Time to discuss some worries.
My doula mentor, B, told me that she had a birth for me, and I was, of course, excited. She told me that she had been informed by a woman at a medicaid health clinic-type place that there were some low-income women in need of doulas, and so B thought it would be a great opportunity for her apprentice doulas (I'm not the only one she's helping out). Anyway, the woman she suggested for me lives in Baltimore city, is 18 and pregnant with her first child. She lives with her sister and doesn't have a job. The father, and ex-boyfriend, is not too thrilled about the pregnancy and isn't convinced its his baby, and they've been fighting. For this blog, the girls name is Shamilia (I had a friend in 3rd grade named Shamilia). Shamilia has been upset because she's decided to have the baby but wants the father to be supportive and isn't sure she'll be able to have everything her baby needs, since she can't get hired anywhere. She already has an OB and she wants a doula there, in addition to her sister, the father, her mom and his mom (yikes!)
At first I thought that it was great - a teen woman client would be perfect for me since I'm young myself. I was a little hesitant when she said that the due date is in July, because I'm hoping that by then I'll be moving down to Florida to get ready for graduate school. And since talking to her, I'm actually kind of hoping that she doesn't decide she wants me to be her doula. But thinking that and even daring to type that out here makes me mad at myself, because I'm so desperate for Cert. Births shouldn't I just take what I can get? But its not the most ideal time, one, and two....
Well, I am honestly a bit worried about the fact that she comes from a low-income situation in Baltimore. Baltimore city scares me - true fact. I don't feel comfortable meeting her in her home, and I'm not sure I really want my cert births to be so full of baby daddy drama. Seriously. I'd love to help out with a struggling teen mom, but I'm not getting a good read on the situation here. When I called her house there was music blaring in the background and she didn't even really greet me, she was just like "can you call me on my cell phone?" So I did, and she was half asleep and I could only understand half of what she was mumbling into the phone, even though she insisted we could talk now instead of her calling me back.
It was a little bit odd for both of us, I think, her being so young and pregnant for the very first time, and me being a brand spanking new doula on her first potential client call. We talked for a long time, but like I said, I couldn't tell at all if she was interested in me or not. I told B that and she seemed to think that Shamilia was definitely interested, but she also pointed out that she's not going to have a lot of options. Both B and I told Shamilia that she should meet more than one doula and see who she likes best, so B is suggesting another doula apprentice, and I am really hoping she likes her better. How awful of me? I don't know.
My trainer from my workshop back in November told us that if we get a vibe or don't feel comfortable with a potential client then we should go with our gut and just decline. "I know myself very well, and I'm not the right doula for you." I'd be a little bit embarrassed to tell B that I'm nervous about Shamilia, though, when she so clearly would not be nervous about it at all.
Anyway, just had to express my worries!