As we near the end of January, I’m dreaming and planning for the year ahead. However, in order to plan where I want to go, I also need to look back at where I have come from.
This year makes ten years since my DONA training, back in August 2009. I will very likely see my 100th birth this year as well. My mission when I registered for my doula training workshop was to make the world a better place, one family at a time, and one birth at a time. As I have learned more over the years, one birth at a time, how I approach making the world a better place has shifted and matured. My philosophy of what doula support means has also matured and grown. My understanding of the underlying reasons our maternity care system looks the way it does has grown, although there is so much I still do not know. My compassion for birthing families and the professionals that care for them has blossomed. My relationships have been shaped by my work in birth, they have to because my week’s plans can change with a phone call or text message! My children have barely known a mom who will truly always be there in the morning, or after school, and they have grown up knowing that they have a community who care for them and love them, and will be there when I am not. I have learned to prepare for the unexpected, and how to be more flexible. I have learned to take the opportunity in front of me. I have learned to trust my instincts more. I am developing my time management skills. I am developing a robust self-care routine, and can remind myself to step back and take care when I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. I have been awed time and again by the beauty, the power, the relentless love and surrender that is childbirth. I’m excited to see what 2019 and the next decade has in store for Doula Joyce!