Why I am a Doula - Kersti
Although I initially intended to have a career as a nurse, logistical roadblocks compelled me to reconsider the practicality of that choice. My hope had always been to care for women and/or children, so when I heard about the work of doulas, I was intrigued. After my DONA training, I knew I had discovered the career I was looking for. As a doula, I could care for women in a personal, hands-on way that truly supported the profound importance of her birthing experience. I was inspired. I changed course and launched a full time, professional doula business right away. I’m so grateful now for the “roadblocks” that served to redirect me- and for the detour that has turned out to bless me in more ways than I could have anticipated. And I’m grateful for that lesson, because it is a lesson that is reinforced in birth work, every day. We can’t control circumstances, but we can remain flexible and listen to our inner voice. We usually can’t see where the road is going, but we can choose the attitude we are taking with us as we travel.
I took advanced trainings and became more involved in the birthing community. I was supporting births full time, on-call 24/7, and doing some postpartum doula work, as well. I was also trying to have a baby of my own. For three years, my husband and I struggled with fertility issues while I supported dozens of other women having their own babies. I have so much faith in a woman’s body and in the natural process of birth – and yet, while I supported other women in achieving their goals for childbirth, my own hopes alluded me. I remained flexible, listened to my inner voice, and prayed intently. After several years, various medical interventions and several IUIs, I conceived. I enjoyed a healthy, profoundly grateful pregnancy and a beautiful home birth, with no medical interventions. After years of being a doula, I walked the road of childbirth myself- and it was, as anticipated, the most amazing event of my life. I already loved being a doula, had lots of experience and knew the value of the work I was doing. After giving birth to Violet, I know first hand, how overwhelming mother-love is and how powerfully transformative a supported birth experience can be. Birth will change you forever. As a baby is born, so is a mother. I truly believe that feeling supported throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum is the best way possible to begin the journey of motherhood. My hope is that all women can have a birth experience that encourages them to enter motherhood feeling empowered and confident in themselves as mothers. The evidence shows that having a doula statistically increases the likelihood of that happening and my own experience (as a doula and as a laboring mama) absolutely reinforces it. Every birth is different, there are always uncertainties, and you cannot control the circumstances surrounding birth. What you can do is trust the process, trust your own voice, prepare, and be flexible. My personal life experiences have repeatedly reinforced that lesson and I think have served me well and helped me develop a balanced perspective that aids me as a doula.
I became a doula because I truly wanted to support birthing women in an impactful way. As I did so, my passion for birth and awe for the power of a woman’s body grew even more. My greatest joy in life now is being Violet’s mama and it is an incredible gift to come beside families in the sacred space of birth and share those joyful, “becoming” moments… witnessing perfect little souls coming earth-side, maidens becoming mothers, and the power of love in perhaps its purest form.