You know the phrase, "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life?" I worked for over 20 years in things I thought I loved; theatre, books, coffee, camp counselor (although that was pretty great and if I could make a living doing it, I just might. You just play games all day. Paid to be a kid? Yes please.) I digress...
I worked for years and years trying to use my degree, trying to maintain the number one sales spot in my company, trying to find my niche. And I was really good. I could sell you anything, convince you to buy this book, make you try this coffee blend, get you to donate to charity. Yet everything had that feeling of punching a clock, I liked what I did, I was good at it, but it wasn't fulfilling. It paid the bills and it had me thinking I was going to be in retail for the rest of my life.
And then I gave birth. It has been said that birth changes you. No truer statement has ever been said in my life. I have never worked so hard at something yet felt so powerful and in control than I did while I was in labor. I know what you're thinking, "Crazy doula. In control? Pashaw. I hear labor is the worst. You're nuts, lady." Maybe I am and maybe I am. But I was educated, supported and respected which lead to feeling absolutely in control. I was so in the zone that I even pulled my son out myself. Reached down and pulled him right up to my chest. It felt like the right thing to do.
Months into my son's life, I could not stop talking about how amazing my birth experience was. My doula opened doors for me that I didn't even know existed. "They're not allowed to not allow you." was said to me over and over again. And it was true. Is true. Now, seeing as how I can't give birth over and over again (I suppose I could, Hello Dugger Family! but I can't really.) becoming a doula was a desperate itch that needed to be scratched. I needed to become immersed in the birth world, I needed to help other women learn of their power and their choice. And to bear witness to expectant parents becoming new parents, in that moment, all is right in the world.
I doula (yes, I turned it into a verb) because giving birth is something that needs to be supported. It is an absolute roller-coaster of emotions, for both partners, and someone needs to be there to catch them when they fall. To let them know it's OK to let go. To help them understand everything that is happening. And to assure them they are not alone. I doula because it is one of the purest moments in my life to witness such an intimate transition into parenthood and it feels good to be allowed in.
It has become my calling to be a birth doula. It is the first job that I have had that feels just right, like Goldilocks and the porridge, this job is just right. It doesn't feel like work, it feels like I am fulfilling my life's purpose.
Sarah: Birth doula, wife, mother, coffee and wine drinker, lover of beer, books and tattoos.