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Megan sitting next to a river in Colorado

About The River Doula

 
Photograby by Allison-0334_edited_edited

The Full Story

I'm Megan, aka The River Doula. Early in life, I hadn't set out to be a doula of any sort, but as with so many things in life, the universe had its own plans for me. I suppose I should start from the top, including why the river analogy is so important to me.

I've always loved rivers. Big rivers, small rivers, rivers you can find tiny bits of iron pyrite in, rivers you can float in, any kind of rivers or streams have been my jam for as long as I can remember.  The metaphor of a river as what you travel as you journey through life just works for me. We're all floating down our own little rivers, and sometimes my river will intersect with your river for a time, and when that happens, magic comes with it, because we are ALL magic in some form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was a teen, I started to experience....gifts. Over time, I realized these gifts connected me to the world beyond the one that we all generally know. But what do you do with that, other than try to sweep it under the rug and keep on trying to appear not-weird to the people around you? That's what I did for a good long time. Now, table that idea for a moment, while we move on to a bit of birth-talk.

In my 20's, I experienced three pregnancies and two live births. Both of the births enlisted the help of midwives, with the first birth happening in a hospital and the second in a birthing center. The midwife experience is something I am glad to have had, though looking back, I truly could have used some additional support in the form of a birth doula. Alas, birth doulas weren't quite a thing back then, nor would have I known what to call what was missing...at least at that time. 

Moving into my 30's and 40's, I began to revisit those gifts I mentioned earlier. I started to listen to the river, if you will, and to heed my intuition, and to develop those gifts. I sought Reiki training, priestess training, and communed regularly with Nature as a whole, and with the other side as often as the other side made itself known. I cleared homes and other spaces of lingering energies. I enrolled in Druid training with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. I studied Shamanic Astrology and the Gene Keys. I experienced journeys of the mind and soul. I was (and still am) just really riding that ol' river of life and seeing what's around the next bend, because life is fascinating to me and things that may at first look a little scary, often aren't scary at all once you better understand them.

 

One day, just as I was newly into my 50's, a friend of my daughter's asked if I might be willing to be her birth doula. While the request seemingly came out of nowhere, it felt exactly right. OF COURSE I WILL, I said. And I promptly enrolled in some training, just to be safe. I'm a lifelong learner and am well aware that not a one of us knows what we don't know, so off to training I would go. 

Midway through my birth doula training, I was speaking with an acquaintance who I'd just learned was also a birth doula, and I mentioned that I was currently undergoing doula training. "Are you going to be a death doula?" she asked. Uhh, no....while I was aware of death doulas, the training I was currently working through was for birth doulas. Another woman then joined in the conversation, and immediately asked me as well: "Are you going to be a death doula?" Apparently so, Universe. Apparently so.

And so then I sought death doula training, also known as end-of-life doula training. Death doulaship very much spoke to me, perhaps even more easily than birth doulaship. I immediately registered with a local Hospice organization and began visiting patients and performing 11th Hour vigils. This was an area that felt very right for me.

The daughter's friend who'd sought my doulaship opted not to pursue pregnancy after all, but I was already waist-deep in the river. I had (and still have) a career that I enjoy and rely on to pay the bills, but I really wanted to add full-spectrum doulaship skills (birth, death, and everything in between) to my life. I learned about Birth It Forward, a non-profit birth/postpartum doula organization in Kansas City, and attended one of their conferences to meet them and to learn more. I completed my birth doula apprenticeship with them, and gained incredible exposure to a variety of doula practices along the way. Through Birth It Forward, I am delighted to serve those in our community in need of birthing support.

In addition to birth and death service, I also completed abortion doula training through Birthing Advocacy, a Black-owned, queer-run doula training organization. Subsequently, I was trained in patient ally-ship through Planned Parenthood Great Plains, and am currently assisting there in a variety of capacities.

 

My blood-and-chosen-family circle includes absolutely every facet of the 2SLGBTQA+ spectrum, every variation of neuro-spice, and every age group possible. Being able to increase the dignity of others' healthcare experiences when and where I can is of personal and utmost importance to me. Pepper in a bit of woo, some ritual work here and there (or not - I'm equally at home simply holding loving space for faiths of all kinds), and you'll find a blanket of support surrounding you. Zodiac-wise, I'm a Cancer, and if you're within the circle of my claws, I'll work tirelessly to protect you. 

What can I do to support you?

Let's dip our toes into the river and have a chat.

Megan sitting next to a river in a valley in South Dakota
Megan playing in a river in Missouri
Photograby by Allison-0337_edited.jpg
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