As we approach the Thanksgiving season, I’m finding more quiet moments to reflect on all the ways in which I’m grateful. I’m thankful for my growing family, our health, our friends, and all of the people who have had a positive impact on me since starting my fertility doula business and journey with Doula Canada.
It was just this year that I decided to pursue a career as a fertility doula and enrolled in the March 2019 self-study Fertility Support Practitioner training with Doula Canada. I am grateful for the online webinars in which my classmates and I chatted about our own experiences with our personal fertility and what we learned from working with clients. I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge and experience provided by our instructor, Caylan Barber, and her unwavering support when we needed it.
It’s been a short seven months since starting my business and not surprisingly, it’s a slow process making my way through this line of work. It’s easy to forget sometimes that part of being a doula is also being an entrepreneur and a business owner. I’m grateful for all the people who have pointed me in the right direction, answered my questions, and who genuinely want to see me succeed in supporting menstruators everywhere. This process has opened my eyes to the possibilities of how I can reach more people and also continue to stay home with my children.
I, of course, could not make this dream a reality without the support of my family and my husband, who may not always understand everything that I do, but understands that this is something that fills my cup and thereby makes me a better Mom and better human being.
Lastly, I love being a doula for many reasons, but being of service to others has opened me up in ways that I never thought possible (I love me a good spiritual transformation!). Learning to make and hold space for others as they move through their own journeys toward truth, letting go of ego as well as what is “right” or what “should be” and instead being present to embrace what is. It’s the most challenging yet most rewarding aspect of this calling and I am eternally grateful and humbled for the way it has changed me.
Stefanie Blackman Fertility is a service-based business that focuses on fertility awareness, menstrual cycle education, preconception and reproductive health, trying-to-conceive support, and specializing in cycle charting using the Symptothermal Method of fertility awareness. The period of preconception is often not given adequate consideration but is a crucial part of the trying-to-conceive journey. As I always like to say, “plan for pregnancy like you would for your wedding.” While I’m passionate about this part of my fertility doula work, my goal with all of my clients is to unveil the power they have always possessed by using fertility awareness to reconnect to their cyclical nature, to embrace and honour menstruation as a sign of health rather than a monthly nuisance, and to make empowered, informed choices based on their reproductive goals.
Starting at the age of sixteen and through my own diverse experiences with hormonal birth control, conceiving two children, and experiencing miscarriage, I have learned just how important the role of the menstrual cycle is in our overall health, and how it can be used as a fifth vital sign for all menstruators. I have a newfound appreciation and love for my menstrual cycle. I embrace and honour my cyclical nature, and I bring this holistic perspective into my work as a fertility doula when educating others on their own fertility and reproductive health.