My journey as a healer and provider of self-care began about five years ago when I made the conscious decision to heal my whole self from the inside out, with little to no medical intervention. Just as I thought, “look at me go, healing myself and becoming whole” I began to feel that nagging sensation of the biological clock ticking away. I was 31 and Madrina (Spanish for “Godmother”) to seven sweet souls. I enjoyed my lifestyle, being able to pick up and go as I please, travelling the world, and I had a stable job. However, I found myself pondering: “to be or not to be a mom?”
Why I Became a Doula
Hey Y'all Hey!
I had assisted my sister with the prenatal and postpartum phases of her three pregnancies - the earliest of which was 2008 - having no idea I was performing some of the duties of a doula. I didn’t even know what a doula was at this time! By 2015, my best friend had two kids and my other best friend’s wife also had two kids. I would intently listen to each of them during their pregnancies - how they were feeling, what changes their body was going through and the comparisons between their first and subsequent pregnancies.
I knew there were problems with the medical system, in general; but, I was not fully aware of how dangerous it was for black women to have a baby in the hospital setting in the US, until my friend's experience hit too close to home. My best friend’s wife almost died delivering her second son due to misdiagnosed preeclampsia. She suffered two grand-mal seizures and we weren’t sure if she was going to make it. Luckily she and my nephew pulled through and she went on to become a doula, which directly contributed to my desire to become a doula.
Two common threads I recognized:
1.) anxiety increased with subsequent pregnancies due to being more informed with age about the dangers of pregnancy
2.) all three of these black women received substandard care for at least one or more of their pregnancies.
Supporting my friends' and sister's birthing experiences fueled my quest for knowledge to be the best advocate for myself in determining whether or not I want to be a mom and all that goes into it: conscious conception, conscious pregnancy and conscious parenting; again, with little to no medical intervention. Although I am still personally undecided, I want to support and learn from birthing folks by providing them with all of their options for their specific set of circumstances. I want them to feel validated, understood and be respected at each step along the journey. I want my clients to remember their birth stories as whole, natural, safe and positive events - not lacking humanity or kindness or being viewed through the lens of a liability or inconvenience.