Often times, I find myself in the shower, one of the only places I can let me whole body relax, shut out the world and breathe. As soon as that all happens, I have some of my greatest ideas, remember what I was supposed to remember all day (or last week even), work on my personal goals (after all, I am naked), and figure out what this life is really about. I’ve often wondered if a waterproof, dry erase board would fly in the shower or if my husband would think “this is the last straw”. In the shower tonight I thought for the 100th time, why is it that I chose this life of being on call as a doula, working odd hours, supporting women and their partners and family – like out of everything I could do with my degree, my time, why this? It didn’t take all but the next thought and my idea to blog tonight (and share of course).
My doula work is like being a mom, and I love being a mom, so naturally, I love being a doula! The roles are parallel in so many ways.
I guide them when they get lost or have questions, but my role is to not do it for them, rather to guide them, provide them education resources vs. doing it or sharing what I did or would do. When they get scared, I help to ease their worries, validate their feelings without them feeling shamed or guilty, remembering this is theirs not mine.
I advocate for them, speak up for them when their voices get lost or they are too tired to tell what they really need or have questions about.
I protect their space when they don’t want anyone else in it, hold it for them so they can rest, relax and bond. I become a body in their space that knows what’s going on.
I give them my strength when things feel too hard, when things don’t feel good, I give them my hands, my heart.
I make sure they are nourished, hydrated so they have the energy they need to finish this hard work and feel good.
I keep notes on what I’m seeing, hearing, feeling as a memoir as this is a time that is “blurry” and pieces can easily get lost. Often, I will snap and capture that very moment they birth their beautiful babe, better, that their role deepened into a parent.
I help them problem solve when things go off the course they had been traveling on, present them their options and help them stay in control.
Sometimes I just sit there. (I’ve never been a helicopter mom)
Doula-ing is Mom-ing