This month’s blog is the story of how I came to be a Doula. Hopefully, it will give you more of an insight into who I am and why working with women still means so much to me.
Doula found me – the story of a chance encounter
The nights were drawing in and it was a cold and dark Monday morning. I’d managed to squeeze myself onto a packed train and, whilst suffering a serious case of Monday blues, I surveyed the carriage.
There was a woman stood next to me and I got the feeling that something wasn’t quite right, but in true Brit spirit we never made eye contact, and I continued with the surveillance of my surroundings. I was irritated as I looked around the carriage and counted how many men had occupied the much-coveted seats. Chivalry is dead I thought to myself with a slight shake of my head. As I continued to take in my surroundings I was drawn, once again, to the woman standing next to me, and as I looked off, she sighed and touched the nape of her throat. I didn’t know what that meant but, once again, intuitively I got the feeling that something was wrong. I asked if she was okay to which, in a really quiet voice, she responded ‘no’, that she wasn’t feeling well, she had rushed for the train and was in the early stages of her first pregnancy.
Indignant, I challenged the seated passengers and, as I recall it, almost at once, everyone was offering up their seat. Chivalry is dead, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still good people in the world…
A few stops later we managed to get a seat together and we talked and talked. We shared concerns, aspirations and experiences. It was lovely to make a connection with another woman, and to instinctively understand where one another were coming from. It turned out that we had both become pregnant with our first child at the same age, albeit that my daughter had been born years earlier and was now in school. We talked about being pregnant and the challenges of being a working mother along with all the other hats modern women wear. Before I knew it, what was normally a long journey for me had come to an end and we had reached my stop. We said our goodbyes and I wished her all the very best. As I got up to leave, the woman thanked me and I felt a warmth that only comes when you give freely with no expectations in return. Especially so, as I didn’t think I’d done very much at all.
Fast forward a few months and it was yet another half term. As I scoured Eventbrite looking for something interesting to do with my daughter, I came across an advert for Volunteer Doula’s. The advert said, if you were willing to give up a few hours of your time each week, you would be trained as a certified Doula and Breastfeeding Supporter. My mind went back to my encounter with the woman on the train. I thought it would be a really rewarding experience and not just for the mothers I would support but also for me, plus a few hours a week was not too much to ask. I’ve never looked back. The rest, as they say, is history.
As for the woman on the train, GDPR means I cannot reveal too much but, as chance would have it, we happened upon the same train some months later, we exchanged numbers and remain in touch to this day. Her handsome prince was born shortly after I completed my training.
And it really was the beginning, and so I packed in my job, got my qualification as a Doula and Breastfeeding Supporter and began following my passion; working with expectant and new families. I went on to study Perinatal Mental Health, work with the NCT and attend a number of other birthing related courses.
Today, I remain passionate about the work I do and the families I support. As well as working as a Doula, I continue to do a bit of hospital volunteering where I provide breastfeeding support.
I am so proud to know I’ve made a difference to so many lives and I am honoured that women, and their families, entrust such a significant part of their lives to me. It is definitely a mutual benefit and has made a huge difference to my life. In empowering women, I too feel empowered.
I count my blessings every day and I wake up every day feeling like I have found my purpose and this was meant to be.
If you like what you’ve read, feel free to contact me for more information.
Don’t forget to come back and check out next month’s blog; entitled ‘the superwoman complex’.