As many of you know, I attended the ProDoula “Share the Vision” 2016 Conference in October, where it was announced that the coming years theme would be Speak Your Truth. I have been mulling it over ever since. What is my truth? What does that even mean, your truth? And then, today, it was just there. I had to stop my car and and write.
This is Lacey Park’s truth.
I hated school.
They said I was too bright. That I had so much potential. I shouldn’t waste it. I needed to keep doors open.
I didn’t want to go through their doors.
I was 15 and pregnant.
They said my life was over. That I had ruined it and now everything would be hard.
I grew within me a person who brings so much love and light to the world.
SIDS took my baby.
They said a parent should never lose a child. They said I would be broken forever.
Scar tissue is thicker than skin.
My husband blacked my eyes and fractured my ribs.
He said it was my fault for being so difficult. He told me no one would love me like he did.
No one will love me like I do.
I became a truck driver.
They said a girl couldn’t do it, certainly not a girl like me.
I worked harder and longer. I bought my own truck.
I found real love. More life. I flourished. I dreamed.
We didn’t prepare for an economic downturn.
They said you’ll lose everything.
We lost everything and nothing, because we always have each other.
I took a doula workshop.
They said being a doula isn’t a career. They told me to stop doing things the hard way and choose a real profession like nursing.
I found ProDoula.
Every poor choice, every good decision, every traumatic experience, and each intense joy I have experienced in my life, led me to this work. I was meant to be a doula. It’s who I am. It’s my purpose. Passion is a weak word for my love of women, and birth. If I hadn’t found ProDoula, I would have walked away. I would have given up because providing for my family must come before everything.
Every day I am grateful for ProDoula the organization, and ProDoula the people. I have found a home. I belong here. I am lifted up. I am called upon to lift others. I am supported and encouraged and pushed. ProDoula teaches me how to care for new families, while caring for mine. My work as a doula is sustainable. I will serve families for decades to come and birth will be better because of what I do.