Jen Silvera is a doula, a nurse and mother to five littles. Jen has the unique perspective that comes with have many different kinds of births and knowing how to advocate for herself and educate herself in a variety of different pregnancy and childbirth situations personally. This only not makes her a stronger and more compassionate birth worker but very exciting to chat with. Jen has always been interested in pregnancy and labor/delivery, and her goal when she was younger was to become an obstetrician but life had other plans in the way of kids, a couple of them. So she went into nursing, with her heart set on working in the Labor & Delivery, Mother/Baby, and NICU departments. Jen had a couple more kids as she was trying to gain her RN, and that's what lead her to researching doulas. She had heard of about doulas as far back as 2009 but had no clue how to pursue it. Eventually after having a doula attend one of her children's births, it solidified her decision to pursue a career as a doula.
Jen trained with Birth Arts International when her youngest daughter was only 3 1/2 months old, and she came to the training with her. She chose them because their philosophy and closeness really spoke to her. Jen also had personal experience with one of their doulas, so she saw firsthand what the education resulted in. Jen has been a doula for 3 years now but before she was a doula she did a lot of other things! As mentioned, Jen is also nurse, and worked in pediatric home-care. She drove for Uber sometimes, shopped for Instacart, worked for a tax company once upon a time, and has also worked as a daycare teacher. Jen is also a super mom since 2007!
Jen is extremely passionate about motherhood and birth work. All her personal experience and professional experience has made her one extremely capable birth worker. Jen wants to encourage families to become knowledgeable, she loves to educate and empower her clients above all else. She wants them to love having a doula of course, but her priority is supporting them in whatever way they need and helping them to realize that they hold the power.
We get lots of questions once we tell people that we are converting a school bus into a tiny home to travel the country with our three kids. It's not something that everyone is doing and we understand that people are curious. We were super curious about skoolie and traveling families when we were dreaming of bus life and are still looking to people who have been doing it to offer advice and answer questions. We are lucky to be involved in some groups on the internet to answer our questions about bus life logistics but we would like to give you some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Let get into it!
How long are you going to travel?
We are saying at least a year but it could be more or maybe less. We aren't going to stress ourselves out by forcing 365 days on the road and if we are having a ball we may stay on the road longer than a year. We are deliberately not setting any time limits on any locations so we can stay as long as we want and so yeah, we will be on the road approximately a year.
Where are you going?
We are not really sure. We have ideas and a map on the wall with potential destinations but we are really open to where ever. I wrote a blog all about this exact question if you are interested to check it out.
Are you selling your house?
Yes. We want to reduce our overall possessions and the house is a biggie. We are no longer interested being strapped to one location by a financial obligation. When we sell our house will will drastically reduce our overhead, pun intended.
It's a weird thing to say but I am pretty proud of my toilet. After tons of research on composting toilets, we settled on making our own. In the beginning of our conversion process there was no question, we were going to buy a Nature's Head composting toilet. They have a great reputation, a lot of skoolies have one. Then I saw a video about the Airhead composting toilet and I was really digging that one, even more than the Nature's Head. Once I realized there was more than one option for composting toilets in a skoolie I started to dive even deeper in the the world of composting or dry toilets. You see, a toilet like this in a skoolie or RV doesn't actually provide you with compost, that process takes a while. What a "composting" toilet does is provide a start to the composting process and by adding carbon rich material like coconut coir or sawdust you are helping the process of decomposition. By separating the urine you are helping the process even further and reducing the chances of yucky smells.
Hopefully in the past couple of months if you have been reading the blogs on The Nomadic Doula you have been entertained or at least not bored. The past months have been a sampling of content I hope to dive deeper into in the future. Once we actually get on the road some of the bus conversion updates will be replaced by bus life and travel blogs to continue to bring you along on our adventure. I will continue to write about my family, minimalism and of course birth work. My hope is that I can meet birth workers in a lot of the towns that we stay. I have been collecting names of people who I admire or want to reconnect with and hope that you will find their stories as valuable as I do. We are also going to visit with a lot of friends and family all over the United States and document it all here. We would also love to volunteer wherever we can and serve our country. We hope to make tons of new friends too. Following The Nomadic Doula and Live To Wander Bus on Instagram and Facebook is a great way to keep up with our adventure in photo form.
We also hope that we can create more and different stuff too. The need to create for both Nick and I is unstoppable, like breathing, so we constantly have ideas. I enjoy writing and building and digital art. Nick is an awesome artist and sculptor in addition to a budding photographer. All of these passions are things we would love to work on all the time, well, at least when we aren't doing all those other things I mentioned. In an effort for us to be able to focus more time on all the things we love I decided to start a Patreon page. This will be especially helpful once we take off on our grand adventure and our everyday jobs look a lot different. The hope is that if The Nomadic Doula's audience finds value in what we create hopefully they might be interested in contributing so we are able to continue creating, writing, and dreaming. Anyone who becomes a patron will receive special gifts and our never ending gratitude. You are not only insuring more blogs but also other things too. We will be able to spend more time taking great photos, seeking out awesome adventures, and maybe start a podcast or YouTube channel, the possibilities are endless!
Our journey to this point in life has had it ups and downs and we are so grateful for all the people in our lives and experiences that brought us to this point. We have found new energy and courage to begin an adventure down a path only a few have chosen and want to share it all with you. We can do more with you than we can do on our own. As a patron you are showing your faith in The Nomadic Doula's journey and your want for our success. We thank you so much for all the feedback and kind words so far and love to hear from you more. If there are any birth workers that want to meet up let me know. If you know somewhere cool to visit, let us know. If you want to hang out when we get to your town drop me a line. Mi adventure es su adventure. (My Spanish is horrible, sorry.)