For as long as I've lived in Okinawa I should be fluent in Japanese now. Sadly, I am not. Over the years I've learned to understand and pick up on what most conversations are about. But don't ask me to speak it back. So far I have been able to maintain with my version of "Janglish", a terrible combination of broken English mixed with small phrases in Japanese.
I really began to see women being empowered during their pregnancies; asking questions to their providers, and they started taking in birth plans into their birth. These same women began to spread the word.
My mission has and always will be to provide resources and a continuity of care for families in the military through the use of birth & postpartum doulas and other birth professionals who contribute their life to this amazing work.
The journey of becoming a doula begins with my purpose. A purpose that I was not fully aware of or even the smallest interest in.
Maybe you’ve heard of a doula. Maybe not. When I first meet a woman and begin to explain what my role as a doula is, I usually get the comments of, “So you’re like a midwife.” Or “My friend had a doula and she left because she got an epidural.” (Insert tounge in cheek and continue to kindly smile as I pull together my thoughts and prepare for a more in depth discussion of the do’s and don’ts of doula services).
Being a birth doula and entrepreneur was a very lonesome journey in the beginning while overseas. The first few years were hard to work on establishing a continuum of care and awareness in a place where people move all the time. While I had peers who worked in the birth community here, I felt like I kept hitting brick walls as growth was ever impending on this island. There were times I felt like no one understood the dynamics of our birth community. I am lucky to have a great, supportive birth community in San Diego, but sometimes when you need someone to talk too, calling on the phone with the time difference makes it more difficult. Many times, I found myself relying on my husband to lend a listening ear and mentorship. I am proud that, even through the rough patches and learning curves, I held on to what I believed and did my best to hold up integrity.