I can't believe that one week ago today, I was sitting in Birth Day Presence in the presence of one of the country's most established doulas soaking in her wisdom. I wish so much I could go back and take that training again and again and again and again. (Luckily for me, as a doula, I'm required a certain amount of continuing education credits each year so I may just get the chance!)
Debra Pascali-Bonaro, I'm so very proud to say, has made me a trained doula! I still have a ways to go before my certification is complete, but this is the most significant part of the certification process to complete before I start attending births. Debra was wonderful - there are not enough adjectives in the world. She was warm, put us all immediately at ease, funny, unbelievably knowledgeable, and her heart is clearly in every single thing she says and does. Her genuine love radiated through every word she spoke.
I'm gushing, I know, but I just don't know how else I'm going to write about this workshop!
With a lot of upheaval going on lately at Karma Kids (I can't reveal our exciting news just yet, but stay tuned!) and my mind and energy focused on that, I've been saying over and over what "terrible timing" this workshop has been for my life - but like so many things, what I thought was going to be a massive disadvantage turned out to be a huge advantage. I was so caught up in everything else going on I had nearly forgotten my passion which sparked my desire to become a doula in the first place - this pushed me right back into the deep end of it.
The first day was focused primarily on childbirth education, while the second two days focused on the role of a doula as well as anything and everything we'd need to know going forward as doulas, from pre and postnatal visits with clients, to providing emotional support, physical comfort measures, and the history of female support at birth, before it moved into the hospital in the early-mid 20th century.
Each day's lunch break we had the option to stay and watch one of Debra's many documentaries she had on hand, and we also were able to come early to watch them too. There were so many inspiring stories - Guerilla Midwife featuring the unbelievable humanitarian work of Robin Lim in Indonesia and the Phillipinnes and various other areas natural disaster has struck (read more!), A Doula Story focusing on angel-in-human-form Loretha Weisinger is doing in Chicago for pregnant teens (read more!), and so much more.
None of us in the group wanted the training to end - we could have happily gone on like that for another week! But we all feel so grateful for the time we were able to have with Debra and with each other and all look forward to coming back together whenever and however possible.
I'm so excited to keep moving forward in this direction with the help of my invaluable mentor, pre/postnatal expert and doula Juliana Secches. I'm so ready to start attending births and, after all this talk and practice and theory, really start doing this work that I feel so called to do.