How I Became A Doula

They say, “Hindsight is 20/20, right?” Travel back in time with me to some thoughts from a day in April 2015:

Something EPIC has happened today.  I woke up on my own will at 6:30am and started my day.  I have done this before but never with the great desire to process where am in life right now.  I was able to sleep quite a bit the night before. I think I fell asleep around 10 or 11pm.  I feel rested but also like I have a lot on my mind.  I feel like I cannot keep up with the events of my life.

Where do I start? I guess I will go back to the last few days.  Yesterday, I picked up my car.  I did not purchase it.  It was a gracious and FREE gift to me by my brother.  He just so happened to be getting two new cars and figured, hey, Esther could use this one.  It is a 13 year year old car with less miles than my 10 year old car which was purchased new.  I other words, this car is running very well and it can get much use out of it.  The car was gifted at about 1:00pm on two Sundays prior. Let me tell what happened between that time.

I finally registered for the DONA Birth Doula certification training at a local business in Pembroke Pines.  I was so excited to do it and had plans to do so for over a year now.  I had to confirm 2 different sitters to be sure that I could attend and not waste my $450 training fee.  With my sitters booked, I began to prepare meals and snacks and meal plan (as if I was going to stay on track with dinner after going to training for 3 days from 9am-6pm. Yeah right!) I still ended up eating out a everyday.

Anyways, I was just going by faith, believing I would attend the entire training and actually had not even worked out the details on my ride there. My husband and I had been sharing my car for almost a year. He usually gets his work schedule around 8am and has to travel in same general direction I would be headed in. In my mind, I though we could even sneak in a mini date or two. Yay! (We only got one off in time. See the love below. *wink, wink*)

 

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A quick selfie with a great man & my date for breakfast! My husband supported me through it all! 

I still managed to get there in time to sit, read and chat with the staff. Day one was amazing and went by so fast. Even though I only got 4-5 hours of sleep, I was totally into it and felt energized all day. The information was intense and very comprehensive. I found myself clearly in the right place at the right time. The second day, I arrived even earlier because I missed the detail that we would start a little later. I was greeted by the owner and she let me into the training area. Interestingly enough, she did not return to her regularly scheduled programming but sat on the couch opposite mine. And we just talked. I got to know how she brilliantly created a company that is highly respected and she got to know how my crazy trials and transitions led me to this point. (More on that in another post.) I explained to her my background in health education and state government.

As I was speaking, I could see how all the dots were being connected. I was doing health education with a local non-profit while in college so that I could appeal to my gift in public speaking and whet my appetite for health education. I was able to work full-time in state government so I could see how red tape bureaucracy can affect policy and get to whet my appetite in grant writing. I realized that many of my trials had nothing to do with me but rather the people who have and will be affected by my experience of those trials.

 

In a sense, I realized that my life, as self-centered as I am, is bigger than myself. It is part of a bigger picture, a grand design.

 

In regards to my vocations as stay-at-home-mom and doula, it is a a design that is meant to mimic the renewal God has done in His family. He has done the work and He has promised me a new life. This new life means I have new motives and dreams.

 

I would have never dreamed of sacrificing my sleep for the sake of a woman whom I had no familial ties to so that she could deliver a baby. Where’d that desire come from? I mean I had no sisters, just brothers, so growing up, women were more like acquaintances and friends. Even then, I couldn’t imagine wanting to see them exposed in a manner like childbirth. Same parts and all.

So what is the thrill for me? The utility of my mind and experiences to help a mommy get a great start at mothering so that she can see the beauty in how she and her family are designed. Period.

No, really, that’s about it, nothing more (well there’s always more in future blogs of course!) but certainly nothing less. It amazes how much I still didn’t know about childbirth after having my first 2 sons and in actually delivered them naturally (I guess I knew what I needed to know to have those births that way! Go Janice, my midwife and Nayeehma, my doula & childbirth educator!) It was no fault of my support team but my own. I didn’t really search for answers because I didn’t feel the need to at the time. Back then, I had all the support in the world’s financially, physically, emotionally and even spiritually. I was in a great place mentally and it showed! It was truly a miracle that every birth was an extremely positive experience.  I want to pass the wisdom I’ve gained to achieve those birth along to as many mothers as possible no matter their support system or birth outcome- whether they desire a medicated birth or not.

I had to move forward and pursue this calling. I knew I could do it. I had already done it before with my cousin when she was pregnant with her first just 10 months after I had my firstborn.  I didn’t even realize it but I was supporting her emotionally and informational throughout her pregnancy.  So when I got the call on Thanksgiving 2011, after I had dinner of course, I didn’t hesitate to assist her during her birth.  She was able to achieve a vaginal birth to a healthy baby girl with my support.

My tools at the time were simply: peaceful demeanor, gentle reminders to breathe, humor, eye contact, silent prayers, my smile and squeezable left and right hands! I can only imagine the impact I will have on births now that I have some training under my belt.

Who would have known that the care I was innately offering her would be considered real heart, life-giving work?

Oh, what a joy it’s been to begin this journey as a doula- to support moms throughout their pregnancy whenever they are ready to have me tag along! I’m so grateful to have the means to make it to any birth or prenatal visit with the provision of a new albeit used vehicle! I look forward to encouraging many more families have a healthy start into parenting.  I hope you can join me for the ride!

TALK TO ME:  How did YOU begin YOUR career/job/calling?  What circumstances lead to you putting “your passion into action”?

Thank you for reading my random thoughts about #lifebetweenthestatuses and just know that I hope #icanmotivateyouifyouwant!

Take care,

Esther (@icandoula) McCant

Special shout outs to: Janice Heller (Owner of Conscious Childbirth), Nayeehma Jones (Retired doula who does childbirth education and placenta encapsulation) and Marlo Robinson (Owner of A Mother’s Care Doula Services) on being wonderful birth professionals and an integral part of my story.

2 thoughts on “How I Became A Doula”

  1. Pingback: Why I understand your frustration, mommy… – Metro Mommy Agency

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