My name is Erika Jones. I am a birth professional called a doula. I have worked for nearly 10 years honoring women in the craft of postpartum and birth work. I began my career as a CAPPA Postpartum Doula and CAPPA Lactation Educator. The definition of the word doula actually means "woman servant," but it means even more to me then that.
I love seeing women achieve their goals. So many times I witness a woman enter her journey of birth and come out on the other side such a hero. She is an exquisite diamond. I love all the times my profession is far more rewarding than any monetary value. The work I do as a doula speaks to the gifts that I have on the inside. One of my gifts is providing encouragement to others. Naturally this work became my calling.
The journey of birth can be both fiery and white hot at times. It requires patience, love, acceptance, and ten gallons of faith . . . faith in care providers, faith in the place of birth, faith in the support team, faith in one's own body, faith in a spiritual way however that looks for you.
Birth reminds me to let fears go. My fears won't serve me. Birth reminds me to wash away doubt. My doubt only seeks to entrap me. Birth keeps me focused. I focus on a woman's breath, her eye contact, where she places her hands and chin during pushing. I look at the quality of her body's movement. I'm laser focused on her face, neck and shoulders. I need them loose and pliable. I'm perceptive of her body language and unspoken cues. I need her mind clear of clutter. The dance she, her partner and I do must be careful and it can sometimes be clumsy.
I've learned in my work as a doula that graceful doesn't mean great and uncoordinated doesn't mean lackluster. The moms who tango will be well supported by me, however their body moves. I'm grateful for the lessons I have learned and I continue to learn with every birth. I am a doula. I don't have time for any one or any place that attempts to thwart the progress of my client. I protect space. I ward off evil spirits. I take seriously all parts of this job and I do not relent until mom, partner and baby emerge from this journey of birth, all are healthy and exhausted. Only then will I get a chance to sleep; a well deserved slumber with my husband by my side. This is the backbone to everything I do.