Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday Birth Boot Camp - A Personal Post

Hard to believe my baby is FOUR. I feel rather sentimental about it. I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on this special day.

I wrote this blog for many years as a childbirth educator and I loved it. This was my baby. I am truly sad that I have let it go. It was never my intention. Nor was not teaching childbirth classes. Sometimes if we could see the evolution of something, we can look back and realize we might have done things a little differently, or even not at all. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have started Birth Boot Camp, but there are downsides that I didn't see coming. I honestly had no idea I was getting a more-than-full-time job! Ignorance is sometime blissful, not to mention necessary!

Ironically, I keep a list of blog topics in my phone - last count was 13 - that I'd like to write about, but I just haven't gotten over to it. I have made a decision to write once a month though. If you've read my blog, ever, you know I don't do it for SEO or to make money. This is just a simple place for me to share my thoughts, no matter how unpopular they may be! So be on the lookout once a month. I'm going to do this!

Back to Birth Boot Camp ... Just to refresh your memory, I had all my childbirth classes on DVDs and was shipping them all over the world. It was crazy! I was like Blockbuster burning DVDs and renting them out! I told my good friend, Ceci Massa, that I wanted them to just be on the internet. She said she could help me with that. I started writing curriculum and shared it with another good friend, Hannah Reasoner, and she declared she'd like to teach it! Oh my. This took things a different direction, for sure.

I knew I couldn't do this by myself. I pulled in several people, including my good friend, Sarah Clark (you might know her as Mama Birth) but I'd known her long before either of us were childbirth educators. It was the best move I made in this endeavor! She's a machine! And I love her dearly.

We held a Launch Party from my house in Mansfield, TX, showing off the materials and online classes. It was quite a day! I remember feeling so proud and excited, but also anxious. We had our internet launch on Monday, March 26, and almost immediately online class registrations started rolling in. I knew we were on to something big!

Some highlights you might enjoy -

We've trained nearly 200 instructors from about 40 states. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know all these women from all different backgrounds. I am honored and humbled to work alongside them.

Our inital materials were rather dark in color, but adding the doula program pushed us to change our materials and brighten things up. This is a prime example of if you knew how much work something was going to be, you might reconsider starting the whole thing! Well, it was worth it and I'm glad we did it. I can say that now that it's done!

Oh wait, we keep coming up with great ideas! We aren't done! 

We've just recently announced two new classes, our Early Pregnancy Class and a Sibling Birth Prep Class, complete with beautiful workbooks. You can take a live class which will include much more, or you can just buy a workbook and study at home with your partner or family. These were so much work for Sarah and I, but we could not be more proud! We keep having babies!

I'm incredibly lucky to work with such a diverse and talented group of women who put their heart and soul into Birth Boot Camp.

And finally, look for two HUGE announcements in June. We can't wait to share them with you!

I've often said, especially before launching Birth Boot Camp, that I wish I had a crystal ball and could see what things would look like for the company a year from now, 5 years from now, 20 years from now. At 4 years in, I have to say, I am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished. It looks very different than what I expected, but I wouldn't change a thing! We are exactly where we need to be at this exact time. We have dealt with some ugliness, our product has been copied, we've seen some people come and go. But at the end of the day, I believe that if you go forward with integrity and kindness, that will trump all negativity.

Here's to another incredible 4 years!  If you are interested in becoming a Birth Boot Camp Instructor, read about our requirements here and apply here.

Dying to become a Birth Boot Camp DOULA? Our program is the BEST! Register today!

Pregnant and wanting a supportive online community? Join the conversation at Your AMAZING Pregnancy Facebook group. Join us on all forms of social media. If it exists, we are there!

Happy birthday Birth Boot Camp!