Life continued to happen. I got to college and decided that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in school so, I thought I'd become a teacher and writer (my other passion). Then one day the financial rug was snatched from under me and I had to leave school. I walked in a funk for a decade because of it but I had a baby, got married, and just existed. Two years ago, I was able to resume my college career. Actually, I started from scratch but that's another story for another day. Today, I'm two semesters shy of completing my degree and had plans to pursue an Master's in Library Science but my passion called again.
I don't recall what I was searching for on Google last December but I stumbled upon something about doulas. I know, what is a "doula"? Doula (doo-la) is a greek term meaning "female servant". The purpose is to provide constant support and comfort to women during labor but it has been extended to the entire childbearing year through education and planning. That was a lightbulb moment for me. I instantly began what turned into weeks of research on the work of doulas and training. Although certification is not necessary, many practitioners are opting to gain it as it adds a layer of legitimacy to the trade.
I eventually decided to train through Birth Arts International distance program for doula, childbirth educator, and breastfeeding educator. I jazz with their woman-centered, holistic approach. These are all still in process as I continue with my degree coursework and everything else in my life. It has been one of the most solid decisions I've ever made. It just makes sense. I'm even leaning heavily towards midwifery school after completing my degree and taking a little time off from school. In the meantime, I'm trying to build a doula practice in Memphis, TN. I've made some great connections with other local doulas and we've formed a network to make what we do more visible. Some cities are saturated with birth workers and Memphis is just getting acquainted with us. The lone local independent childbirth educator, Sarah Stockwell, has been so generous with her wealth of knowledge and letting me observe her classes for my certification requirements. Everything is falling into place quite nicely.
So, stay tuned for mini updates on my journey as I finally heed the call to birth work. And if you're in Memphis and want a doula, check me out here: www.zoleka.com.