I am a Doula and I have been witnessing birth for about 17 years. The truth is…

I don’t love birth.

What I really love is the power and strength that women find in themselves during labor. When that power, pushes them past the words, “I can’t!” and they learn how capable they really are. THAT is my true passion and why I love my job.

I have pushed myself many times in my life and because I have, I have confidence. I trust my instincts and I believe in my abilities.

My life has not been easy. In fact, I personally know the meaning of the word struggle, I looked to struggle in the eye and I made it through… virtually unscathed.

At 21 years old, Jerry and I were homeless. We lived outside… on the streets. Our only belongings were 2 sleeping bags, 1 plastic garbage bag filled with our clothes, an acoustic guitar and an alarm clock that didn’t work without electricity.

The good news? We lived in San Diego! The weather was perfect and it never rained, not even once, while we spent that month without a roof over our heads.

Jerry got a job as a laborer for a small construction company and I got a job at the bowling alley’s snack bar.

Getting that job was one of the most challenging and strategic things I have ever done in my life. Remember… I was homeless. No address to write on the job application, no phone number to leave for the manager to contact me. So instead, I showed up every day at a different hour each day to see if the manager was in. 8am on day 1, 9am on day 2, 10am on day 3 and so on… Around day 6, we connected.

His staff had told him about the girl who came in every day trying to get a job and he looked at me and said, “you sure are persistent, I should probably just hire you, right?” I nodded and he handed me an apron!

Cashing the paychecks that I got from this job was my next challenge… the bank won’t give you an account without an address so I was forced to engage the services of the local check cashing establishment who took 10% of my check as a reward for coming to my rescue… Talk about kicking you while your down….

Life was hard. Really hard but eventually it got better. It would have been real easy to be pissed off. It would have been real easy to get high and feel like we were done wrong. It would have been real easy to blame others and feel sorry for our selves. We could have quit… Instead, we set small reachable goals and we did something every day that got us closer to those goals.

Shortly after the bowling alley job, I took a second job cleaning rooms at a hourly/daily/weekly, disgusting roach infested motel in exchange for a room and, low and behold… we had a roof over our heads….

Oddly, we were grateful. For everything we earned, everything we got and everything we purchased we had gratitude.

We learned how strong we were during those days and we grew. I as a woman, Jerry as a man and the two of us as a couple. We learned our worth and it turned out… we were worthy!

Hard work and hard times, teach us what we are capable of.

There are many reasons why women choose natural childbirth. Of those reasons, it is NEVER to prove something to someone else!

We do the things that we do because they are important to us! Whether it is the process or the outcome, if the reason is important enough to us, the difficulty factor does not come into play.

Focus inward, tune out the judgments and as William Shakespeare so eloquently wrote… To thine own self, be true!


Authored by: Randy Patterson