I get knocked down, but I’ll get up again

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Kyleen SherwoodAs a doula and placenta specialist, I have worked with growing families in Tucson for the past 6 years, and I’ve served hundreds of amazing people.

This work is deeply rewarding and it has been not only a profession, but a calling to me. I know that my purpose on this earth is to help people discover how truly incredible they are… Witnessing and encouraging and supporting that discovery is why I wake up in the morning.

And so it is with great grief and sadness that we officially announce my stepping down as the co-owner of Tucson Doulas.

Not that long ago I was diagnosed with a medical condition that changed my life in so many ways. It is a genetic disorder that I’ve had my whole life, and I’ve certainly experienced it the entire time, but receiving the diagnosis and putting a name to the chaos was both a profound relief and a devastating loss.

This last year especially, has been one of very close self-reflection. I’ve asked myself hard personal questions, and faced even harder realities as those questions were answered.
Dreaming of Tucson Doulas, and working hard to develop and create southern Arizona’s premier maternity services agency with Angela Horn is one of my life’s proudest achievements. Working with families in Tucson while creating sustainable career opportunities for birth workers has been an amazing experience and I’m so excited for what the future holds for Tucson Doulas.

It is not because of a lack of passion or commitment that I am stepping out of birth work, that’s for sure. This is a decision that has been coming for months, despite my greatest efforts to avoid it. However, part of my job is to help clients walk through often challenging processes as they make the decisions that are best for them and their families.

I had to extend the same grace to myself. I had to admit and accept that my physical health has led my life in a new direction. I don’t know how long my absence from birth work will be, or whether it is temporary or permanent, but I do know that for my own health and well-being this is the right decision.

I also believe that it is the best decision for Tucson Doulas long term as we’ve continued to grow and expand and move toward our larger vision for serving our community.

Though I will no longer be a co-owner of Tucson Doulas, and I will not be accepting doula or placenta clients for the foreseeable future, I am not disappearing off into the night! I am still excitedly supporting doulas through the Tucson Doulas Mentorship Program, and will continue to offer future consulting and support for our incredible agency and our doulas.

I’m pleased to stay as involved as possible, whenever and however possible, because my heart is still committed to seeing families supported through this amazing time in their lives by the absolute best birth workers available. For now, that means that I’ll be helping doulas feel prepared and confident as they’re working with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum families, and helping them establish healthy, thriving, sustainable businesses as birth workers.

In900x310relax-900x310 the future, it could mean a return to birth work myself. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility!

What I do know for certain right now is that I am in a personal grieving process, because change is never easy, especially when the catalyst is something outside of my control.

However, I also know that change can bring about new life and growth that couldn’t previously have been possible or probable before.

I am confident that the future of the Tucson birth community and Tucson Doulas is strong and bright, and that helps ease the pain of my own personal loss. I will be the loudest cheerleader as others continue to carry on this beautiful work, and I will forever be grateful for the small part I got to play in it.

Thank you to my clients and my colleagues for allowing me to be involved in such powerful work, and know that though this is a goodbye of sorts, it’s not complete or forever.

I wish Angela and Tucson Doulas the absolute best and will continue to do everything I can to support and encourage and share them with our community.
So long… For now.

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