How long have you been working in the birth field?
My journey towards supporting and educating women in birth began with my own birth in 2000. This hospital waterbirth, was, in a single word, EMPOWERING. It changed me. Since then, I have had 2 more births, both homebirths (one being a waterbirth, the other was was 1 hour start to finish!), each teaching me something else about myself. It was my last pregnancy and birth in September 2006 that pushed me to join Birth Arts in training as a birth doula.
Do you feel BAI offered you something that was unique? What was it?
Oh, how I ever did my research! My third pregnancy was a pivotal moment in my life, and I knew that working with women was what I was called to do. I spent most of my pregnancy (and nursing time afterwards!) researching every possible doula program. It was Birth Arts International, with its bold mission statement, its feasible distance plan (I had just had a baby, you see), it holistic model of health, that resonated deeply with me.
What was your favorite part of the training?
I am really starting to get into the “meat” of the program, and have enjoyed processing every assignment. Each assignment has really pushed me where I needed pushing: to look deep into myself to answer those questions that matter. I also love that my daughters see me deep in the learning process, the journey of my own self-discovery, following this path. Oh, what grand (and eye-popping) conversations we have had!
Do you feel that the work Birth Arts requires will or does allow you to
work as an effective doula?
Thus far, I have found that my studies have allowed me a great deal of reflection and consideration on my own beliefs and perceptions. I must face these feelings now, and consider how they will affect my relationships with potential and working clients. I am confident in the training and support that I am receiving!
How are you working as a doula now?
I am currently serving as a “doula to my family” while working through the assignments in my Birth Arts International manual. I spent so much time struggling with finding that balance so many speak of, that balance between family and work. It was exactly what I needed to hear (from a Birth Arts trainer!) that by serving my family in the best way was being a “doula to my family.” That one statement has made such a difference in me. As my youngest grows more independent, and as we settle into our new home and learning situation, I am able to move more quickly through my work and hope to work with women my the end of the spring! While I am not currently attending births, I have found myself supporting women in other ways, helping to build a network of birth awareness and self-confidence in my community, being that ear, offering what I can.
Tell us about yourself.
For being a homeschooling mother of three, I don’t stay home much! As a family, we are deeply rooted learning sustainable living, in following our call to be good stewards of this earth. As such, you are likely to find books around the house on raising a variety of critters, organic gardening, herbal remedies, and traditional foods (and plenty of Internet links bookmarked!). When we are not at church, Girl Scouts, Mommy’s meetings or playdates (for all of us!), you will find us reading, knitting, figuring out some new craft or art (we have discovered modeling beeswax and dollmaking!), collecting treasures for gnomes and fairies, or cooking!