Lets talk about my job for a moment. For most of the month, I go about my daily chores, sorting out my kids etc, visit a few expectant mothers and a few with newborns for cuddles… But then theres that one or 2 days where time stops, I get a call from a mum in labour, dash to my car and go BE with her wherever she is.
There is no time that day, no hours no minutes. I am not mummy any more, but something else. I go with a mum, or mum and dad I help create a safe birth space, and birth happens. When it wants, how it wants, not ever at the time guestimated by mum dad or midwife but when it is ready.
An angry new mother once turned to me upon finding out my job and said “I don’t think birth is a spectators sport”. I thought long and hard about this, and she’s so right: birth is no sport, and a doula is not a spectator, there to cheer, be entertained and judge a performance. Instead a doula is present simply to love the birthing family. That is all.
In the weeks before the birth I will have spent many hours talking with the mum and family, she will have shared her hopes and dreams for the birth of her baby and she will have been working out how to manage her fears. She will have everything she needs for the birth on the day having planned and re planned, packed and repacked her items, calling and texting me every time she added something else to her bag.
We will have looked up information relevant to her individual circumstances so that she has been able to think, and rethink through all of her choices, from the medical to the playlist she chooses for her birthing space.
Each time her body signalled to her that her baby was soon to arrive, she would have texted me, and told me how she was feeling. We will have discussed whether she felt like calling her midwife or heading to the hospital and she will have learnt to trust and follow her instincts.
When she says in labour “I can’t do this anymore, she knows that means the birth is near and she is filled with confidence to decide whether she wants any medication or whether she wants to allow her body to handle just ONE more contraction, one step at a time.
I will be with her from the time that she wants me, and stay by her side (or in the corner whichever suits her) until her baby is safely in her arms, fed and she is snuggled between clean sheets with her hospital tea and toast, or something a bit more tasty.
So why would anyone want a job like this. So totally unpredictable, so very all or nothing, so demanding and yet so not..?
I’ll save that story for my next blog 😊