• Davenne

Looking Outside the Box

Updated: Apr 15, 2019


Amboise Castle in the Loire Valley France

When I look at this photo now, it seems so telling. This was taken during the semester I spent in France working on dissertation research. I spent hours every day pouring over sources from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, trying to understand how the ideal of motherhood defined French women of the time. I really felt like I was on a path toward a tenure-track professorship at a Research-1 university.


When I first started thinking about a different career, more than two years after this photo was taken, I felt surprised and kept telling myself that this really seemed to come out of nowhere.


Then, one day, I was looking back over our photos and I saw this.


Suddenly, my "changed" path didn't seem so surprising. And I remembered that at the same time I was doing all that academic research, I also kept finding myself reading sources on pregnancy, doulas, birth, motherhood, and so many more current topics in the American birth world. During my pregnancy, I was insatiable. I wanted more and more information. I also wanted more and more connection with a community who was just as interested in birth as I was.


So here I am now. Forging ahead on a path that is at once very new and very familiar.