After much deliberation, I've decided to change careers. I'm currently a legal transcriptionist. I take audio files and turn them into hard copies. My work can be anything from insurance claims to police interviews to legal proceedings, and it's a job I can do in my home, in my jammies, usually without a bra. It's allowed me to have sanity, and I do treasure that aspect of my life.
However. It is not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I enjoy aspects of it, but the hours and hours of typing, the need to be self-motivating, it's all rather difficult for me, especially with all the yarn rather close at hand. My husband and I discussed this in depth over the holidays, and together, we've decided it's time for me to change careers. So I've signed up to become a doula.
The word Doula derives from a Greek word meaning servant. She was the head servant in a wealthy Greek family, the one who would help the lady of the house deliver her baby. Now, it's a woman (or man) who supports women in their labour and delivery, advocates for them, helps them through it, and bears witness to their journey. It is not a medical position. A doula does not make medical decisions, but they do offer their support and experience.
Birth is something I'm incredibly passionate about. I was lucky enough to experience an unmedicated labor and delivery of my daughter (although I did have to fight for it). It's my belief that a woman is going to be changed by her delivery, for better or worse, no matter what. I want to be able to help that change be a positive one by being the woman's advocate and support during an incredibly overwhelming time.
I've started the preliminary steps. I've ordered the books I have to read from the library (the ladies are going to think I'm pregnant! Eight books about the physiology of pregnancy, birth, babies and breastfeeding!), started the online breast feeding course, and been in discussions with local doulas about their practices. I've signed up to take the weekend course in May, and then after that, I get to start attending births. I have, maybe, two lined up right now.
After a few years of being a doula, it's my intention to move into midwifery, still offering my services to clients while I go through the four-year midwifery course. It feels so good to be on a path that, while I may not be able to have more children of my own, can help women bring babies into this world in the most optimal conditions, meaning in a way that she chooses and is best for her and her family, and not the way the system dictates.