The road to professional doula...

Like most people, I  grew up having no idea what I wanted to do. But I can definitely say, no one saw "doula" in my future. I had a hard time really even finding similarities with other women. I was a competitive athlete who related better to men. Quite frankly, I didn't like girls because I always felt like I wasn't what a "girl" was supposed to be. I grew up with a chip on my shoulder and a bat in my hand... for softball purposes of course. 

Competitive softball became my life, no matter how many times my dad would tell me "it's not your life, it's a part of my life". I didn't know how to be feminine, I didn't know how to dress, how to shop, how to act... I knew how to play ball, dress comfortably, and act like a "boy" (as my grandmother always called me).  

At 16 I started my career in the Food & Beverage business which gave me a lot of insight to many different types of people. I loved being in front of people and providing a level of customer service that people remembered. From bartending at a biker bar to managing at the Ritz Carlton Phoenix, I understood people from all walks of life. I fell in love with helping people and making memories. 

I first heard the term "doula" when my chef told me about his wife starting her new career. Then he tells me "she also encapsulates placentas" ... I almost threw up...

With my 2nd pregnancy I decided I deserved a doula. I met up with Michelle and was immediately comfortable talking to her about everything involving my pregnancy, the good and the gross. I picked her brain constantly, she was so knowledgeable. I wanted to know about everything doula and placenta.  

I learned so much about women and what our culture is telling women about childbirth. I became so much more aware of advertising, movies, and even my doctors lack of support for alternative natural options. During our life, especially during pregnancy, everyone has an opinion. No one supports whatever decision we make unconditionally without criticism. A woman's voice ends up going unheard because our culture, our family, our friends, our doctors tell us were wrong, uneducated, or silly for making our own decisions that differ from theirs. As a culture when we think we are wrong we stay quiet. Remember when you were in grade school and if you thought your question was dumb you wouldn't raise your hand???

As a natural competitive person I knew I wanted to fight for women's rights and the right to make our own choices. I could see my future, I knew what I wanted. 

I want to empower women. No one should tell a woman how to birth her baby, where to birth her baby, or what drugs to take to have her baby. Women are smart, our bodies are amazing, and our intuition is powerful. Mamas need support, unconditional love, and VALIDATION!

I left my career and decided to join the doula community and here I am, I love the new path I have chosen. I may have surprised quite a few people, even myself, but hell... isn't that what life is all about?

Ashley Wain