So, I’m not a blogger. I’m not even a sort of good writer. I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend...but I’m not a blogger. I’m a postpartum doula, a breastfeeding advocate, and a babywearing enthusiast, BUT I’m not a blogger. They, whoever “they” are, tell me that blogging is important. Bare with me here.
First things first, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Courtney, I’m 31 years old, and a married mother of three. To say my husband saved me would be an understatement. You always hear the cliche phrases “He completes me!” or “He’s my better half!” Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. I had no idea what that even meant until I met him. Self discovery happens when you feel comfortable enough to completely let go. Having someone in my corner that wholeheartedly believes in me has created this sort of internal revolution. Revolutions, as we know, are not without pain and struggle.
I always knew I wanted to be a mother, get married, and live in a beautiful house with a white picket fence. What I didn’t know was that my dreams of a corporate job, in a tall building, with a secretary and my name on the door was not truly my dream at all! I flew through my classes in college with ease, graduated with honors and interviewed for the big girl jobs I’d always dreamed about. What did I do? I blew it…. on purpose. Now let me be clear, this wasn’t a conscious decision but in hindsight, it was very clearly on purpose. The purpose however, would take me seven years to realize.
Let’s fast forward through the next seven years. My daughter, Maia, was born in 2008. My husband and I got married and we relocated to Wilmington from Raleigh in 2009. I bounced around between staying home with Maia and my stepson, Kai, and multiple jobs over the years, and I finally settled in as a teacher at the school where my kids attended. “This can work, I can do this.” I felt settled. Settled is never a good thing. I never felt like any job was my career. There’s a certain passion needed to be a teacher. I have that, but not for teaching. I constantly thought, “Where did you go so wrong Courtney? Your financial future and career perspectives were so bright and look at you now. Barely able to pay the bills. You could have had any career you wanted and you blew it!”
And then it happened. Our youngest daughter, Emma, was born. And with her birth came the vision of my true calling. In a frustrated, stress-induced rambling to my husband one day I said, “I just want to help other moms. I want to help with breastfeeding and babywearing. I want to help moms remember to take care of themselves and that they’re still important. I want to help moms by teaching them how to care for their babies and by believing in them until they can believe in themselves! WHY isn’t this a job? Why isn't this my career? WHY can’t I just do what I love and make a living from it?” I’m sure there were some tears and some incoherent babble in there too, but let’s try to focus on the point here, haha. He said “Well, I don’t know if that’s a thing but I’m sure if it is, you need more qualifications than just being a good mom.” But I didn’t give up. I talked to all of my friends and then, on one fateful night, downtown Wilmington after the Christmas Tree Lighting, one of those friends stopped me mid rant. “Courtney, listen to me. You need to be a postpartum doula. Everything you’re describing is exactly what they do!”
Can I just tell you, there is no feeling quite like your soul rejoicing at the sound of all your dreams coming true. As I’ve learned since leaving my teaching job in July to pursue this full time, making your dreams come true is hard work. There have been tears, frustration, and days where I don’t even know what to do to begin to make things happen. But I’m not giving up. Someone very close to me shared a quote with me the other day and I will hold this close to my heart every day that things get tough: “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.”
So here I am, offering my gift, my passion, my services to you as Courtney Gomez, Postpartum Doula and owner of Seaside Doula, LLC.