A year ago I finished my labor doula training. I went in excited to learn more about birth and to start a career I knew I was meant for. I was happy to have found ProDoula and was ready to get started on my business and building relationships with this group of people. I was amazed to be allowed to be around them. These people were amazing doulas thanks to their phenomenal training and experience, but there was some X factor I had seen in them that I couldn’t nail down.
I thought to myself that maybe if I say all the right things, keep my head down, don’t cause any waves, and speak up just enough that they know I’m there I’ll get to witness some of their greatness. Maybe a little will rub off on me, and maybe with the help of partner, but not too quickly, I could achieve some level of moderate success that would let me doula full time and help women. Maybe I would be allowed to sit with these people I had placed up high on a pedestal never thinking they would really notice me. *deep breath*
And then something weird happened.
These people accepted me with open arms, not a single question, and then acted like it was the most normal thing on the planet. These people with years more experience and success than me thought I belonged in this space. ME?!?!
It took a while for that to sink in.
Then I began to realize I was doing crazy things like working full time and coming home to stay up until 2AM to work on my website for weeks or blasting through a huge business plan in 72 hours that had me attached at the hip to my computer because I needed to walk in as prepared as possible for this proposal.
Wait. Full Stop.
I was doing things like I knew how to do them, like I actually believed in myself. Any question I had was met with grace, understanding, and support. I no longer asked questions with fear in my heart that one of these people I looked up to were secretly rolling their eyes at me behind the screen.
I began to realize what that X factor was. It wasn’t the sisterhood or the acceptance of this sacred feminine birthing experience that brought these people to a new level; "the secret" that was touted in other spaces.
It was something deeper. It was real life family.
It wasn’t blowing sunshine and rainbows out of your ass and holding hands while bedecked with flower crowns that made them incredible. It was being surrounded by people willing to call you out on the tough shit and push you to do better because they believe you can.
I realized that this incredible feeling of acceptance wasn’t these women destroying those pedestals I had held them up on in awe or them denying that they were worthy of praise and greatness, but rather them lifting me up there with them because they believed that I belonged there too.
I let this start to permeate my personal life. I cut ties with the things that continued to cause me pain and sought out happiness like it was something I actually I deserved with my new found family’s feet planted firmly behind me.
I celebrated my successes with them and vented about my bad days. They were there with everything I needed to hear, the good and bad, but without any judgement. I saw my relationships with people I had known for years change and all these things continued to bubble back and forth between my person and my business.
The words “I am enough” began to feel less like a lie that I repeated over and over to stop the oncoming anxiety and more like a simple, true statement.
The last of that feeling of falsehood, that doubt of being enough, dissolved when the person I had held up the highest, at a celebrity like untouchable level, *coughcoughRandyPattersoncough* looked at me like I was crazy when I nervously introduced myself upon meeting her the first time and said, “Oh baby, I know who you are,” then wrapped me up in a tight hug.
Very often when I am asked why I chose ProDoula I find myself spitting out the same statement; something about professionalism, high standards, non-judgement, great support and so on. Which is all very true but fails to capture the true essence of what makes them special.
What makes ProDoula unique and why I would choose them over and over are the founders, Randy Patterson and Debbie Aglietti. What they have made could never be copied and even the best imitation could never stack up. The way they have of inspiring this kind of belief in others of themselves and passing that down to their trainers and members and then demonstrating through their actions how to give others the same feeling is more valuable than anything you could learn from all the reading on birth in the world. The culture they have created for their members is without equal.
What makes ProDoulas the best isn’t only the training they receive and the standards of professionalism they are held up to, it’s that X factor that you won’t quite understand until you experience it no matter how many times you hear about it.
ProDoula won’t just teach you how to be a kick ass doula, they can change your life if you let them.