How I Went Solo - The Insider Guide

 

Kim Borchert, Doula

By Jessica Rosenberg

 Photo by  Austin Chan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Kim Borchert is a mother of 6 and a doula at Austin Doula Care. She works with a friend- another doula with a complimentary skill set- and together they do everything from teaching birth classes, to assisting families in labor, to hosting mommy and baby yoga classes. Clients come to them mostly from word of mouth recommendations and they’re just busy enough to keep them on their toes.

A Spark of Inspiration

When she was pregnant with her first child, Kim was convinced that her birth experience was going to unfold exactly as she dreamed. She attended birth classes, but left before the c-section portion because she simply didn’t feel like it applied to her. Of course, life doesn’t usually go as planned. Kim’s baby, Emma, was breech and, try as she might, nothing would turn the little girl around. Emma was born via c-section and was instantly whisked off to the nursery. Kim only saw her baby for the first time two hours after she was born. Still immobilized by the spinal that had numbed her for the surgery, Kim wasn’t able to sit up for 12 hours. It was hardly the experience that Kim had expected; she was devastated.

Kim became determined that she’d never lose control of a birth situation ever again. She dove into research so that next time she’d know everything there was to know and would be able to make informed decisions about her choices. It didn’t take her long to realize that it wasn’t enough to simply be informed in order to help herself, she wanted to help other women do the same.

I wanted give women more options and support around birth. 
— Kim

Just as Kim was making plans to start doula training, and starting to think about baby #2, the unthinkable happened. Little Emma passed away when she was barely 8 months old.

A month later, Kim discovered that she was pregnant again.

A Spark Becomes a Flame

Over the course of the next 11 years, the Borchert family moved twice and had five more children. Each of her birth experiences, where she was in firm control of the process and outcome, reaffirmed her desire to become a doula and to help women have better birth experiences of their own.

Between deciding to become a doula and actually starting the training, Kim immersed herself in the birth community. She assisted in the births of two nieces and shared her extensive knowledge on birthing and breast feeding with her friends and neighbors.

I was essentially teaching the women around me about informed consent before I even knew that was a thing.
— Kim

In 2014, Kim took the plunge and officially started training to become a doula. She signed up for classes through Doula Training International because they aligned best with her own beliefs. She started her training and braced herself for the 9 month hands-on process. Her goal, at first, was just to see if she liked it, and to see if people would hire her to be their doula.

A Moment of Doubt and a Slight Detour

Shortly after finishing her training, Kim experienced a moment of panic. She’d interviewed with seven potential clients and hadn’t been hired by any. She suddenly she wondered if she’d made the right choice. It was then that the owner of a local doula practice called her to see if she might be interested in joining their team.

While she still intended to go Solo, Kim jumped at the chance to work with more experienced doulas. Taking the leap to join a doula practice allowed her to attend 24 births in 11 months. Kim stayed with the team for just over a year, building a name for herself and gaining confidence in her skills.

 Photo Courtesy of Kim Borchert

Photo Courtesy of Kim Borchert

Going Solo

At Austin Doula Care, Kim shares her passion and expertise with growing families. Because of her personal experiences, Kim is able to connect with clients who are pursuing all different kinds of births, including VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) after having given birth by VBAC five times. Kim is also uniquely positioned to walk with her clients through grief, having walked through it herself.

Kim is part of a huge network of birth professionals who support each other whenever needed and refer clients back and forth. While she doesn’t attend births every day, she’s always working on her business, taking care of marketing or other administrative needs. It’s busy, but she loves it.

I love that I can help clients remember the choices they wanted to make. 
— Kim

A midwife’s job is to catch the baby. A doula is there to educate her clients and provide physical and emotional support- exactly what Kim wants to be doing.