Becoming a Doula – almost doesn’t count …

So! I just did my first ever blog and then very accidentally and annoyingly lost it!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo. So after some tears and a cuddle I am back for round two.

I mean honestly … I don’t even know if this is even going to work, if this is even going to make it out into cyber space atmosphere and if anyone will find it? will anyone actually care? will anyone read it or even maybe find it interesting??? I have NO idea but lets give it a whirl and see where it takes us.

Let me just tell you a little about our year so far. Its been pretty eventful and full of firsts for our wee tribe.
My husband is in his third year of a four year course to become a teacher and he is doing AMAZINGLY well (yes i’m bias but its still true) My baby started primary school, my biggest baby started high school. I started a new job and then, I started another new job which has been, well, hmmmmm an interesting peculiar adventure with lots of learning curves, I also went back to my old job to do a new role which i am loving and we sold our very first family home back in Adelaide. ALSO i decided to bite the bullet and commit to something i have wanted to do for years, I am becoming a DOULA!!

Turning up for my first day at Doula school (aka the Australian Doula College) i had about a bazillion new emotions running through my brainy veins.  What would we talk about?  How do they teach Doula stuff?  How do you learn  to comfortably hang out in a room with a woman while she is pushing a baby out of her unmentionables?  Would i like the other students? Would i like the teacher?  Would i like it at all?  Would i agree with their teaching methods?  Opinions?  Education?? Could i do the work?  Would i understand what i was hearing?  Am i capable of doing this role well? I had no idea what was ahead of me. Would it be worth the effort i knew i would need to make this work?
Hooley dooley and a little bit of WOAH! , YES, Yes and YEP!!!! It blew my mind! It has been an amazing experience!!

As a class we connected immediately,  we laughed, cried, shared awkward moments, shared histories, birth stories, life changing family events and that was all before lunch!!  No kidding, this was a really unique bond and my Douala training experience would not have been the same without it.  Our teacher Tammy Halliday was the perfect teacher.  She was engaging, informative, challenging, empowering, hilarious and fun!  As a class we fell head over heels in love with her and i will be a better Doula because of her education.

We learnt SO much,SO fast my itty bitty brain cells were practically puffing to keep up.  After every class i would get on the tram which took me to the train which took me to home and i would look at every one and wonder what on earth they had done all day?!  I mean could they not see I was about to burst with all this new information? Was it not all visibly oozing out my brain and down the side of my face!! (Golly that’s a bit graphic, sorry)

Not only did we learn about pregnancy and birth, mothers and fathers and siblings. mental health, physical and emotional care, unexpected outcomes and loss, breastfeeding and bottle feeding, placentas, vaginas, uterus’s, contractions, cesareans, umbilical cords, home births and hospitals, (big breath) we also learnt about ourselves.  It was like a mini or sometimes maxi counselling session!!  We watched heart breaking, heart warming, blood curdling, and mind melting, fascinating documentaries and educational videos. We cried, like, every class!  It got to the point where if we didn’t shed a tear by the end of class we had a high five.  Why?  Because understanding the changes in a womans body, in her relationship and lifestyle while having a baby is moving!  I mean we have been designed to do the most honourable job a human can do and to discover the truth about it all was just phenomenal.  It was personal.

I learnt so much about myself and actually…  I’m a bit of a legend (No, please, let me indulge for just a moment)
I mean, i conceived, carried, nurtured, pushed out, gave birth to and fed FOUR actual humans!!!  Do you know how incredible that is?!!??!?! Well  I didn’t!  I had totally not given my body enough credit for all its amazing effort. And quite frankly i mostly had no idea what i was doing the whole time.

So even though I have all this knowledge, all this empathy, all this desire to support and love mamas all day every day,  all this drive – to enable every woman who wants it – as beautiful an experience in birth and mothering as they can have; Why is it that even though i have the information, the education, the desk, the pens, the paper, the pencils, and the supportive husband to take care of things so i can get on and do what i need to do, why is it that i am scared, procrastinating, avoiding my very last written task….my final paper??

Well because it really matters!  Because i believe it is in the best interest of every birthing woman to have a Doula, it is important that this last paper, my final exam, is the best; not to gain a good mark or gold star(although i do like Tammy’s stickers and smiley faces) but to honour the women that will, in the future, give me the privilege of sharing this miraculous monumental time in their lives.  It is my promise; to be the best Doula I can be for these women. So for the love of mothers, it is time i stop fearing failure, it is time I got on with it….to infinity and beyond...well at least to my last paper and tomorrow…..time to get my Doula on, because almost doesn’t count.

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