Written By Megan Fisher
Childbirth and wellness encompass many unique and beautiful professions. During this internship, I have explored many opportunities and paths I could take myself one day. From attending prenatal groups, postpartum groups, and shadowing wonderful childbirth and wellness professionals in the SLO county, I have discovered what ignites a spark in my heart and speaks to me.
I am forever grateful for all my experiences with CCCN and the doors that have allowed me to explore my interests and passions. I am passionate about helping people who don't know where to turn and need someone to help guide them through their struggles. Through my educational experience at Cal Poly and my internship at CCCN, I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to do.
I am highlighting three experiences that have stood out to me and made me feel that sense of belonging. I have shadowed and attended Mckayla Rodriguez and Brittany Randolph SLO Birth & Doula Collective's Doula Certification Course, Andrea Herron's Growing With Baby Weekly Parent/Baby Support Group, and Kinship Midwifery with Alia Clark. These three experiences during my internship have continued to confirm my passions in childbirth and wellness and have been unique in-person opportunities to learn and grow.
As I have mentioned, my initial attraction to intern with CCCN was the possibility of becoming a doula one day. I was thrilled when Zabrinia asked if I would like to attend a doula training during my internship. A doula workshop was the experience I wished for! I was thrilled because the course was everything I wanted. I learned so much and had that sense of belonging. Even though we were there to sit in on the class, Mckayla and Brittany gave us a course binder full of information about birth, the role of doulas, and the information for getting certified. One of my main interests was learning about the doula certification process and our role in the client's birth. I was surprised at how interested I was in the advocacy aspect of being a doula - it connects to my passion for helping those who are vulnerable. Also, it was heartbreaking to learn how so many women experience negative birth experiences! It was reassuring to understand the many ways a doula can help improve the birth experience. Hearing the stories Brittany and Mckayla told during the course gave me this light and tingly feeling in my chest. Brittany and Mckayla were inspiring, talented, intelligent, and passionate about the doula profession, and it was beautiful to be a part of the course and learn from them. (Photo Credit: slobirthcollective.wordpress.com)
I was fortunate to attend Andrea Heron's, a specialist in parenting and lactation, weekly parent and baby support class. She highlights a topic to discuss for half of the class and then opens the floor for the parents to ask any questions. I enjoyed attending these group meetings because it is mainly postpartum women. The postpartum period can be overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. Many topics about postpartum are taboo and not discussed enough in society. I am passionate about the Postpartum period. During the question portion of the class, I really enjoyed how Andrea would have the other women answer the questions first and then follow up with her expertise. These reflection and open-ended questions allowed for peer support with Andrea's knowledge and guidance. During these group meetings, I am in awe of the powerful birthing people in the room, just watching them interact and care for their babies in the short hour we are there. Also, the power of vulnerability in these groups fuels the light I feel in my heart when helping people. Childcare can be extremely difficult and draining on both partners, especially the one who carried the child. Seeing Andrea help these parents feel successful in caring for their children is heartwarming and fulfilling. Watching these women discover new skills or techniques to help better their lives and their babies' lives continued to inspire me at every meeting. (Photo Credit: www.growingwithbabyslo.com)
Lastly, I was surprised at how interested I was in midwifery! I have always had an inkling I would find myself in healthcare one day, but I had no idea it would be through midwifery. My first day shadowing Alia was incredible. It was her and two midwifery students. Not only was I experiencing a midwifery environment, but it was also a learning environment. Alia would allocate tasks like taking blood pressure, drawing blood, or monitoring the baby's heartbeat prenatally. This visit was the first time I heard a baby 10 weeks in utero heartbeat - my eye teared up because it was surreal and inspiring. Natural birth is unique and personal, and the parents coming to the prenatal and postpartum appointments were genuine and down to earth. The experience with a midwife is incredibly intimate, and the bond you grow with them is special. Alia brings such a young and current perspective to midwifery, and it was easy to see myself in her shoes. She creates deep connections with her clients where it is not just strictly business, and I believe this makes her a spectacular midwife. It was such an inspiring experience, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to shadow Alia Clark. (Photo Credit: www.kinshipmidwifery.com)
Thank you for following my personal story and professional shadowing experiences. Please join me for my third and final blog post, where I share my final reflection on my time as a CCCN Intern and the changes it has rippled into my life forever.