I remember hearing the story of the day I was born many times while growing up:
"I didn't know I was in labor," my mom said,"finally I called your grandma and told her that my back hurts every 5 minutes or so.
"Go to the hospital!" she yelled "You're in labor!"
"I am? But my stomach doesn't hurt." replied my mom.
She couldn't just leave for the hospital. She had to, "put my make up on and get fixed up. "
When she got to the hospital she, "had to lay in a bed in a room filled with other women all moaning and yelling and no one spoke to us. Finally they came for me and when I woke up the next day I asked if I had a girl or a boy".
When I was growing up, this is what I knew about how birth happened: you went into a room and woke up with a baby. So when my closest girlfriend got pregnant and asked me if I'd like to attend her birth,I was confused. ("Attend your birth?? You mean hang out in the room with the loads of other laboring mamas?")
By this time I was working for a wonderfully open family practitioner who had built a large part of his practice supporting women in Natural Childbirth. I was starting to see another side to childbirth. I'd learned from these women that the big room was gone and that they were taking control of their own births. Newly married, my husband and I arrived at my friend's birth and instinctively I knew that I needed to talk to her, hold her hand and stroke her hair. She had the natural childbirth she desired and I was in awe of her power.
At the birth of my second daughter not only my husband was there, but so was my mom, step dad, and older daughter! Afterwards my mom said, "I've been hearing about these women called doula's who help women in labor. You just had a beautiful natural birth I know you can help other women to do the same."
Being the good daughter that I am, I followed my mom's advice and looked into this "doula world" she spoke of, and there I found my passion. This work has been placed upon my heart and I know this is what I am meant to be doing.
I believe that as women, we are perfectly created to labor and birth our children. However,I also know that not all women want to or are always safely able to go completely natural; my job as their doula is to educate them, remind them of their choices and support them in any and all decisions they make. Their husbands or partners are an extremely important part of the birth team and together we support the woman and work towards helping her have the most perfect birth for her.