i’m in some kind of a personal war.

there’s a fight. the life i want vs. the way i make a living. i don’t like it one bit. i don’t fight the notion that forward movement is paramount. i know i have to do A to get to B. but there’s this cacophony of every supportive voice i’ve ever heard combining with my own higher self pretty much singing in a round ‘this isn’t where you’re supposed to be. you can’t stay here.’

it’s not the work that comes w/ the promotion. i don’t care about workload — i can get stuff done without feeling overwhelmed most times, even with the two functions i serve in one office. this bridge called my back, anyone?
it’s not that. and it’s not the being on the spot, going to meetings, pressing through . . . all that doesn’t matter.

it’s that, at the core of myself, i know without a doubt in my mind, with every fiber of my being, that i’m supposed to be welcoming babies into the world. i’m supposed to be throwing fabulous events with dear friends and enjoying not having a day job. this shit is not even for the birds — those motherfuckers are happy doing what they do. it’s . . . it’s just not for me.
so now i’m having problems sleeping at night because i don’t effin wanna be where i have to be the next morning.
i don’t tie my rent to that job. i tie money to that job. when i leave, i will be making the same money, if not better, because i know that’s how it’s supposed to be. i will teach, i will tutor, i will doula, i will study, i will do everything i need to do to keep this roof over my head.
and you know what?
it won’t have shit to do with that ‘good city job.’

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oh, boy.

here we motherfreakin go.

reading this article, a few things popped into my mind:
– maybe folks don’t talk enough about what to do when they don’t know what to do. i.e., the one woman’s situation where the doctor recommended that the mother receive an IV. i don’t know that i would have recommended that the woman go take a shower. i always understood being a doula as being present in assisting the mother in the birth she wants. if a client changes her mind mid-labor about being all natural, am i really in any kind of a position to give her static? i genuinely don’t think so. everyone’s anxious about safe passage for the child. everyone wants the mother to be okay and for it to be as easy a labor as possible. i’m not so keen on sending a woman to get a shower if she’s considering an IV.

– umm, of course a lactation consultant is pushing breast milk. it’s that person’s freaking job. if you don’t need consultation, the consultant doesn’t have a job anymore. however, lactation consultants are not MDs in most instances. this means that knowledge of a lack of hormone in the mother’s body is not something that ought to be laid upon the shoulders of the lactation consultant. i don’t think that a mother’s inability to produce breast milk is something for anyone except the mother to be upset about. really. i’m sure that such a thing is crushing to a woman who’s planned to breast feed. it’s really for her to deal with, along with the aid of her partner and whomever else is part of her support system. come the hell on. if i’m doing breastfeeding education with a client and it turns out that she’s incapable of producing milk, wtf kind of person am i (let alone doula) if i get uptight with her about using formula instead? really.

– the best part of the whole article is the quote from jessica sacher. parents absolutely have the same amount of due diligence as when choosing a pediatrician. it’s cool to be excited about going the natural birth route, and having a doula and/ or midwife. but fantasy and idealism kind of go out the window when you’re facing the choice between an epidural and suffering through what may be the most intense pain you’ve ever felt in your life.

this article made me think about someone’s caveat to me a few weeks ago: “make sure you know how to sell yourself as a doula. what makes you unique? why should someone hire you instead of a woman who’s an RN or a licensed massage therapist?” it turned my stomach that she turned it into a sale thing. for crying out loud, she works in the maternal & infant health field — has done so for more years than i’ve been on this damn planet — & instead of sharing resources with me, she fucking decides i need to sell my services as one might sell ass on a street corner. i’m glad i stopped listening to her ass halfway through the ‘advice session.’ i mean, of course i need to present myself the best way i possibly can. but also, i feel that an informed, positively minded parent or couple will choose someone who best fits their needs. it’s ridiculous for me to try to land clients the way jewelry salespeople fight for commission. there are more births out there than i could possibly handle. if i were in it for the clout i’d have gone ahead to get an MPH and be someone’s snot nosed hospital administrator.

also, i believe that prevention is the one thing that best combats situations where conflict occurs between doula and parent(s), between nurse and doula, etc.

i could be writing all night. i can’t afford to. feel free to carry on in the comments, people.

g’night!

yay!

kathryn hall trujillo of the birthing project usa @ the black healers & midwives conference in phoenix last year:

yaaaaaaaaaay!

next stop:
full circle doula training with shafia monroe. :D

i don’t feel like delving today.

that is, i’m cleaning out my closets literally but the figurative act of doing so is way too much to handle at the moment. there are things churning around in my head about becoming a doula, becoming a massage therapist, & about this evolution i’m experiencing overall. i am a crafter, a day jobber, a writer . . . all these things that seem to be vying for dominance in my life. i mean, the logic says that i’d be without a place to be all this “other stuff” without having a pain in the ass day job, right? but i could not possibly look fwd to leaving work each day if i didn’t come home to my creatively-infused home, right? so much. so many things. i’ve got to be immediately occupied w/ working, crafting, healing (my tattoo is healing funny, but from what i surmise it’s an issue of its locale on my body & not shoddy work by jason, but more on that later), loving, laughing, building & a bunch of other -ings before i can even think about becoming the fabulously & fully self-employed self i want to be 1 year from now. there’s a lot. i don’t know if i can say i feel overwhelmed, or simply unaware of where/ how to begin.
thankfully, though, i’m being held up by folks who feel inclined on a consistent basis to contribute in a positive way
i’m learning to juggle (& eventually balance) it all
loosing myself of things/ persons unnecessary
finding out exactly what it is to actualize potential in the face of what can only be described as the “no-you-can’t” mass choir & its accompaniment, the faithful “i’ve-never-heard-of-that-so-it-must-not-be-valid” chorale. fuck ’em both; i’ve got work to do.
i’m letting go of the idea that i’ve got to get everything done all at once just because i think of everything all at once. this is not freaking easy. at all.
i’m learning process
practicing patience
trying my damnedest not to just up & quit the things i hate, though they get harder on the daily
i still feel like i’m waiting for my turn to jump into something. maybe a chute or giant water slide that leads to something with which i’m entirely unfamiliar. i’m less angsty about it, though.

i just wanna be fully ready to get this show on the fucking road.

mixed feelings about the path i’m on.

(originally titled: “i’m not about to play mammy to anyone”)

the other day, i got my membership packet from DONA international in the mail. i thumbed through the two newsletters & introductory info packet. i just sighed & thought, “i paid XX dollars to join an organization that won’t recommend you unless you get w/ their program, & these fuckers don’t even give me a membership card? blah.”
then i looked at the newsletters more closely. i saw maybe one photo of a black woman & baby. i sighed, swallowed hard & heard that lovely little voice inside my head going all crazy: “wtf? you know there are black doulas, & there are black women who utilize the services of doulas . . . this shit’s gotta change. get your training ASAP. read those books, find out if jackie from family birth mark is gonna be doing any classes in late spring to early summer. read some books. get comcast to come install cable, so you can research your ass off. & get ready to deal w/ those white folks, especially those who don’t think of you as ‘really’ black; & don’t forget the skeptical black folks who think you’re on some new age erykah badu earth mother bullshit . . .”

i’ve since calmed down. i thought about some things, had some talks (thx karas & mommy & trace), & came to the conclusion that i must simply place one foot before the other. i will be certified as a birth & postpartum doula. i will seek clients who are under or unrepresented within the realm of home birth & anything labeled “alternative” child birth. i will pick the brains of everyone who works across the hall from me so we can get the data that confirms my suspicions about why doulas didn’t work in the public health centers (um, hello gov’t mistrust & mistrust of white folks). i’m flipping through doula blogs to view the profession from women who’re not writing newsletters, but chronicling their lives & work. i’m gonna explore the connections that i can make w/ black midwives & doulas between philadelphia, nyc & the dc area. i will not allow myself to use my clients as platforms for my agenda, but i will not hesitate to remind myself why i am doing what i do. i will commit myself to providing the best possible service, & remember that it’s about what the client wants/ needs. (that’s gonna be hard cuz i’m one bossy motherfucker. maybe i ought to become a midwife instead? lol)

i’m gonna be dealing w/ the privileged. i know that. whether i connect with clients on a deeply personal level or not (i don’t know how i wouldn’t when i’m intending to be present at the birth of their child, for crying out loud), i have to remember i’m there to do a job. i can’t present everyone with my ideas on how to really have a birthing revolution. i should also refrain from anticipating that when i have a black client, i’ll automatically have some magical “yay i’m glad you’re black; let’s have a revolution” sort of thing going on. it would be cute if that could happen, but i’m not about to presume that it will.

i’m just trying to be as realistic w/ myself as possible. it won’t be all drama, of course. i want to lend strength, bolster confidence, & create comforts for my clients. i want to use my knowledge of aromatherapy & such to help them. i want to become a licensed massage therapist & combine all of my skills & training to assist my clients in having the most blissful pregnancies & births possible. & i mean that.

there’s so much i want to do. i’m praying that i can get it all done without compromising my integrity.