Any doula knows, this profession can be taxing to family life -- who hasn't missed a holiday or milestone? Chelsea is a local doula and friend. Here she shares the struggles of not only working toward doula certification, but also what life is like for a busy mom whose passion is doula work.
From the beginning of my research about starting my doula career, I’ve heard nothing but: “You should wait until your baby is older.”
I started my certification just shortly after I found out I was pregnant with my second baby. I had just decided the month before to start the process of certification when I got two pink lines on that beautiful test. As I went through my certification, the process was slow and hard. I had a hard time concentrating on my assignments and getting my births done. Every time I started to struggle, those negative thoughts came into my mind time and time again: maybe I should wait, maybe I can’t do both.
But I wanted to. I wanted to be not only a great mom, but also a great doula. I persevered. I did assignments as often as I could, and I kept at it.
We then found out just three short months after giving birth to baby #2 that we were expecting baby #3. That’s right folks! Three babies in three short years.
Again, the thoughts came.
But I stuck through it. And you know something? I’ve learned that I can love my job and my babies at the same time. I admit it is hard to leave my babies for a birth sometimes. I just had a birth whre I was gone in bits and pieces for 38 hours. I had to pump every time I got a break! It was hard. No sleep. Missing my babies. First time away from baby #3 for more then a few hours since he was born. That's tough stuff.
I’ve missed putting them to bed and reading them goodnight stories. I’ve missed them having fun. I miss family events because like most doulas, I don’t travel within my on-call period.
The one thing I’ve had to learn as a doula, and as a mom of 3 under 3, is the importance of self-care. I was going to births, being there until the early hours of daylight, then coming home and trying to be super mom. I was trying to clean house and take care of all 3 babies. I was exhausted after my first few birth. I was already burning myself out.
I realized I needed to come home and eat, shower, and sleep, and with a supportive husband, I get help in this area. Bubble baths are still my favorite thing to do post birth -- you can’t give what you don’t have right?
Being a mom of 3 under 3 while balancing doula life is hard, but I get to see women at their strongest moments. I get to see life come into the world. I get to be a part of a family's greatest moment! And I can’t see much changing in the foreseeable future!
Chelsea is a birth doula in the Bakersfield, CA area. She is married to a strong, supportive husband, has a daughter and two sons, and loves Disneyland. She is a passionate breastfeeding advocate, and is happy to still be nursing her third baby after struggling with undiagnosed low thyroid and losing her milk with her first two. Chelsea is also a proponent of informal milk-sharing, as it has helped her little guy grow and thrive before she understood why her milk supply was decreasing. Find out more on her Facebook Page.
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)