Tonight I am heading down to Brighton to realise a little dream that started as a seed. I watered the dream and nourished it, and it has grown.
Yes, tomorrow I start the next leg of my Doula training! I absolutely cannot wait.
You could say that I have been in training for this role for several years. Apart from my own experiences, I've hand held and counselled many a mummy, been to hospital in an ambulance with lights blazing, to comfort a fellow mother, also heavily pregnant, whilst we thought she was losing her baby. I've driven for hours at the drop of a hat to be near a first time mama, and do practical stuff for her, and comfort her in her hour of need. I'm always open to be a listening ear, to offer solace and advice, to share the ups and downs and in-betweens of the whole business of motherhood, in those raw days. I've had many a phone call with either me or another mama in tears, or both of us! Mama work is not easy, and it has it's pleasures and pains. Whether its triumph, exhaustion, elation, fear, a crushing sense of failure, overwhelm, or just pure delight - all are feelings I have exchanged with many women over the years.
Most people read novels for pleasure, my idea of light reading are books about birth! Ina May Gaskin - where would I be without you? Your gentle vision, understanding and faith in women's bodies has helped me understand so much. The example of all the women at The Farm, the shining faces and also the sad stories where folks have lost their babies, have been soaking into my heart, soul and mind from the pages of Spiritual Midwifery and Ina Mays guide to childbirth and left an imprint forever. I cannot underestimate how much those women and men have helped form my sense of what a Doula should be.
My husband is perhaps the most important of all - he has always always been the calm, telepathic rock when it comes to birth-time. He has always set the tone, listening to me with his ears, eyes and heart, never being overbearing, panicky or out of his depth. He has co-created energy fields that could overcome the fussing and faffing midwives or obstetricians who have attended to me at times, leaving me free to birth without fear or inhibition. We have been through four births together, and one miscarriage, and he has never let me down. Maybe the best Doula training I have had so far has come from him.
I have already learnt so much! And yet I feel like I still know so little. It is humbling to think that I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg, four babies down the line. There is always more to know and learn, new mistakes to be made and new realisations to be struck upon!!!
After having such a hard time with the rather backwards medical establishment in the fenland area where I live, it will be refreshing to talk over my experiences with some enlightened souls down in Brighton. None of my witchy birthing oils, herbs or ideas will be too weird or whacky for those dear women I don't suppose! I can't wait to learn from them, to have my mind and heart opened ever further on this Doula path which I tread.
Now here's the crazy thing - I don't even know how I can practise as a Doula and home Ed full time,since I would need some very flexible childcare at the drop of a hat - not just anyone would do for such a job. Home educated kids would still need to be...well....educated. Not usually what a childminder would be expected to do. But such things will take care of themselves when the time is right. Doula work is not exactly anywhere near a full time or even part- time role, and here in the fens I don't suppose there will be queues of ladies who would want such a thing as a Doula. This will be as part- time as it gets, but my commitment during that time to a woman in my care will have to be 100%. I don't know how this will work just yet, but I am sticking to the old adage that where there is a will, there will be a way!
There might not be much posting this week, since besides the Doula training, I will be hanging out with my god- daughter Miss Betty Dare, and Ma and Pa Dare, and also little Miss Nina and her Ma and Pa, and then I have some hen-do shenanigans going on over the weekend, so I am being really spoilt this week.
Fun, fun, fun!!!
Have a great week!