Almost five years, I stumbled upon this article in the newspaper. My jaw dropped. I was just beginning my official Doula certification and I was in need of a mom who would let me attend her labour. That’s not exactly the easiest thing to make happen when you don’t know anyone who’s currently pregnant. This was like fate. But what was I supposed to do? Call her up and say “Hey stranger, let me come to your labour”?
Not exactly…but sort of.
First, I had to stalk…wait…find her on Facebook. Then I had to send her an awkward ramble of a Facebook message saying I found her in the newspaper and I really wanted to come to her labour. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I also had to convince her that she wanted me there. I cannot believe how hugely I stepped outside of my comfort zone for this. I mean I practically required a passport for being so far away from my zone. It was a burning fire in me to just take that chance. Luckily she was willing to jump outside her comfort zone too.
I was so naively certain I knew all I needed to know about birth. Contractions start, you push the baby out. BAM. At this stage of the game, I had only ever been to my own labours, a few friends labours and a friend’s sister’s labour that I practically begged my way in to for the experience. I was hardly what you would call experienced. No.
Meanwhile, dozens of births later, I still feel out of my comfort zone every time I enter a birthing room. I’ve quickly realized that even though there are only two ways that a baby can come out, there are millions of ways that journey takes place. I may not remember all the names, I definitely don’t remember the vaginas, but I most certainly remember something about each of those birth stories.
There’s the slow-dance-birth, the holiday-birth, the holy-shit-its-a-girl-birth. There was the two-hour-birth, the tooth-birth, and the surprise-breech-birth. I don’t think I will ever forget the first-section-birth, the turkey-birth, or the theres-five-of-us-in-the-bathroom birth also known as how-did-I-fit-under-the-sink-birth.
I look forward to your birth stories as much as you do. There moments you have created for me have been unbelieveable. You are the one who threw up on me. You are the one who said you wanted to show everyone how strong you were. You were the one who cried in pure relief when I said things weren’t as serious as the doctor made it seem. You were the one who trusted me with your baby in the NICU. You were the one who laughed when I rolled my eyes at your partenr who complained his hand/arm/leg/neck was sore while you were in the middle of a contraction. You were the one who trusted me with your first family photos. You were the one that wanted me to cut the door when daddy couldn’t. You were the one who apologied for waking me up at 2am. You were the one who was concerned if I ate.. You were the one who let me part of the blessing we call birth. You were the one who made me realize my passion. Every single one of you. Especially you, Newspaper-birth, you took a chance on me and for that I will forever be grateful.
Often, the first question a new doula will ask is how to find clients…my answer isn’t typical but it definitely worked!!