I get asked alot, "Do you wish you were a midwife?" or "Are you going to become a midwife?". People assume being a doula is a "stepping stone" of sort to becoming a more qualified midwife, and for some it is.
But personally, I don't want to be a midwife.
Not because I don't have the utter most respect for Midwives and not because I don't absolutely admire what they do. They are phenomenal, the skills they require are second to none.
Not because I don't want to be on call, I already spend a good portion of my time on call, awaiting that phone call at 12am. I actually love the thrill, my heart races as I drive to the hospital, anticipating the special moments to come in the cover of night.
Not because I don't want to study, I've studied before, if I had to do, I would. The years of study required to become a midwife is significant. The degree is 4 years, equivalent to a Bachelor of Medicine, midwives know their stuff!
I love being able to put my whole being into supporting a woman/couple/family. Not that midwives don't do that, midwives are the most incredible birth support people. But midwives have an incredibly important role, to ensure you and your baby are in good health. Midwives have to continually assess for potential situations, document everything, follow protocols, and work under Obstetricians.
The reason I don't want to be a midwife is because I love being a doula. Being a doula means I can focus on her 100%. I don't have to document. I don't have to check machinery. I don't have to monitor. I don't have to assess.
I just be. I just hold space. I give that emotional support that a midwife may be too busy to provide the whole time, or a partner may be too alone in his terror to give.
My job is a simple, but important job. Sure, I haven't studied for 4+ years and gone on pracs for months. I am not a "wannabe" midwife. I'm a doula and I'm proud of that.