Olympia Doula Circle
When I became a doula in 2010, I lived in Seattle, The few doulas I knew were the doulas who trained me, and the doulas I took my training with. Most of us have lost touch over time, and I doubt my trainers would remember me with how many people they see and train.
Being a doula in Seattle was hard, and complicated. I didn't know how to market my business, I felt nervous to tell people I was a doula, I wasn't even very sure were to begin. I made a profile on Doulamatch.net. I got Certified through DONA International. I contacted several midwiferies, and doctors offices to do some volunteer births, I signed up to volunteer at UW. I did a lot of probono work, but I still felt isolated. I didn't have a community.
We have all heard about the Seattle Freeze. You know, where people are cold, stick with the people they already know, and complimenting a stranger seems rude. It's a real thing. It has infiltrated the LTBTQ community, parenting groups, the vegan community, and sadly it seems the doula community.
Fast forward to 2015, my wife and I found out we were pregnant with our son. She has been working on finishing up her degrees and we were trying to decide on whether or not she should do the Masters in Teaching program at UW, or at Evergreen. After looking at both programs, we decided Evergreen was the best fit. Thus began the move to Olympia.
I had to change midwives, find a different doula, make new friends, build my doula business in a new city, I felt overwhelmed and a little scared. I looked at the doulas on Doula Match, and on the Olympia Doula Circle. I planned on attending a Meet the Doula Night.
Then I joined the buy nothing group for the eastside to give away some moving boxes. The person I decided to gift them to was a doula I had seen on the Olympa Doula Circle website, and Doula Match. She was so nice, and comfortable to be around. I decided to have her as my doula. While we were sitting int he park letting our kids play together she was telling me how much she loved the Olympia Doula Circle and about how the doula community here is very friendly and supportive.
The more I met people in Olympia, the more I was shedding my Seattle Freeze anxieties. Everywhere I went people were so nice.
After my son was born and I was ready to take a couple birth clients. It was a no brainer, I joined the Olympia Doula Circle! I leave each meeting I have with this amazing group of doulas feeling inspired and supported. No one acts pretentious and like they are judging each other. Everyone is on equal footing regardless of if they are a brand new doula or have been a doula for 15 years. I have a great array of doulas to chose from for my back up for each client I have. I feel supported as a doula. I am excited about birth work again, and that is due in huge part to the Olympia Doula Circle.