I Was Really a Doula!
Once upon a time I managed an amazing and flourishing OB/GYN private practice. It was there that I met this kick ass doula that greatly impressed me.
This doula obviously impressed the doctor as well because she was given an office to meet with the doctor’s patients, who quickly became her clients. The doula’s office was adjacent to my office and so I was privy to many of her conversations.
Her intimate, comforting, and supportive conversations not only captivated me but I was thoroughly intrigued.
The doula was a phenomenal businesswoman and salesperson.
She not only provided potential clients with specific details of what she offered – she provided her services to her clients with compassion, accountability and professionalism. The clients continued to want her support after delivering. Sometimes she was able to schedule postpartum support but often could not fit it in. Her clients could not get enough of her.
Being the mother of 4 children, including a set of twins, as well as being the manager of the doctor’s office, the doula often remarked to me, that I was a doula and didn’t know it yet.
She knew I had experienced 2 vaginal deliveries and a cesarean section. She knew I breastfeed 2 of my children and formula fed my twins. She knew I possessed knowledge and experience that could greatly benefit families. And she knew that I was a woman who helped to empower others, regardless of their choices.
She suggested I train, obtain certification and earn the titles of “certified labor doula and certified postpartum doula”.
Throughout my entire career I worked in an office, worked during business hours and wore professional attire. I knew nothing about the on-call labor doula lifestyle.
I never imagined that going to the homes of new parents and supporting them in self care and the care of their newborns could be considered “work.”
This just did not add up to me, so for a couple of years, while truly appreciative and thankful that she thought of me as qualified, I did not give this idea any further thought.
For a couple of years I just listened, intently, to the doula as she marketed and sold her services. During this time, she partnered with another doula and together, they ran an agency with independent contractors working with them.
I did not realize how much I was learning about doulas, marketing and sales.
I often overheard these agency owners figure out resolutions for their scheduling needs. It was apparent that they had more clients than their IC’s could provide support to.
Once again the doula approached me and strongly urged me to attend an upcoming doula training. She assured me that I would receive continued support and mentoring, and that I would be making extra money when I supported a client.
It seemed I had nothing to lose.
I’d grown to appreciate the doula for offering remarkable services to families.
I personally developed a deep respect and admiration for her.
An opportunity to make some extra money wasn’t so bad either.
And, the worse case scenario was that I would be certified but not put it to use. After all, I had I purchased a gym membership in the past and didn’t really put that to use…
At the time, this incredible doula trained doulas for a different certification organization and the intense training that she provided, made it all make so much sense; unbiased, non-judgmental support by way of physical, education and emotional care.
I was provided with such a wealth of information. I really had been a doula all along. I just needed some professional tools, and now I had them.
Upon completion of the training she told me I was qualified to support clients. She assured me that I could reach out to her for guidance and continued mentoring.
Shortly thereafter she gave me a postpartum client to support and I aced all of my responsibilities. A little while after that, she gave me a labor client to support and I aced that as well. I worked diligently on my certification and completed it.
I was really a doula!
I utilized all of the tools she provided me with and was actually a fantastic doula. I was sure of this because the clients I supported appreciated me, told me so, extended their contracts and referred me to their friends and family.
Thank you Randy Patterson, for believing in me, for providing me with so much knowledge and the benefit of your experience and for keeping my fancy handbags filled with money. I will forever be grateful to you for all you have taught me and for genuinely caring about birth, families and the empowerment of others.
Authored by: Kim Jones