Saturday, December 5, 2015

An open letter to Randy Patterson: What I REALLY think about PRODOULA and the doulas who drink the Kool-Aid!


I am writing this letter after a long week of wondering why the doula world has become so catty, bitchy, and passive aggressive.  I work hard with my head down and my nose to the ground. I worry less about what and how others are doing business and about the success and integrity of my own practice.

The average life span of a doula is 2 years. I can only remember one face and name from the doulas in training during my DONA workshop 16 years ago.  None of them are practicing doulas and none of them practiced longer than 2 years.  When I left my training I did my first birth as a doula exactly 1 month later and I began my journey supporting women. I went through the process to become certified through Doulas of North America and was mentored by two of the best doulas and educators in Texas. I was on top of the world.  Year after year, and birth after birth, I learned and grew. I watched and respected the more experienced doulas in awe.

So now I am wondering why after I have put in my time, built my business and proven myself do I have to deal with the hate I am dealing with…. Why is this profession becoming so cut throat?

I have recently found myself and my practice, time and time again, the target of one of the others in our doula community.  A situation I am seeing and feeling more and more. It is hard for me to understand how a woman who is in the profession of supporting other women can slander, defame, and bully another woman who is supporting women for a living, solely because she is not doing it “her” way; or because she is making a good living doing it.

In the midst of this soul searching, here in Dallas Texas, a call went out to New York, to you, Randy Patterson.  You were willing to take your time and give a listening ear to the issues our practice is  experiencing with a certain DONA certified doula and trainer.  Your advice was respectful, encouraging, and affirming.  We were instantly scooped into your family,  the family that is PRODOULA.  Your love for the work we do and the women who do it with you,  even states away, is fierce;  if I wasn’t already sold on the work ethic, business building, professional energy of PRODOULA before; I was completely sure that my FOREVER doula home had been found.

Randy Patterson, we are so thankful to have someone like you in the doula world. Only those who do not know you personally can talk hate about you….if they met you and/or heard your truth they would never be able to utter words of negativity in your direction.

You have gone to bat for us, believed in us, reaffirmed our faith, pushed us to do what we were capable of all along...and THAT, I believe, is what the doula spirit is all about!

I have met you many times now, spoken to you in regard to my personal and professional issues, attended your training's, and conference. I have had the privilege to meet other PRODOULA trainers, members, and speakers. One thing all of them have in common is the fierce factor that I believe you fuel in all of us.

So I want to thank you for being there for my practice, North Dallas Doula Associates, this week and always. I cannot express how it feels after 16 years in the business to finally meet my people.  The PRODOULA Kool-Aid has never tasted SO good!

 Yours truly,
Melissa Espey-Mueller

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't have said it better! I'm constantly astounded at the personal and generous attention and care I receive from Randy, her right hand woman and co-owner Debbie, the rest of the home office staff and the trainers. They are nurturing strong people, strong doulas and strong business owners with both an deep well of compassion and a sharply savvy intellect.