My name is Quatia Osorio, CCHW, CLC, CPE is affectionately known throughout the community as "Mama Q" or simply, "Q." Here is my story of how I decided to become a community perinatal health worker, starting with my first doula moment:
In 2011 I experienced firsthand becoming an empowered participant in my pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Guided with newfound knowledge on my journey to birthing my rainbow baby, 4th child, I gained insight and respect for the power within me. Birthing my child was not just about bringing new life into the world, but about birthing MYSELF in the process. Having a doula during this time was a pivotal moment in my life. The guidance, understanding, compassion, and respect these women have for their fellow woman, sister, and Mother was something that deeply moved me and felt like a lifelong BOND.
Sometimes we need to know we are not alone, that someone is there to say without words, "I know I have been here before, and I am with you now. You will not journey it alone." They simple ARE there beside you. They are comforting, nourishing, patient with you. This is not to say that every birthing Mother is along, but there is large disproportion of Black women birthing alone without support.
Journ3i is pronounced as "Journey" while the 3 represents the triad of community, friends and family. The "I" being heart centered to allow oneself to be honored and valued for their identity.
That is how I wantd my little sister to feel during her labor and delivery. While I was not interested in being a doula during this time, it was three when my sister brought her firstborn son into the world. The side by side walking, the encouragement of she CAN do this, moments of laughter, the sharing of emotions, and expression of tears. She had a wonderful doula who offered her support, in addition to myself. She was not alone. She was an educated Black woman giving birth to a Black son, who had been empowered by the knowledge of childbirth education and having a doula by her side made a difference. That was the epiphany.
I was by her side during labor and delivery and would later become a stakeholder in my community to fight disparities against health and social determinants that subjected women of color to being voiceless or impartial during their journey into Motherhood.
A humbling honor is when a fellow Mother called me at 3 a.m. while I was nursing to share in their nursing moment when I bring a dish of food to a new Mom when I stop in and ask if there is anything they need help with around the household or a few restful moments. It is the simple gesture of "I am journeying with you." These are valuable ripples within the community.
These life-altering moments have made me seek to become a Doula, one of the first Black Doulas for Women of Color in our community. You are helping me to fulfill my destiny to be on a journey with countless others as they birth themselves and their children. Thank you for coming with me. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. This began the first step of the Journey ... let's create a space to bring the community with us, all the way.
THE JOURN3I OF US
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” ~Patanjali