Sunday, 26 February 2012

A mother to the mother

I have been effectively unemployed for quite a while now. I did a day or two's work back in about late november, i think but nothing for a while before that and nothing since. I took some time to be gentle with myself and be a more attentive mother and generally recover from the trauma of a couple of years as worse than persona non grata. I have applied for a few jobs, even been to a couple of interviews but i havent had much success and if i was completely honest i couldn't get excited about any of the jobs i applied for but this week i had a revelation. i think it was truly a revelation, too because my inspiration to look into becoming a doula* seemed to come directly from something outside myself.
For whatever reason i googled "doula", i read, i thought, maybe more importantly i felt and it felt right. I told my chiropractor of my idea and her excitement was spontaneous and encouraging. emboldened to continue i asked her whether she could recommend a trainer or point me in the right general direction and she did! she gave me the name of a woman who would surely know which doula trainers were best, i phoned the woman and she actually has her own doula training program which i wasted no time in signing up for.
and so, by a miracle of inspiration and circumstance i find myself on the brink of a new career, at once petrified and thrilled beyond belief.
it's a funny thing, i always say things can turn in a day but i didnt imagine that i would, in the space of a day or two, go from being in an employment wilderness to prospectively being employed to help people through the miraculous rite of passage that is birth.

*the word doula comes from the greek and refers to a female servant. the modern incarnation of the doula is as a source of support, information and advocacy during pregnancy, labour and birth, sometimes with the addition of post natal care and advice.


  1. How wonderful to be on the brink of something that your heart and head both agree is a winner. Please keep us posted.

  2. elephants child,
    should i know your name? can you tell me it? if your canberra location means you are subject to special security measures i will understand :)
    i think i will keep you posted, i think i will become boringly obsessed for a while and drive everybody nuts. hopefully you will still be here when i come out the other side!

  3. That's awesome Carly. I'm glad you found something that is rewarding and makes you happy.

  4. I answer perfectly happily to EC, Child (Snowbrush), TEC. My remaining largely incognito is because of fraught family issues not any position I hold. It couldn't be my position because apart from voluntary work I am unemployed.

    And I love to hear about other people's obsessions and this sounds like a WONDERFUL thing to develop an obsession about. So yes, I will certainly still be here.

  5. thank you bob! i have a ways to go before i do my training to be released onto unsuspecting and vulnerable pregnant women but i think its going to be great :)

  6. TEC,
    it has to be TEC, it sits comfortably as my former employers were known to me as HEC.
    i did actually know you were retired but you could have been any kind of thing in your employed life :)

  7. That's fantastic- I am sure you will be excellent. I would have liked to have had you for my doula.

    How long is the training? I am interested because I trained and worked as a midwife. I was well prepared for my own pregnancies and labours- but hopelessly, inadequately prepared for motherhood or the changes in myself.

    I am really excited for you- I cannot think of a person more suited to this role :-)

  8. hi cinnamon :) :)
    long time no see!

    the training (through this group) is an online course followed by a weekend workshop and attendance at one delivery. as yet i have only got half the course work which is 100 pages of notes and there looks to be maybe 40 hours work in about 6 assignments.

    i am aware of another course which involves 80 hours face to face.

    thanks for the vote of confidence! it means a lot

  9. hey and cinnamon, i thought you were still involved with midwifery?

  10. Not that I know much about childbirth, but I guess you'd be well suited to being a doula. Sensitivity, intelligence, compassion etc. You should definitely give it a try, especially since other jobs are not coming your way.

  11. hey nick!
    maybe i'll educate you :)
    communication skills and and understanding of the process are important, too. another part of the role is to be familiar with the dizzying array of options available with regard to the types of care available

  12. Good point re educating me. So would you be giving advice to the fathers as well or just the mothers?

  13. the job is to support the couple, including dad but the mother gets finals say.
    fathers tend to get a bit overwhelmed in delivery suites so part of the job is to look after him so he can enjoy the process

  14. Peggy is a labor and delivery nurse as you probably recall, and she does mention women having doulas occasionally. I don't know that it happens a lot here, but she speaks of it as if it's a fine thing to do.

  15. Snow,
    word has it that doulas are quite common in the US but maybe that is only compared to australia where they are pretty much unknown, i'm sure the use of a doula is also more or less prevalent in different socio-economic groups.
    i was just talking yesterday to someone from the UK who told me that doulas there work most often with the most disadvantaged, here it will surely be a more middle class phenomenon.

  16. If your heart beat a little faster and you were excited by the prospect then you should do it !!
    i know you will be fabulous at this , I could imagine you making a well-timed quip to bring a smile to their faces to break up the pained expressions ha-ha!!

    GO FOR IT !!

    Fee xoxo

  17. fee,
    i already paid and have done 3 assignments.
    you should write me with all the goss


  18. Have a crack. My sister in law is actually a midwife and a 'doula' she specialises in home births and loves it. More of a calling than a job but very important....hark on you...the mother goddess already.

  19. dad,
    the Carly thing is an in-joke. when i was in california my friends could understand my name but everybody else did a double take every time


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