To many people it might sounds rather odd when I tell them that I am passionate about pregnancy and birth. Out of all the things one can be passionate about, you are passionate about women giving birth…? Well let me share with you how and why it become my passion and how I only found out the true reason 3 years after I started my doula journey. It’s personal and powerful, I promise.
From MSc and LLM to birth doula
Ever since I took a sabbatical year in Asia, back in 2010, becoming a midwife was something that popped up in my mind every now and then. But after 6 years of studying and obtaining two master degrees (yes I am also a forensic criminologist and lawyer, more about that here) I didn’t really feel like another 4 years of studying. Plus I had most likely had to go to Belgium then and I just moved in with my boyfriend, so that was no option. But in the search of becoming a midwife I got to learn about the doula profession. And immediately that resonated with me. A perfect fit to what I wanted to do, matching with my skill set and most importantly my personality. It was absolutely clear to me that this was the path that I was taking.
The start of the doula journey
So I started my birth doula training in september 2014 and ever since I dove more and more into the world of pregnant women and birth. I love to learn new things and took course after course to deepen my knowledge.
When I did the postnatal doula training in september 2016 I again felt it was another bit of my calling that I had found. I love cooking, baking and taking care of others, so it actually made a lot of sense to serve women after they gave birth as well. Not only with cooking, but also with arranging all the other things that are needed so the moms can invest their precious time and energy into their newborn babies. I’m there to mother the mother. Such an amazing job!
Even though I loved doing what I did, it was still not fully clear to me why there was this passion for pregnant women and births. I only knew that I already had the passion since I was a young child. I loved watching birth stories on television for example and later on listening to the real ones that people shared with me. But why dig to the bottom of it, when you can also just enjoy the fact that you found something you really like doing and starting your own business out of it, right?
BOOM, there it was: passion!
And then, one day last summer, I was talking to my mom on the phone and I got the true reason. We were just chatting a bit and I told her about my day. I had supported a family as a postnatal doula, and cooked them lunch and dinner and baked a cake. Next to that there was of course some time to discuss the birth that I had also attended as their birth doula and some fun time with their wonderful baby boy. My mom is always eager to hear about the births and my clients and then she told me:
“You know, when I was young I always dreamt of becoming a midwife or a cook and now you combine these two things into one job.
I have never been able to do either one of them, but I am so happy for you that you can.”Mom
It hit me. So that’s where my passion comes from…
My mom, the eldest daughter from a family of 15 (!) children, never got the chance to study because she had to take care of her siblings. Therefor she had to quit school when she was 14 years old. I actually always wondered if my grandmother would have known that she would have so many children, because she gave my mom the name Materna.
Anyway, my mom had no choice, but she did what she had to do. It formed her and although she sometimes told me that she regretted she didn’t get the chance to study, she never complained. And even now her caring personality is key in the family and her brothers and sisters still turn to her if they need something. And every week she invites some of them to come over for dinner, because she loves to see how they enjoy her home cooked food.
Living the dream for both of us
There are some many things I learned from my mom. And I am proud that I can use all of them to do what I love: taking care of families during pregnancy, birth and the first weeks after the birth of their baby. It feels a bit like I am living this dream for the both of us now. Like my journey already started with her, many years ago. It makes me even more proud of the woman she is and the woman I became because of her.
I absolutely love this picture of my mom and me. It is taken at my 30th birthday, at the fairytale theme party I organized. It was one of the best days of my life so far, wearing a real princess dress and being surrounded by all the people I love in the most amazing outfits. My mom got herself a Snow White dress for the occasion. How awesome is that?
Thanks mom, for somehow making your passion into mine. I really hope that one day you will be there to be my doula and make your part of the dream come true.