17 October, 2010

What do you want to be when you grow up?

This is a question I have asked myself over, and over, and over, and over, and....well, you get it. I've asked myself that question A LOT. Sometimes I wonder how high school kids know what they want to do, and then go to school for 4+ years...they are still babies. What happens if they don't want to go to school for the same thing a couple years down the road? A waste of money I think. When I graduated high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Zero. Nil. Nada. So I went to community college to try to figure it out. I dropped out within the first year. Not just because I was in a rebellious stage of my life, with a shitty boyfriend, but also because I wasn't ready to make that kind of decision about my life. I had no idea what would really make me happy...what I could imagine doing for the rest of my life. Aimlessly taking classes here and there wasn't going to get me anywhere except wasting my parents money.

So now, 7 years after I graduated high school, after a wide variety of ideas of what I wanted to have as my career, ranging from teacher, to accountant, to chef, to marine biologist, specializing in the study of sharks, back to chef, I think I've finally found something I am passionate enough about to tackle. A year ago, two years ago, three years ago, the thought of going back to school, while I really wanted to do it, seemed really overwhelming to me. Going back and doing all the stuff that I did already and just....blllehhhhh. I didn't know where I was going to fit going to school into my schedule, even with just one kid...now I have another one that I have to figure out what to do with! I don't trust myself doing online school. I don't learn like that. I learn by reading and by physically being in a teacher presence, take notes, etc. I can't afford to throw both girls in daycare while I go to school...not to mention another car and all the expenses for school. I don't WANT to take out a student loan, but I'm sure it will eventually happen, and that also frustrates me. So I'm glad I've been waiting for so long to go back to school...I just couldn't bring myself to do all of that to myself and the family for something I wasn't 100% on.

But now, I figured it out. I did it. I found something that I am passionate about. And it's all thanks to my little Ocho! When I was pregnant with her, I had wanted a doula. We didn't have one, but that's neither here nor there...we did fine without one. So again, not the point. But adding to the fact that I wanted a doula, and that I was scared about having a baby where I wasn't familiar with the hospital, or doctors, and didn't have any family, and also that I frequent a baby website with a forum where there are so many mis- and uninformed women, and women who wanted certain things out of their births, I decided that what I would really love to do, and could really get passionate about and stick to is becoming a doula and a midwife.

For those of you who are unsure of what a doula is: A Doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

I have been so let down by all the negative stories I've heard about birthing and birth experiences. I've been let down by my own nerves and my own understandings and basically mistrust in doctors. I have grown a lot in the last 4 years since I gave birth the first time. My views have changed drastically. Giving birth with OB's who I don't know and will probably never see again scared the shit out of me. It still makes me nervous. I haven't decided what I'm going to do when we have our next baby in a couple of years because while this birth wasn't inherently bad, my next birth may not go the route that this one went, and I want to be comfortable and feel like I can trust whoever is involved in my birth. I know a lot of women can't do that. They can't pick their provider. They can't ever feel comfortable. They can't do what they want to do...and what they should be able to do. And I want to be apart of the solution and HELP those women.

I've done some research about becoming a doula and I think that's the route I'll go first. To be a midwife, I will have to go to nursing school, and honestly, that isn't something I'm quite ready to do yet. I have a small baby at home, and I want to at least have Reilly in school full time before I start on that venture. I don't want to miss the last year or so that I have at home with her. So doula training is first. The steps that you have to take to become a certified doula really aren't THAT difficult. Read some books, take some classes, sit in on some births. Easy peasy. And hell, I'm in the military community. I know what happens and how we end up with re-deployment babies. I know whats up *wink wink nudge nudge*. I'm sure there would be tons of women who would let me sit in on a birth. And once your certified it lasts for so many years before you have to re-certify, and that's always easier after you've done it the first time.

I hope that this is something that I can be good at. I hope that this is something that I can do, not only to be an advocate to women and couples, but that I can be happy doing it, and I can make at least a contribution to the family income with it. It'll be hard when I actually become a certified doula because as we all know, birth is in a league totally of its own. We don't know when a birth is going to start, or finish, unless you obviously have a scheduled induction or c-section. So it'll be hard with the two little ones and Bradford in the military and having a schedule that he needs to keep. But we'll figure it out. One thing at a time Mrs. Obie...just one thing at a time.

1 comment:

Jacob said...

I think being a doula is awesome. I think the more people we have helping people have natural births, the better. We had our twins in the hospital (with midwives) and our third at home (with a midwife). I can't even express how much better the second experience was.

I think you have a great goal. Good luck. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.