If only I had a doula when I went back to college.

Finishing college by itself can be hard, but add onto that a husband, 3 children, homeschooling, birth work certification courses, and church service, and you definitely got your hands full. O yeah, I forgot to mention that I was pregnant during the end of college as well.

I am thankful that I had a great support team around me. My husband encouraged me to finish and didn’t complain when I had to stay up late doing homework. He took my children on walks by himself so that I could get my studies finished. He listened to my speeches and lessons about what I was learning. He even cooked and took over much of the housework, all of this along with his paid job.

Other people around me were helpful as well. Neighbors would help with childcare, I got help with school payments, and people gave me encouraging words. With all of this support, I was able to finish the job.

I am glad that I had the opportunity to finish. I am grateful for me experience, and the time that I was able to learn. I would definitely do it again, but when looking back I think, “IF ONLY I HAD A DOULA.”

There were many times that I wish that I had someone there to guide me. Someone who had done it before and knew the process. Someone who could give testimony that it would be worth it in the end. There were opportunities that I missed out on just because I didn’t they were available. For example, when I applied to the school, I sent my transcripts from the community college which I had the majority of my lower division units, as well as my A.A. from. Had I known that a big scholarship was available to those with a higher overall transfer G.P.A., I would have sent in transcripts from another community college, which would have upped my overall transfer GPA, and would have qualified me for this scholarship.

If only I had a doula to allow me to understand what was available, I could’ve had an easier time with payments for school, and would have put less stress on those around me.

There were other disappointments as well. Such as when I realized that it would take longer to finish than I had originally thought. This was due to the fact that the number of credits for my degree didn’t fulfill the number of upper division credits required for graduation. That was a big letdown. And while yes I had an academic adviser who was supposed to help me with this process, many times communication was short and impersonal. With all of the students that the advisers are attending to, it’s no wonder they couldn’t provide with personal time to really examine my course. Once I figured out that my original plan wasn't going to work, I had to quickly change things around.

If only I had a doula, I would have gotten one-on-one care. Someone to explain to me what was up ahead. Someone who could lay out the road map and work with me on planning out the process. Someone who had enough time to understand my personal needs due to the care in taking few clients at a time.

I also had my “I want to give up” moments as well. My last quarter of school was combined with the hardest classes for my degree, as well as the last few months of pregnancy. Becoming enveloped by the continuing pressure of tasks to complete, my focus of the end was blurred, and my need to escape grew intensely. My drive to finish was changed into being the burdened that I had placed on those who had helped. I couldn’t not finish after all of the support that I had been provided. When it turned into this, it became something that I was doing for others, and not for me. While I am glad that I did finish, I would have like to keep motivated for myself, not for others.

If only I had a doula, she would have validated my feelings. She would have understood me and would have told me how close I was to finishing. She would have refreshed my mind on why I began, and why I desired to finish. She would have inspired me do it for me.

My doula would have met with me personally to get to know me, recognize my goals, and to prepare me for what might lie ahead. She would inform me of available options or processes that could arise during the process, and would be there with me throughout. She would recognize my trials as well as my desires She would be able to advise me on what to do to fulfill those desires. She would also have known the ropes because she is trained in this. She would inform me on how to make the process easier, and provide cool tricks to make it through the tough times, making my experience more enjoyable.