Do doulas use doulas?
I have to admit this question is such a great one! After all one of the best parts to having a doula is their wealth of knowledge when it comes to birth and your local birth community...then again, I am a firm believer that the more you know the less you actually know, so this is also an opportunity for me to learn from another doula as well but in a very personal and intimate way. Buuuut, the short answer is YES! So this blog for context is a coming out of sorts - I AM PREGNANT! Though nauseous all the time, I am completely and utterly in love with this little human growing inside me. Of course we tell our family and friends and they know I am a doula so they ask, "Will you have a doula at your birth?" My answer is a resounding YES! I know I want and need a doula by my side, but for other doulas this may not be the case. Honestly everyone is different and their needs as unique as them. I know a doula who completely rocks her births at home with no assistance from anyone and that is pretty awesome too! She is a rockstar and knows and trusts her body so much, I am in literal awe of her. I too know myself and my body and one of the things I found out while laboring and birthing C is that I get really lost in labor land. After, I knew that I wanted a bit more hands on direction so that I could just shut my brain down and concentrate... Having to think about the mechanics while I was trying to resolve all the ways my body felt as if it could fall apart was not something I liked. In retrospect I would have loved someone there to just know and understand what I needed, not because they could technically read my mind - but because they understand the process so intimately that they get what I need on a very subconscious level. Like a muscle memory imprinted through the many classes, books, and hands on births they have attended. An innate ability to read the energies in a room and help sooth them. For me this is an important part of my birth plan. How does a doula go about finding a doula though? I mean I know so many great ones and yet, great is not enough. The skills and love of a doula can't be understated, I mean the group I am part of has some of the best doulas around but as one, the best is not exactly what I was looking for. I feel like this can be said for many facets of life, when you know, you know...ya know? But honestly there is no magic equation of expertise or knowledge when the spark just is not there. I know so many notable women - all of whom are kind and amazing but I honestly hoped for that spark. I would be lucky to have any of the ladies in my group but like a kid in a small town moving to the big city - I just had to know what was out there before I made any decisions about who my doula would be. Well I tell ya that my first choice sadly moved away some time ago and my next choice was moving in a couple weeks so here I stood wondering still - would I feel that spark? I am still very early into this pregnancy so I was not going to rush this decision and started reaching out to some people in the birth community to ask for their suggestions and tonight I met her. She felt like a kindred spirit to me. Before I talked to her I felt it from her website and then we spoke virtually (I really hate this way but in a pinch - it works) but even virtually I felt so at ease talking to her. Like when I met my husband for the first time or when I found my wedding dress - I just knew. And Simone the founder of Birthing With Purpose has some serious cred - and by that I mean the Midwife who delivered C highly recommended her and she has been a birth worker for some time. Most of all though she has this personality that made me feel safe as who I am. So this spark I speak of - why is this so important? After all when you choose an OB you choose one who is the best right? You don't choose them because you feel like you could be the best of friends - No you want to make sure they know what they are doing. Or I gather that is the case for many. I could be coming up with some red hot assumptions here so tell me if I am wrong. Doulas are not medical professionals and their comfort and friendship is part of their magic. I feel, for our role to be most impactful, we have to have a dynamic there that works beyond the professional aspects of the birth. I need to feel comfortable with this person on a very deep level if I am to surrender myself to birth and allow my body to do what it was made to do. Birth is an ancient dance and those I choose to invite into my birth room are those I feel most comfortable with. This trust and comfort brings a peace to birth that allows it to unfold in its most spiritual way. Nothing is certain with birth, and of course I cannot dictate the outcomes or circumstances completely but I can start with this one very powerful step to being sure that I have everything and everyone I need when our baby is ready to come Earthside. And now we have quite the journey to embark on together don't we? I am pregnant, you are or know someone who is pregnant. This won't be my last blog about being a doula and pregnant and I hope to connect with so many great soon to be parents on the way - I am thrilled to know that so many of my friends and family are also expecting so congratulations to all of you! And as always... Remember to be the conductor and take charge - this is your birth story. The birth of your child and the birth of you as a parent. An entirely new person with all of the same amazing parts of you but just like a house with a hidden room that is found years after purchase - this experience will birth an entirely new facet to your ever changing and beautifully unique soul.