Happy Day 2 of World Doula Week!
For the next couple of days, I want to honor the doulas who have been my companions, teachers, challengers, listeners, and healers for the past few years. Without these women, I couldn't have made it this far or have survived the doula journey in one piece.
When I first started as a baby doula early in my career, I was full of jealousy of how far others had come, and how little I had done to push my dream of becoming a full-time doula forward. If a fellow doula checked-in to a hospital or birthing center on Facebook, landed a new client, completed a training, or celebrated any success, it took an Act of God for me to squash my feelings of resentment towards them.
Now, after much self-love, self-care, building relationships, and digging deep in to my vulnerability and shame, I can confidently say this:
There is enough for her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her. And her.
And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them. And them.
And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. And me. (!!!)
There is enough. For everyone. Period.
It took me a long time to realize that the doulas in my community are not my competition. They are my village. They are my lifeline in navigating this world. They are the women I can debrief about challenging and celebratory births with without having to explain the definitions of birth. They're the only people that have gone through what I've gone through. And they are fiercely protective of me. They remind me to take care of myself. They hug, embrace, and cry with me. Send me gifts of bath bombs, lunches, extra drinks, candles and all the self-care products in the world.
I add doulas to my local resources page because I am not the doula for everyone but, I bet you I could help you find the perfect doula for you. Neither am I in competition with the doulas in my community. We each have special gifts that complement our doula community as a whole. The greater the number, the stronger we are collectively, and a greater variety of families that can get their perfect match.
I can't tell you enough how proud I am of our Austin community and even prouder to share with you the fabulous women who have willingly helped me navigate this adventure of doula-hood:
Morgan Miles, LCSW - Compassionate Birthing
When I started doula-ing with Giving Austin Labor Support in 2015, Morgan was the Volunteer Coordinator and I, a baby doula, was a willing "Yes Woman" for the organization. It came time for Morgan to finally accept the role of Program Coordinator (she just knew practically everything about the organization)! I willingly became Volunteer Coordinator for GALS afterwards and, under her mentorship, I learned the ins-and-outs of the organization, Austin's birth culture, and grew my personal philosophy about the power of birth work.
Last Fall, I went through some really tough experiences and she was often the first person I called. She reminded me that I'm only responsible for my words and actions but, other people's responses are their own to carry - not mine. I'll always remember these words and they have brought me so much relief these past several months/rest of my life. (I'm a "If I ever did something weird to you then know that I'll still be thinking about it 50 years" kind of gal).
Morgan is now full-time doula-ing as well as Executive Director of GALS. She is working hard this weekend with the 10 year anniversary gala taking place at the Paramount Theater (which Mama Fox Doula is proudly sponsoring). You can purchase tickets to join us here.
Come back tomorrow to meet more of my village!
World Doula Week 2018 Day 1
World Doula Week 2018 Day 2
World Doula Week 2018 Day 3
World Doula Week 2018 Day 4
World Doula Week 2018 Day 5
World Doula Week 2018 Day 6
World Doula Week 2018 Day 7