The Fifth Vital Sign - World Doula Week 2018 Day 5!
Welcome to Day 5 of a 7 part series on my reflections of World Doula Week 2018!
One of the most significant contributors to my philosophy and practice has been The Fifth Vital Sign (5VS), created by Kelsey Knight and Emily Varnam. They came through Austin on their epic road trip through the US to share their knowledge on fertility awareness, chest awareness, options for birth control, menstrual care, and getting informed consent in female health care.
I didn't get to attend their class but, I met them at an after-party where I also met my unicorn of a co-teacher, Amanda Cooper (this is the first time I realized that this is how Amanda and I met!). We swooned over their table full of teaching tools and books and, as they drove away, Amanda said what we were all thinking, "take me with you!!!". (A couple of months later they did take Amanda with them!).
The following year, Kelsey and Emily announced a call to action: anyone who wants to learn and share their curriculum could train with them. On Valentine's Day 2017, in a giant celebration of all of the YASS POWER we could muster up, we would all teach classes across the world.
Of course, Amanda and I signed up to become co-facilitators for this amazing material. Thanks to the mentorship from Kelsey and Emily, we've been under their guidance in creating a Fifth Vital Sign Austin community. Kelsey and Emily are both intelligent, funny, passionate, and energetic souls who I feel incredibly lucky to learn under.
In my partnership with Amanda, we've learned together, and from 5VS, how important it is to ask for exactly what we want, give back to our community, grow our community, and the value that comes from working in a strong female partnership that makes us both feel confident and supported in whatever we do. I am a more assertive yet, gentle person because of the guidance of these three women.
We have also met so many supporters on this journey, namely, Jami Yaeger, owner of AustinBorn, who has graciously let us use her beautiful space and is passionate about sharing our work to spread our mission. Thank you so much, Jami!
This is all a testament to the fact that we can't do this work alone. That we must learn from each other, pass on the knowledge with integrity, care, and honor, be willing to take from a community that wants to support you, and pass along the help whenever the opportunity arises.
Amanda, Kelsey, & I will be co-facilitating a Fifth Vital Sign class Monday, April 30th, 2018, 7-9:30pm, location TBD. Purchase tickets here but, contact us for a full or partial scholarship to attend!
World Doula Week 2018 Day 5
World Doula Week 2018 Day 7