It is that time of year when we often pause to think about the journey of life over the past year and consider where the journey will take us in the year to come. I'd like to share a bit of my journey with you.
In April of 2015 we found out that my husband's parents would be moving to our area. Of course this was exciting on a personal level, but on a professional level it meant I would finally be able to actively pursue birth work. After all, you can't call just anyone in the middle of the night to care for your own five children in order to assist another family with the birth of their child! My midwife and professional mentor suggested that I work as a doula before beginning formal midwifery studies. A trusted friend suggested a doula training that was scheduled for June 2015.
By August, my inlaws were here and getting settled. My training was complete, kids were getting ready to return to school, and I was ready to dive in to doula work. A local midwife invited me to attend births at her birth center alongside her staff doula as I became acquainted with birth work. After the first birth, all doubts and hesitations that floated around in my mind were gone. The calling was confirmed. I knew without a doubt that this was the very work I was put on the earth to do.
After three births in that capacity, it was time to shift my energies and begin investing in my own business. I was blessed with three of my own clients from October to December. It has been so fulfilling to walk with these families through their third trimesters, births, and post partum times. Each family grows in my heart as I witness and support them in the miracle of birth.
I worked full time on my certification and completed that process in November. In December I was notified that my certification packet had been approved. Certification means that I have completed several classes, read multiple books on topics ranging from birth to breastfeeding to loss (and more!), and have attended births meeting certification criteria with satisfactory reviews from clients and care providers. I also had to pass a lengthy test, including essay questions. I certainly have a greater appreciation for the certification process now than I did ten months ago! As a CAPPA certified labor doula, I have a scope of practice and certain standards that must be maintained. Certification is one way of ensuring that the client is hiring a competent professional, as doulas are not licensed or regulated by the state.
In this short six month span of time from my training to completion of certification, my skills have grown and my views have expanded. I look forward to continued growth in 2016. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to blog on a regular basis. This is where you come in! What topics would you like to see discussed? How can this blog be useful to you? Please leave comments and topic suggestions below. Happy New Year!