What It’s Taught Me

So I went to that young ladies birth the other day.

I visited her at the hospital at 10 on Thursday night to fill out some forms and get to know her better.
She was very kind and very scared, she was “overdue” and being induced. Her boyfriend was there, but he was quiet and not very involved.

I told her to call me in the morning as soon as they started the pitocin. She ended up calling me a couple hours before the pitocin was started. The cytotec was giving her some contractions and she was having pretty bad back labor.
Long story short–we ended in a cesarean after the epidural was given. I’m fairly confident that, given that baby had stabilized for a solid ten minutes before they finally took her back, she probably would have been fine without the cesarean, but she was scared and tired of laboring, so thats what we did.

All in all, it was a decent experience. Certainly not my ideal doula birth–but I still felt useful and like I did some good to help this woman bring her baby earthside. I arrived at 7:30, I left at nearly 8pm. Even though the parents were very sleepy and not very alert after the birth, the mothers older sister called me and informed me that I am “worth your weight in gold”

It was a nice sentiment and I’m really happy to have been there for this family.

That said, as a grieving mother, this was incredibly difficult for me. Since it had almost no reflection of anything I anticipated for my own birth experience it wasn’t as hard as it might have been otherwise, but there were still tender moments where I started to tear up.

When I returned home, I slept a lot. The following day I was still out of it. But I was starting to process what had happened. It kind of shook me. I cried. I’m still hurting.

Even though this birth was challenging and not at all what I was anticipating as my first birth, I think I’m following the right path. Doula work is right for me.

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New Horizons

As you’re aware, life has been tumultuous.
Pregnancy, loss, life, moves, careers, learning, etc.

Tonight I am born as a doula and a new woman. A mother to mothers.

I’ve been rather discouraged as of late. My doula training is nearly complete, but I am lacking the crucial birth experience to certify. My appointment for counseling had to be moved, so I have yet to see anyone.

I was hopeful, as I attended a fundraiser for the local doula group on Sunday and had my first client interview on Tuesday.
The client interview, unfortunately, did not go as one might hope. After having to turn down my first prospect I was devastated. I expected that this meant I would not be a doula. I was a failure. I began looking for other jobs that evening when I returned home.

However, life has a way of surprising you.
I received some correspondence from a woman in another state saying her sister was going to be induced soon and needed a doula desperately. As far as doulas go, we are willing to support as best we can, but we prefer to have a few meetings with our client first. I told the woman to have her sister call me–I told her my fee–and that was that.

Two days go by and I hear nothing. I assume plans changed and they would no longer need me. Oh well, I wasn’t cut out for this anyway.
This morning I receive a call from a strange number. I answer. It’s *Ginger*. Her sister had told her to call me to get to know me better and see what I may be able to do for her. She is being induced this morning and if I’m available she’d like me to attend her birth. After a little discussion, we agree to meet at the hospital so that I can get to know her a little more before she goes into labor. She agrees, her sister calls me, we set up a payment agreement. It’s all done.

Now I’m waiting patiently to attend my first birth. I will be leaving in roughly 40 minutes to start my journey. I’m so thrilled and anxious and scared. But I know I can do this. I am a doula. This is my client. I will help her have her baby.