 7 year old, I would watch TLC’s “A Baby Story” marathons for hours. I was obsessed with motherhood from a very early age. Yes, obsessed is completely the right word: I sought out everything I could get my hands on about birth and pregnancy. From 7 until now, I’ve always been that way; although, recently I’ve turned to YouTube birth vlogs and friends’ first hand accounts to fill my need.
Becoming a Doula
One day in March, while talking to a new friend, I vocalized something I’m not even sure my conscience self had realized – I wanted to be a doula. In that moment, it was as if everything was making sense. I was finally *getting it* and I felt a breath of fresh air. Talking to her about it helped me feel like this dream wasn’t crazy – I could do this, and I would be good at it.
I am 100% at peace with my decision to serve families who are bringing new lives into the world and I look forward to learning something about myself at each and every birth I attend. I believe with all my heart that bringing comfort and peace to others is my life’s purpose and I will pursue it with all that I am.
I’ve signed up for my DONA (Doula Organization of North America) certification class and have read the birth bible, a.k.a. The Birth Partner. I feel like I know exactly what I was meant to do. I was meant to bring comfort to those who are uncertain. I was meant to celebrate others. I was meant to be a cheerleader. I was meant to be a mother. I was meant to be a doula.