For most of my life I have been an Administrative Assistant, Legal Assistant, Office Manager, things of that nature, until May 2019. Due to COVID-19 related cutbacks I was let go from a company I very much enjoyed being a part of for the last 2 years. This life transition came with so many caveats and new avenues, but the main one for me is the removal of what I thought to be my "career" path to be able to dive into my "purpose" as a birth worker and (fingers crossed) future Midwife. I'm not going to say the initial shock wasn't a blow to my professional ego, but guess what, I'M STILL STANDING! Not to mention, the momentum towards growing my business has only intensified. I had already been building both my business and its reputation since January 2018, so it was only right that this pivot provide a path toward my calling.
The amount of folks who have sown seeds of either finances, resources, support or just encouragement into my business during this time was indescribable. Folks I personally know, and folks who don't know me at all, but are familiar with the work I do all showed up and showed out to support my business during this transitionary time. Also, other opportunities, like being a panelist on pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting panels in partnership with the Flourish Fund have expanded my reach and exposure as a small business. Folks are learning who I am, but more importantly they're learning what I do and have to offer throughout the birthing cycle. I've been able to expand the support I am able to provide and grow my skills even more.
Though it has been emotionally the hardest time I've had in a while, these changes are all detrimental to pushing me to where I KNOW I need to be, midwifery school. I'm not a person who is accustomed to or expects things to "be easy" but, I am a person who refuses to accept excused for not accomplishing my goals. Attending births as a doula is always reaffirming to my purpose and my knowledge, when I "know" what's going on without being told by the staff, or ask a question and get a reaffirming answer it affirms that though I have been trained or educated I fundamentally know birth. I know the process (if supported properly), I know how to maximize folks birthing experiences and educate them to understand and work with their bodies in a non-judgmental and personal way. So when I call myself a "future midwife" it's only for the reason I'm not enrolled in a program, YET. But I've been a "midwife in training" pretty much my entire life.
I was asked while taking the new photos I'll be sharing on my website (and on social media): Question: At what point in life did you learn about your field of work? And what drew you to it?
My Answer: I learned what a doula was “officially” long after I was already doing the work (2016). I’ve supported pregnant friends and family since I was a kid (no exaggeration the first infant I cared for I was 12). I remember being amazed at pregnant women’s bodies and how they could make a baby since I was about 9 and my cousins started having babies. One of my cousins breasts were “engorged” and she talked to me about it and showed me. Lol. I supported the first birth when I was 17. My mom was also that person for many of my cousins and myself and my siblings also.
When a calling is on your heart, no matter how you try, it will not go away or be quiet until you honor it. Birthwork has been calling me, relentlessly, and I can no longer ignore it.
Even during unprecedented times of illness and discord, birthing people will continue to give birth. It is important to me to make sure I am considering my own family and our safety while not neglecting the birthing people in my community who need support. Mask or no mask, I'm here to support birthing folks on their journey.
So in short, I'll reiterate who knew this is how my life would turn out in 2020, but... the pandemic made me do it. And I am eternally grateful.
(Photo courtesy of Samantha at Miranda Photo. Co. Hair by Corrie Tillman of Salon 420 Providence, RI. Make up by Celestial Houtman, Fall River, MA)