Tuesday, November 8
Election Day 2022.
This day was really important to me.
I started my training as a Doula the spring of 2018. As SOON as I finished my Birth Doula training, I knew birthwork was my calling.
2018 was a year of growth for me. I went through a lot of tests with relationships, healing from past trauma, and beginning my work to become a better ancestor through Layla Saad's activism.
As I continued my training in birthwork that year, I knew I wanted to go above and beyond just birth and postpartum. I wanted to be all encompassing support system for birthing people no matter what their pregnancy outcome was. And I knew I would have to expand my training for that outside of the Buffalo area.
At the suggestion of my dear friend and fellow Doula, Rhiannon Needham, I enrolled in Cornerstone Training's Full Spectrum Doula training cohort. Through this training, I was able to realize my full potential as a birthworker and, it solidified everything that I already knew. Which is that birthwork is political. There is no way around it.
I became fully prepared for the type of Doula I wanted to be, who I wanted to serve, and why I wanted to do this work. I am lucky to have been surrounded my whole life by people with different backgrounds and family structures.
I have friends who began building their families straight out of high school and college.
Friends who have waited until recently.
Friends who have tried whole heartedly to create families on their own. Some with success after a little help, some without.
Friends who have adopted.
Friends who have chosen not to expand their family past themselves and their partner.
Friends who have had abortions.
To know so many people with these diverse family structures, it's provided me the ability to see the whole picture outside the society's standard that we were all taught growing up, which is:
You get married and have kids because, that's what you do.
I recognize the privilege to have witnessed so much diversity, and embrace all of these experiences as normal and a part of life. So, I knew that I would need to take this knowledge, experience, and education and apply it towards activism within my birthwork.
This is how I was going to make sure I was a well rounded Doula who acknowledges each person's lived experience, embraces it, and supports them throughout it.
2020 was a very emotionally and politically charged year. There is a great divide in the country that we all recognize has been there for a while, but it is now drawn in red pen down the center for everyone in the world to see.
I knew I didn't want to sit around anymore. I wanted to go out and do the work. I wanted to make sure to encourage others to use their voice. And so I worked the polls for the first time in the fall of 2020. Because, I've been there when I didn't think it would make a difference. When I didn't think it would matter.
But it does. One more voice matters. Standing up for your beliefs can make a difference. Advocating with and for someone else's freedom is so important.
So, I decided to do it again this year. I'll do it again next election too. And the one after that. I'll keep going and I may even start knocking on doors.
I do this because I believe in reproductive justice. I believe that all birthing people, no matter their race, gender, sexuality and circumstance should have the choice to decide whether or not they want to carry a pregnancy.
I do this so that my friend's children have the freedom to decide.
I do this so that my clients has the ability to make their own choices and find the support to carry them through it.
I do it because I want to keep the birthing people in this state safe.
Seeing so many first time voters, and voters that haven't voted in years, show up to the polls on Tuesday was encouraging. And incredibly hopeful.
And look at the results so far. We are off to a great start. And now we have to keep going.
We will. We must.
I'll be there.