There's Nothing a Doula Won't Do

Oct 13, 2022

This is G. This is G throwing a tantrum on the day her mom gave birth. Little Miss G was born at a Bay Area hospital and I had the privilege of witnessing her entrance into the world. This time around, her mama chose home birth with a marvelous local midwife.


I'm about to share this story in order to pull back the curtain on the glamorous life of a doula. (Tongue firmly in cheek here.) If you want to know more about how doula help prepare women and their partners for birth, Meredith and I share loads more inside of our Intentional Birth course.


Wouldn't you know it, G mom began her birth in the middle of the night when G was fast asleep, as so many second-time mamas do. All was well until mama's birth moans roused G out of a deep sleep. Dad dashed upstairs to comfort/quiet and I followed soon after to shepherd back downstairs to his waiting wife---baby was coming and he was needed! Back downstairs he flew while G and I snuggled in a rocker. My goal was help G stay calm and quiet, the better to create an atmosphere where mama could feel uninhibited---it's hard to birth your baby when you're worrying about your toddler. A family friend arrived to relieve me, and I handed G off. But as soon as I opened the nursery door to make my exit G began crying once more. Hearing her toddler's cries, mama yelled up, "Will someone please take care of G!?" Ruh roh. Not wanting mom to be disturbed, I realized that I wasn't going back downstairs to be a doula. Instead, I sent the friend down to witness her very first birth while G and I resumed rocking, Youtube casting its magic spell on her.


G and I rocked and mama birthed. Soon we heard the beautiful sounds that signal the final moments of pushing, followed by happy voices, and baby's first cry. G and I traipsed downstairs to meet the baby and we glimpsed mom's glowing, joyous face. Then back upstairs again to dress G, brush her hair, and off we toddled on a walk, the better to keep her little hands and feet occupied. G and I spent the morning petting dogs, admiring flowers, and stealthily picking and eating luscious plums from an obliging tree. Somewhere along the way a tantrum ensued and G threw herself to the ground, her head ka-thunking on the asphalt as she landed. I was sure to snap a photo thinking it would make a good story for her parents. Later that morning, after returning from our walk, I tidied the kitchen, made breakfast for mama, and pondered on the work of a doula. The truth of the matter is, I'm there to do anything that’s needed in the moment. Sometimes it's holding mom's hands while she squeezes them so hard that I'm sure my fingers will break. Sometimes I hold dad as he weeps, other times a vomit bag for mom. I wash blood off of her legs as she holds her new baby in her arms. I wipe sweat from her brow, and wipe poop when she pushes (and then reassure her that lots of women poop during pushing). And sometimes, I'm there to soothe a toddler's tantrum. All in a day's work---and all of it brings me joy.


Want to know more about birth and how a doula can support you and help you create a beautiful birth? Join us inside Intentional Birth.

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