a wanna-be doula

Yesterday, one of my dearest friends and closest neighbor gave birth to her second child, a little boy.  She and I got to know each other when we were each pregnant with our first baby, back in fall of 2003.  We were each sold on the idea of natural childbirth, and we were both hoping for drug-free, intervention-free birth experiences.  We even took our childbirth classes at the same place, Blossom Birth, but at different times!  Our girls were born exactly five weeks apart, and to this day they are one of each other’s best friends.

As my friend’s pregnancy progressed, we talked a lot about birth and thoughts about a second child.  As the time for her birth drew closer, we talked more about actual childbirth, and I was able to answer some questions she had.  Since I first had Lyd in fall of 2003, I’ve learned a lot about childbirth as well as the postpartum time.  I feel very strongly that I want to become a doula, both a Birth Doula who acts as a labor coach to assist the mother (and father) through the process of childbirth, and a Postpartum Doula who assists the new mother after the birth with breastfeeding and is an expert on newborns.

I had hoped to obtain some doula training this year, but with my husband’s extra-busy schedule, that was not able to happen.  Depending on what happens with our family in the coming year, I hope to be able to try to pursue some training again.  As I talk with pregnant women, I realize that this is where my passion lies.  I love talking to pregnant women, I love to be around new babies, and I love helping people prepare to welcome a new baby into their home.

Today as I went to the hospital and held my friend’s new baby (Oh! What an amazing smell new babies have!), I was reminded of just how passionately I feel about new moms and new babies.  THIS is what I want to do.  Maybe I won’t always want to be in this field, but right now, it is definitely what I want to do.

I’ve promised my husband – and my children, even though they don’t realize it – that I won’t actively work as a Birth Doula until my children are older.  Being a Birth Doula requires the ability to be on call at any hour of the day or night, and I can’t do that while I have small children at home.  However, I am holding on to hope that I will get to witness a few actual childbirths between now and my actually becoming a Birth Doula.  I was hoping that it would work out to be at my friend’s childbirth, but circumstances happened otherwise.

But being a Postpartum Doula – that I could theoretically do right now.  For this kind of doula-ing, you set up appointments with families, and there’s no running off in the middle of the night.  It’s a lot more predictable, and I could do it while still having small children at home.  Being a Birth Doula seems more exciting and dramatic, but Postpartum Doula is no less important, and probably just as rewarding.

We’ll just have to see what the new year brings.  Hopefully I can make something happen in the Doula Training department.  It would be such a thrill for me!