Looking back on 2017, I am left feeling GRateful and fulfilled.
I am grateful for the experiences, the clients, the births, THE growth, the doors opening, and connections made.
I wrote this in 2016 heading into 2017: 2017 Goals
The reality of 2016 was that it was slow with lots of ground work being laid, without much action seen. The first half of 2016 consisted of one birth, one interview where I didn't get hired, one "Meet The Doula" night and one person showed up. A big ::womp womp:: However, I networked with many local doulas and worked on marketing and other business tasks. That time of work growing my business gave me a test in patience and a dose of perspective, both good. As the year went on things started to look up, I had a second interview and was hired for a February 2017 birth. Shortly thereafter I was hired by a repeat client, a Spring birth. As I set my sights on 2017... I decided my goal was 4-6 births for the new year. I felt like I worked hard and was HOPEFUL that 2017 would reap some benefits.
What happened? I attended ten births in 2017. Ten! Nine of my own contracted clients and one bereavement birth.
1 February - 1 April - 4 June - 1 August - 1 October - 1 November - 1 December
Something Funny... those births were "due":
1 February - 1 April - 2 June - 1 July - 1 August - 1 OCtober - 1 November - 1 January 2018
After how busy June was and seeing clearly that some babies come early, some come late, and bereavement births are completely unplanned: I decided that 1 client a month was sustainable for me. I have also instituted "vacation" months. Months off to live out of the on-call hustle and be able to power down that hyper alert side of my brain.
Learning my threshold for this work was a learning curve... but a good one. The doula turn over rate is high and after a busy summer, I was feeling that burn-out setting in, Which scared me!! I don't want to burn out. I don't want to lose the love for birth and trade in my doula bag and stork leggings. That's when I stepped back and found what it meant for doula work to be sustainable for me. All of that was a blessing. New lessons learned in 2017.
Some other things that happened in 2017:
2017 has been good. Very good.
so what do I hope 2018 holds?
I hope to continue to be open to BEREAVEMENT cases, both those who need me remotely (texts, PMs, emails) and those who would like support in person. Most of the time people learn about me after they have already gone through a loss... in that case, remote support is all that is needed. The more my name spreads, the more awareness spreads, the more chance that I can support someone in-person through their loss and make a bigger difference than talking after the fact (which still helps).
I would love 5-7 births this coming year. More than numbers, I hope to continue to be blessed with the most wonderful clients. They are just that: wonderful. ALL of them. I am telling you, I have never had a client who was less than amazing. My next blog post will be a thank you to all of them. I feel so blessed with who God has placed in my life. They come from all different areas, different backgrounds, different everything... and they are all amazing.
I also look forward to continuing to be a part of Stella's Hearts, the VBAC class, Being an SBD Student Mentor & continue collaborating, Giving back, and growing.
thank you, 2017.... 2018, let's do this.
Baby Love Blog
Here lies a stream of consciousness regarding, pregnancy, birth, babies, and my doula business...