Why Doula?

My son was due Christmas day. It was Christmas time. Decorations were up. Kids, as well as my husband who is a high school teacher, were on Christmas break. My door bell rang. 

On my front porch was my best friend since fifth grade, enjoying her Christmas break from nursing school. As soon as I opened the door, she announced, "hi, I'm here until you have that baby!" 

My dear, sweet friend was trying to decide if she wanted to become a labor and delivery nurse, or an ER nurse, and this was the deciding factor. She was here to be my doula. So we spent the holidays talking babies, going over the Bradley Method and through breathing exercises. We were both learning so much - about my anatomy and my baby's anatomy - all set to the finely tuned dance of baking Christmas cookies. 

She was the only one, with the exception of a few moms online and in my church community, who spoke of babies as blessings and birth as a magical experience. She soothed and comforted me during my last two weeks of pregnancy and she was the one who got me excited to go into labor. There was no fear, just a beautiful, natural, journey, and at the end I would be holding my sweet boy (though, at the time, I didn't know the sex yet). 

She was the one who helped coached my husband and prepare him for labor - she educated us both so much. She made me go on the longest walks in the world, for hours on end, reminding me the whole time that putting in the work now would reap benefits when the time came to deliver. If I close my eyes and focus on reliving the hours in the delivery room, I can still feel her massaging my back and helping me breath through the last of my contractions. She reminded me to "ride the wave" and to "breath my baby out." Angie was my doula; she was the woman that simply sought to serve me throughout this crucial time in my pregnancy and my son's birth. 

She taught me so much about the miracle of birth, and showed me the joy that every mother can, maybe even should, have while bringing her child into the world. It's not a means to an end, but a calling, as a women. Having Kai transitioned me in a lot of ways from young girl to woman. I felt truly feminine, maybe for the first time, and became completely comfortable in my own skin, seeing all that it is capable of. 

I am becoming a doula so that I can share that experience with others. The joy, the blessing and the miracle that pregnancy and birthing life are and ought to be. 

Doula Diaries, is about my doula journey. My adventure through school and earning my certification. My adventures with the women I meet and have the honor of serving, it is me sharing their birth stories, and it is everything else I, and we, learn along the way.

as always, 
h.

Why Blog?

I was born and raised in San Diego and, with the exception of bit of travel and a couple of missions trips, I hadn't lived anywhere other than SD, and then we moved to Long Beach.

We, my husband and I, lived in Long Beach for a little over two years and then we moved back to San Diego, only to move back to Long Beach two years later. So, here we are, living in Long Beach for the second time and once again it's been a little over two years. 

Moving to Long Beach for the second time has been the biggest emotional adventure I have been on in my short thirty years on this planet. What changed? I became a mother. I became a mother and it changed everything. The moment I found out I was pregnant, the part of me that I tried so long to awaken on my own, burst open. I finally understood to the depth of my core who I was and who I was created to be. It was liberating, and devastating at the same time, because there is a lot about myself that needed to change, needed to heal. It was the biggest reality check ever.

So, I spent from 2011-2013 learning about who I am. Going into and investigating the darkest parts of me and the places I feared the most. I did that through reading books, journaling, endless conversations. tears, and lots and lots of prayer. 

2013 was the first year I decided that instead of new years resolutions, I would give myself a word, and that word was Kindness. I learned how to be kind to myself. I learned that that meant knowing my true identity in who the Creator has made me to be and not in who I made myself out to be in response to my life experiences and the lies I believed along the way. Being kind meant being able to love my outward appearance and taking pride in taking care of it. Being kind meant being conscious of what I put inside my body. Being kind meant investing in my marriage and not holding back from falling completely in love, because a long time ago I believed I didn't deserve it. Being kind meant investing in my child and confronting my bad habits, so I don't pass them on, or hurt him in the same way I had been hurt. Being kind meant loving my neighbors as myself and investing in their lives and extending kindness and encouragement to them. 2013 was a life changing, healing year. 

The biggest thing that I learned was that I had a weakness, one that needed to change. I realized I have a lot to say, I have a lot of ideas when it comes to visual design and hopes of creating my own business so that I could be artistic without limits. I wanted to go back to school and take my love and fervor, for all things moms and babies, to the next level and become a doula. I wanted to be able to make a to-do list and to actually complete it. I wanted to create goals for myself, large and small, but I realized I lacked one thing. 

BRAVERY. So this year, 2014, is all about me being brave. Stepping out and doing the things I daydream about, never again to look back and regret time wasted - it begins with this site, with this blog entry. 

as always, 
h.