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You're going to be a what???

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You're going to be a what???

Doesn't every little girl want to be a doula when she grows up? No? Well I'm pretty sure I did.

As a little kid, I loved dogs, birds and babies. I would constantly tell my parents I planned to be unmarried, have 10 babies and live in their basement. Can we say: classy??

My baby/mom fascination grew. Apparently on a family vacation at age 3, I demanded to know why my aunt didn't nurse my cousin, all while trying to argue "breast is best.” I was the weird kid who would sit and chat with my friends' moms while they were nursing.

One of my mom’s favorite memories is of picking me up at daycare, where I was walking around with two baby dolls up shirt. When she asked what I was doing, I responded "just feeding my babies"......An odd remark for an only child who was exclusively formula fed.

My love of birth started when I found TLC’s A Baby Story. To the best of my memory, I first heard of a doula on this show, it was a daily after school activity for me. Come on: what school aged child doesn't love to stay home and watch child birth stories?

By my junior year in high school, I knew I wanted to be a midwife or a labor and delivery nurse. When I got the chance to do an independent study during my senior year, I picked doula training.

After going round and round with different organizations, I was able to attend my training summer 2007. My parents dropped me off at a hotel in Concord, New Hampshire, and I spent two days learning all about birthing babies and supporting families.

I spent the next few months attending more childbirth classes while reading books like The Birth Partner and Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery, every 12 grade girl’s normal study hall reading. In 2008, I moved to Chicagoland for nursing school and started - well more tried - putting my doula skills to use.

Gaining a clientele was interesting, to say the least. Who doesn’t want a childless 19 year old for their doula?? But I networked and read and volunteered with a NFP. Soon, people were asking ME, the teenager, for advice.

As nursing school came to a close, I realized I didn't want my doula career to end. Shortly before graduation, I told my parents I didn't think I loved being a nurse-you know the thing every parent wants to hear after they just finished paying for your private school education.

Rather than follow the advice of my nursing school counselor to “take any RN job you can find.” I decided I only wanted birth and baby related jobs.....Weeks, okay months, passed and applications built up. Interviews occurred and even some job offers, but so did births. And new clients kept coming and coming. 

Finally, I did take a part-time job as a pediatric nurse while continuing to build my doula practice. Best of both worlds, right? For a time, it was! 

But then repeat clients happened and I fell more and more in love with birth than wearing white sneakers and pastel scrubs.

In fall of 2013, after 18 months, I made the choice to walk away from my RN job and fully embrace doula work. I'm fortunate to do something that I’m good at and that shapes peoples' lives. Nursing felt like a job, this feels like career – a career that I'm passionate about. 

13 Comments to You're going to be a what???:

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Christine on Saturday, July 04, 2015 11:54 AM
I could tell it was your passion when you helped me learn about birth for hours before I was even in labor, and your years of study were fully evident during my (abnormal) labor and delivery. I still remember how shocked I was when I learned your age after baby was born. ;) Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed reading it, and I'll continue to recommend you to my friends!
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Susie the Atlanta Birth Doula on Sunday, July 05, 2015 1:44 PM
Congrats on finding your true passion! :)
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Andrew on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 1:45 AM
It is great you have found your passion. Nursing and looking after young children (especially newborns) is a very rewarding job. Actually, job is not the best term to use, I would say an honour really.
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Carlo Nishida on Thursday, October 15, 2015 10:41 AM
decoration of your apartment?
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Alphonso Lemley on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 2:16 PM
Why economizing is often a damaging idea?
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Glenn Do on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 4:38 PM
advice for the act on home?
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Oliver Wiinikainen on Friday, November 13, 2015 9:08 AM
hallway also are possibly not uncommon?
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Frank on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 9:54 PM
Ha! Excellent information and congratulations. Most people don't know what they want to be, until it hits them right in the face.
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Billy Jean on Sunday, January 03, 2016 3:00 PM
thanks for information, my daughter is currently in her second trimester.
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