My calling to birth work came to me after a very dark time…




Hello! My name is Catalina and I have just completed my first DONA Doula Training Workshop in NYC at Birth Day Presence with Debra Pascali-Bonaro and am on my way to become a DONA International Certified Birth Doula! I am a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) in Brooklyn and currently attend school as I work towards a Nursing degree in pursuit of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).

My calling to birth work came to me after a very dark time in my life when I was faced with the most difficult decision I have ever had to make thus far.  I found myself pregnant and alone in my early 20’s with a lack of support from the current partner, friends and family that I had at the time.   It was not the fear of motherhood that led me to the decision to abort, but rather the fear of childbirth itself and an extreme sense of doubt in my body and myself that was perpetuated by the people in my life back then. Had I known what I know now about Doulas and Midwives and the support that I could have had through the labor process I truly believe that I may have been able to make a different decision in my pregnancy.  I think about my baby everyday and reflect on her to give me strength to do this work for all the women who need the same kind of support that I wish I had in my life during that period.

However, there is no light without darkness in this world.  So out of the darkest of times after losing my baby I was able to clearly see the light that lead me in the direction of my true calling as a birth worker.  When this awakening occurred deep within my soul I felt so overwhelmed with emotion.  It was if the weight of the world was suddenly now on my shoulders . . . HOW CAN I HELP EACH AND EVERY WOMAN? WHERE DO I BEGIN? HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?  WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK? These were the types of questions going through my head daily as I spent hours reading and researching on birth and what I could do to make a difference while still in school studying to become a nurse on the road to Midwifery.

As I stepped into the room on the first day of our DONA Doula Training Workshop with Debra I suddenly began to feel a sense of lightness.  Simply by knowing that I was in one room with a likeminded community of women working together for a common goal the weight began to lessen. The circle of support in the room where we shared our stories and learned directly from Debra’s profound wisdom and experience became extremely significant for me. Here, in this group of women, I had suddenly found the support that I was desperately missing in my past and so deeply needed for my future.   I found something that day, a part of me that I did not necessarily know was even missing and I still don’t know exactly what it was.  All I know is that I felt complete for the very first time in my life and I knew that I had been healed.

Each day I continued to feel lighter, gaining more and more confidence with Debra’s insight and guidance on how to support women in birth.  There were so many beautiful take-a-way’s from Debra that will stay with me forever and are imprinted on my heart, for example, “We birth the way we live”, “Be like Wendy” and “Birth it Forward”, just to name a few.  But, it was at one single point in the workshop when Debra said, “We know what we need to know when we need to know it” that I instantly felt all of the weight lifted off of my shoulders and I knew that I was now a Doula and that that was all I ever needed to know.

Thank you Debra!