Here I am, Sam: First Time Mom (FTM) and Doula & Counsellor. No, I do not like green eggs, but ham is good. I started a year ago, and here is a summary of how things have gone so far. Of course this post is a two-parter, we’ll be focusing on the Doula & Counsellor part first and then get to things as a FTM in another post (link here later)
So how does one become a Doula & Counsellor. Well I’m working it out here in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.
In the beginning of my academic career, with many twist and turns along the way, I was granted with a BA in Psychology and Post-Grad Certificate in Addictions Treatment and Prevention. I volunteered and worked a couple years within social services with many different individuals.
Turn of events, I was provided 7 months off work. I used this time to do some soul searching, where I decided I wanted to have more control of how I live my life and how I provide for said life. I did meditation, yoga, reiki, coaching, massage, walks, and gardening to heal myself. (Link to future post about the journey here). I enrolled into self-employment programs and sought aid in start-up only to quickly realise I wasn’t ready to jump both feet in the direction others were pushing for me to go in the business. I was torn. My purpose is to be of service to others; I’m a great listener, can understand your needs and help you realise them so that you may have them met.
I just felt like something had to be added to the open minded informational and emotional support I was already providing .
Then an amazing friend & woman brought forth something I only read of: surrogacy. Ten months: I accompanied her antenatal visits, met the intended parents, hung around during transfer day & night, went to see the midwives & fertility doctors, post-partum and was able to be present for the big day: BIRTH DAY.
Throughout her journey as a surrogate, I was called the birth support. The Doula. I was excited, she was my first birth. We had a plan; for the most part it went out the window. I supported her in keeping her comfortable, listening to her needs, fuelled and in #keymindset of her goal: birthing babes her way. As soon as I saw babes head crowning from over her left knee, that was it. I was hooked. I needed to add Doula to my bag of trades.
3 months later I was pregnant and a month after that I took my Doula Training course in Toronto through DONA International. I’m the one providing support to a fellow Doula in the photo. I registered as a member of the Association of Ontario Doulas and purchased my insurance to provide Birth Doula support in & out of hospital. Ready to rock & birth.
It will always echo in my mind as I reassured her she could breathe this baby down and surrender to her body’s movements, the midwife said to me “You can Doula for me anytime”…