West End Doula

Thoughts from the heart and mind of a new doula.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Random snippets

I'm tired, and I can't find the energy to write about any of this in detail, so you're just getting the bullet points. Sorry. :)
  • Does anyone have a good pattern for a knitted breast or placenta, for educational purposes? I found a great pattern for a knitted uterus, but I'm coming up short on the others.
  • Can anyone recommend any good teen pregnancy resources that aren't focused on preventing the pregnancy in the first place?
  • Speaking of pregnant teens: I'm totally blown away by the girls in the prenatal group I'm observing. And their partners, too. They're so brave, these kids, way braver than I ever remember being.
  • To certify, or not to certify, and who with? There are as many opinions on this as there are doulas, but I'd love to hear from my small-but-wonderful readership on this issue. Right now, I'm leaning towards certifying with DONA, but I may change my mind about that. To be honest, I'm also looking at CAPPA because they offer an advanced doula certification for working with teen moms.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Exciting developments

Starting tomorrow evening, I will be observing prenatal classes for teen moms on Wednesday evenings. I managed to cold call my way into a phone interview with the doula coordinator for a local teen pregnancy outreach, and she suggested that I attend her classes as a first step towards working with pregnant teens as a volunteer doula.

I'm terrified and excited and amazed at my luck. The woman I've been speaking to said that there's a few girls in her class who are looking for a doula right now, and while she can't directly recommend me, I'm totally welcome to let the girls know who I am and what I do. This feels too good to be true.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Volunteer opportunity!

I'm so excited! I got a call this morning while I was out, that I am going to return on Thursday, about volunteering for a great pregnancy program in Vancouver. I have high hopes that I'll have a new volunteer position shortly, as they seemed really excited by my request for information when I emailed them. I'm not saying where, yet, because I don't want to jinx myself, but I'll update everyone ASAP. :)

Monday, March 21, 2005

A Vagina Monologue

I just wanted to share this wonderful piece about the experience of an episiotomy.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Midterms and Frustrations

As my anatomy and physiology midterm approaches rapidly (it's on Wednesday evening) I'm finding myself dreaming about ligaments and pelvic floor muscles and chorionic villi. It's really helpful that we made chorionic villi out of red clay at our last class. We created a veritable forest of the little broccoli shaped wonders, onto to which our instructor stuck clay blood vessels and placental septums and a plastic plate that was supposed to be the myometrium. It was actually incredibly hilarious, because the villi started drooping and squishing together as she was talking, and it was the end of the day, so we were all feeling a little loopy.

I'm amazed at myself for actually being able to learn all of this stuff. I actually know where my superior anterior iliac spines are. In fact, I'm rubbing them right now.

I'm doing a presentation for my class to a group of my friends on breast anatomy in the next few weeks, and although it didn't seem to me to be as interesting a topic as, say, PMS, or maybe menstrual cycle physiology, or positions in labour, or the placenta, or any number of other topics, I'm starting to warm up to the idea. I'm sure it will be exciting to teach a group of women some things they didn't know about their bodies.

I am getting frustrated, however, with how long it takes to get anywhere in the birthing community in Vancouver. I mean, I'm sure that if I wasn't in 6 classes and doing volunteer work, I'd have more time to seek out a mentor and doula volunteer experience, but so far, I've just run into brick walls. One of the women from my doula training has recently found herself a job working as a doula for a pregnancy program in the city, and I'm kicking myself for not being aggressive enough to inquire about whether or not they needed doulas. I assumed that my lack of experience and their lack of visible job postings meant that I probably would be better off focusing my energy elsewhere. I was wrong, and that bothers me.

I think I'm going to start cold calling all the registered doulas in my area, to see if I can find someone to mentor me. The thought terrifies me (I'm just not very good at cold calling) but I'm itching to get started on this path, and there doesn't seem to be any other way, other than extensive networking, which I don't have time for right now. I will have time in a few months, but a few months isn't now.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Queer Birth Experiences

As a queer woman who is crazy about birth, I am particularily interested in queer birth. It's a hope of mine that I will be able to find a doula to mentor me that does queer births and is interested in them. I've put out some feelers in the community, and I'm hoping something will pan out.

I met a woman yesterday who is writing her Master's thesis on queer birth experiences, and it was absolutely fascinating to talk to her and find out what her plans are for her research and such.

I wish there were more resources on this topic, but there just aren't. Do a Google search for queer birth and you'll find a whole lot of nothing. This is going to be something I'm going to have to dig my heels in on, really hard.

I can't wait.