.....but the road to active doula-dom actually qualifies as a journey for me.
I'm not sure when was the last day I was in official, paid employment but it was about this time last year and it has been a long, frustrating year.
Having said that, I am glad I had the opportunity for a redirection, if I ever get to seriously be a doula I am pretty sure I will love it but the way to success is long and winding.
I did my study and attended my training birth and then, thinking it would save me the hassle and expense of setting up for myself I signed a contract to work for my teacher. I phoned a few potential clients who all decided I wasnt the doula for them and after six months without a single successful referral I decided I couldnt stand to be entirely impotent over my own fate and maybe I should leave the contract. The boss didnt like that idea so there was another delay while I got some advice and I will be free to fall on my face or rise on my own feet at the end of this month. How exhausting and I havent even had to get up in the middle of the night yet!
Since deciding to strike out on my own I have bought a domain name, got a business registration number and wrote copy for as well built, my website.Its not the fanciest site you ever saw but fit for it's purpose. I liked doing the website, even taught myself a smidgin of HTML so I could customise the look of it a little bit.
The world of doula-ing is a funny one, seeming not to have any monetary value. It is affected by that strange phenomenon where people wont pay to keep their health but will pay anything to regain it. People regularly suggest I do free work for experience and doulas themselves dont expect to make a living from it. Its a bit of a shock to sit in a park with a bunch of doulas (as I have done a couple of times) and hear them talk about how it is a job one does for love. I'm happy to work for love but love doesnt put fuel in the tank or food on the table and who else do we expect to work below cost or for free? I'm all for positive energy and trusting the universe but I like cold hard cash in my pocket, too. I guess I have a ways to go in full fledged new-age-ness :)
I do have a single client right now, her baby girl was due last week so I am on high alert. The process of walking through the pregnancy with her has been a learning experience and it's both daunting and exciting to know that every mumma and every baby will be different, the joys and challenges of each one will be unique. I almost feel like a detective sometimes, taking intuitive or educated guesses on what might happen in the next part of the process, thinking about what issues might arise and how I might deal with them. Yesterday my lady in waiting had some concern about baby being very quiet and I was pretty happy to realise that I could imagine both the good and the bad possibilities of that situation and know that I was as ready as I would ever be to deal with any of them. Bub woke up after mum had a good rest, which was the perfect resolution so after that potential drama we are back to the long wait. Waiting, more than anything else is the main occupation of a doula.