Trumpets and Red Carpets! ... I'll take fireworks too, since they are my fav.
Cat is officially a DONA International Certified Doula!
Call me Cat LaPlante. Cat LaPlante, CD(DONA).
I think I'll toot my own horn a bit here as I write about my experience training and being certified through DONA International, highlighting my crazy personal life in the process.
I completed the rigorous certification in a year and two months. In that time, I had my second baby (I was 6 months pregnant when I started my doula journey), sold our house BY OWNER, moved twice across states with two dogs, two kids under 3, and husband.
When I was transformed by my first boy's birth and decided that I wanted to be a doula, I did a quick google search found a few organizations that I liked and wanted to learn more about. DONA was a quick leader of the group and I set my sights on them. I was a full time teacher at the time and short on funds so I started the extensive required reading list. Wasn't long before that was up! I could hardly finish a novel before but now I was reading at full speed, further developing my passion for helping expectant moms become moms along the way.
By October, I got my husband to fall in love with the idea of me going further in my certification signed up for a training for the first one I could make. It snowed a freak snow storm the night before my training so I had to go with another date, closest one I could find was in January. Done. Wait.
I trained with Katie Daily, a doula, an educator, a trainer, a mother. The list of her attributes are endless as well as her phenomenal mentorship and training she provided me. (If you are looking for a doula trainer and are int he DC area, consider taking her course! I highly recommend! http://www.katiedaily.com. Training was awesome, tiring, uniting, overwhelming, and above all powerful. I remember remarking afterwards to my friend that I was exhausted. Not from the physical work we were doing but just being in a room for two entire days with women who were so passionate was, exhausting. And in the best way possible.
There were many other things I needed to do before submitting my packet but I set my sights on completing my certification births before I gave birth myself since I was due in 4 short months. Thanks to the trust and bond I formed with two couples over the next months, I was able to complete 2 of 3 the towards my goal before boy #2, Killian, came screaming into the world. At two months postpartum, a good friend messaged me about being her doula states away and I jumped at the opportunity. By June, all certifying births had been completed. The next few months were a crazy masquerade of selling our home in VA, moving to NC, only to see my husband be transferred back to VA, traveling with a newborn and toddler up and down the East Coast and FINALLY settling in NJ. Somehow I managed to complete everything to have my packet off in the mail right before Christmas, December 21, 2014.
FLASH FORWARD to last week. I got an email about my packet being reviewed and that my references would be called and then I was to receive the last call for a final interview. TODAY was my day! To date, I have completed a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree from a well established university but I have to say that TODAY has made me more proud of me than I was the two graduation days I have had. I cannot wait to continue along this journey of birth work I have started. Big shout outs to all the birth workers who have helped me on my way, to my friends and family who's continued support have been such a blessing, and, of course to Paul, my husband. Without him I truly could not have gotten this far.
And its just the beginning!
Cat proudly serves New Jersey, Pennsylvania -including but not limited to Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, Moorestown, Haddonfield, Haddon Heights, Township, Philadelphia, Medford, Cinnaminson, Lumberton, and more! In some cases VA, NYC, and DE! Start the conversation today!
Thinking about becoming a doula? Check out DONA's website to learn about the organization and see if its for you!
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!