I have worked with some amazing midwives in the past few years Midwives who put their neck on the line in the name of informed choice. Midwives who can work in the dark with a small torch, without a cry of how she cannot see to do her paperwork. Midwives who can read a birth preferences document and understand it in it’s entirety and not cherry pick the bits she will ‘allow’ in the policy and procedure driven environment she works within.
Doula-ing helps me to be gentle with midwives. To support them in their work as I support my clients wishes for their birth. As I protect the birth space, I thank them for being by my side as well as my client.
Doula-ing means whilst keeping a birth space warm and dark and free from disturbance, I may also need to have my advocacy hat on. This does not mean I am choosing sides. It means I am doing my job as a doula, protecting my clients’ choices, choices which have been carefully made with a sound evidence base, on an individual basis. What’s right for one, isn’t for another.
Doula-ing is eating energy bars at 3am and keeping ground coffee in my doula bag to avoid the crappy instant stuff in the hospital and share with a tired midwife or partner.
Doula-ing is waking five times a night for upto four weeks or more, imagining you may have missed that important phone call and feeling the sweet relief that you haven’t as you drift back to sleep with a smile.
Doula-ing is hugs and amazement about the spectacular parenting achievements you’ve made after a tricky start.
Doula-ing is walking alongside and listening to Doula colleagues as they walk their own path alongside the families they work with. Doulas need doulas too.
Doula-ing is making it up to my family for being AWOL for hours or days after sneaking away in the dead of night.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. Doula-ing is the path I’m on and I believe I’ve always been on this journey in one way or another. Across dark, gravel paths and sunlit woodland, I’ve accepted my destination.