Being a Doula- Student Article by Katie Stegeman
Being a doula is a goal that I have had my heart set on for almost two years now. Until now I haven’t been able to get my certification. My name is Katie Stegeman and I am a mother of two, a baby girl who is two and a half and a baby boy who is almost nine months old. Shortly after I had my daughter I started researching more natural ways to live and the benefits of doing so. I had a very bad birth experience with my daughter.
She was born in a hospital and I had an epidural. It was a long twelve hours. The nurses that were working those 3 days treated me like I had never seen a baby before and like I had no idea what I was doing, little did they know I was the oldest of nine children and my baby brother was five years old at the time. I was extremely unhappy with the way everything went and wanted to leave the hospital as soon as I could. I wanted to feel like they cared that I brought a beautiful baby girl into the world and not just another thing they had to do that day. I did not like the atmosphere and I did not feel comfortable with the way my birth went so I started my research on different ways to birth.
Then unexpectedly, my husband and I were expecting our second baby and I did not want the same experience. I further researched birthing and hired a midwife and a doula. We had an amazing home birth. After a short three and a half hour labor I had my handsome little man and felt nothing but love around me. It was a completely different experience, one that I do not have to look back on and wish things had gone differently. That is what made me realize I wanted to help mothers feel comfortable with their births and know that someone around them truly cares what they are about to do.
I am currently going to school online for my degree in Business Management at Grand Canyon University. As well as attending Birth Arts International for my Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula and Childbirth Educator certifications, I am working towards becoming an IBCLC (International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants). To do so I am waiting to become a Le Lache League Leader in the Oshkosh Area. (http://www.lightthewaydoula.com/about-me.html)
I have loved everything about training and being a doula that I have started my own business and I plan to get an office soon. Getting my business management degree is something that has helped me so much. I am glad I ended up switching from education. I am so passionate about this business I have started and I cannot wait to see where it goes. It is definitely my past that drives me to love on women through pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum periods. One thing I learned growing up is perseverance and determination and that I learned mostly from my father. I grew up for the most part with a single father and he tried and succeeded at giving my brother and myself everything he could. He showed us that when life gets touch you do not let it keep you there. He taught me to work my butt and it will pay off. I do not think I would be even close to where I am without him today especially having babies as young as I did.