whenever I tell someone what I do for a living, one of the first questions they ask is “How did you get into that?” It’s actually quite the story! it goes a little something like this……
As the great-granddaughter of a woman that had 22 children at home naturally! I have always been familiar with the important roles of doulas and midwives. Although I’d always admired and respected them, I never planned on becoming one.
I did, however, want to go into health care. So, when the time came, I went to college to become an emergency room Nurse. Then, one day during one of my emergency room clinicals, an ambulance brought in a woman in active labor. The nurse I was shadowing told me to accompany the paramedics in the elevator ride up to the delivery ward. I’m not sure if she wanted to give me some excitement (it had been a slow shift so far), or if she wanted to get rid of me for a few minutes. Either way, that small direction changed the entire trajectory of my life! In the elevator, the paramedics asked me to help them by trying to calm the woman down while they focused on keeping her baby in long enough to make it to the delivery room. She was in pain and scared out of her mind and I somehow had to comfort her! I took a deep breath and allowed my instincts to take over. I held her hand, encouraged her to breathe, and assured her everything would be ok. By the time the elevator made it to the correct floor, she had calmed down significantly! After we handed her over to the labor and delivery staff I wished her luck and turned to leave. She grabbed my hand and asked me to please stay with her because she was alone, I of course agreed. After about 45min of pushing, she delivered a healthy baby girl! The young lady thanked me and told me how much I helped her and how she couldn’t have done it without me! She then bestowed the highest honor ever on me by giving her daughter my middle name!
As I rode the elevator back down to the emergency room I felt a sense of fulfillment that I never had before! I had just supported someone through one of the most important and transformative moments of their lives and it felt amazing! From that moment on I was sold! I knew the birth world was the place for me. I chose not to return to school the following semester to give myself time to decide exactly what role I wanted to play in the birth world. That was also when I officially became a doula. Now five years later, I am on the road to becoming a midwife while still supporting multiple families as a doula!