Doula life and birth stories

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I'm nearly there!!



I'm nearly there!!!

Goddess willing I will soon be a recognised birth doula with Doula UK and a reflexologist with a VTCT level 3 Diploma.  It's been a long, hard road.

I am re-doing my reflexology diploma because my original one wasn't a qualification that was recognised by the organisation I wanted to undergo my further training in Maternity Reflexology with.  So last year I began at the beginning again, and spent my weekends at college on Saturdays and at my desk doing homework on Sundays.  During that time I was able to do my specialised training in Fertility and Maternity reflexology in London, and now I have just 9 days to go before I submit my final work for marking.

The doula journey has been a little harder than that.  I had supported births before training in 2011, and thoroughly enjoyed my course with Nurturing Birth. I began connecting with local doulas, building my website, and kick-starting my new business.  The training course, reflective work which follows it and securing a Doula Mentor is just the beginning of a doula's apprenticeship.  I studied further areas of birth, qualified as a placenta specialist and breastfeeding peer supporter, and began working with mothers and babies.  But the birth doula work stalled badly, and I plunged into a dark period of paralysing fear.  I became ill.  First with shingles, then with endometrial hyperplasia.  I spent days in bed with torrential bleeding, and I read books which made me realise that the reason I was struggling was that I needed to come to terms with my early life, and let some stuff go.  I had surgery, and the recovery encompassed a long period of deep reflection.

Recovering from surgery, I re-read 'A Midwife's Story' by Penny Armstrong.  It reminded me of my original love of birth, and desire to work as a doula.  8 weeks before surgery, I had doulaed for my daughter, and a mere 10 weeks after it I was doulaing for a friend.  It took a further two years of working on my demons, healing my past, and sheer determination before I finally made a conscious intention to welcome birth clients back into my life, and the doula sisters who would be by my side.

When I saw this little fellow inching his way slowly across the road in front of me, I had to photograph his beautiful shell.  After that I picked him gently up and carried him over to the grass he was headed for, because it's nice to be able to do that, and so wonderful when someone does the same for you.
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