Updated: Mar 3, 2019
Ever wonder what it's like to be a doula with a family? I'll tell ya! Welcome to my doula life! My main characters are Mike, my superhero of a husband and father to our three children; Jace, my 11 year old guitar-playing, x-box loving, sharp-witted son; Kaia, my 8 year old sunshine daughter; and Ty, my 23-month old whirlwind of a toddler. And then there's me! I've been doulaing since 2011 and have attended more than 65 births to date and have taught over 100 couples in my childbirth classes. This is my full-time gig! With three children and a doula business, private and group childbirth education classes, evening sports and afterschool homework, staying at home as a full-time mom and also creating space for my own health and fitness, there is, as they say, never a dull moment.
When you're a doula, you're ALWAYS on-call. Even when you try to plan it *just right*. I should know, I'm a huge planner. Mike and I joke that the only thing I'm better at than him is organizing (it's mostly true! He's good at everything). So when our 15 year wedding anniversary was inching closer, (August 11th to be exact) we knew we wanted a mini-getaway to celebrate and I knew that would take some major pre-planning with an always-on-call schedule. I had a July client and a September client but purposefully took on no August clients so I could take a 3 day trip. Yep, I gave up my entire monthly income so I could take a 3 day trip.
When a mom contacted me about another September birth I hesitated, but she was a friend of a dear former doula client of mine and it just felt right. Besides, she was due the last week of September so, why not?
The day before my trip I contacted my backup doula and asked her if she could back me up in the CRAZY case that one of my September births went into labor. She said yes because she's awesome, and I relaxed into knowing that I was about to have a 3 DAY VACATION sans kids (who are great, naturally, but a trip without them is like riding with the top down, radio on blast, on a warm, sunny day).
Imagine my utter shock when the night before my trip, August 3rd, I get a call at 11pm from my September 26 EDD mom, whose water had broke. Ummmm, what?? Seriously? Her due date was still 8 weeks away! So much for my stellar organizing and planning skills. The Birth Fairy strikes again! Luckily this mom and dad are just awesome, she was absolutely on board with the backup doula, and I was able to mentor her through some decisions that night and the next day while on vacation. It just goes to show you, you cannot outsmart birth. There will always be a level of uncertainty that comes along with birth and there are lessons to be learned from that. At any rate, the new family is doing awesome and I'm happy to have been around for a small leg of their journey. As with all the births I attend, I'll never forget this one!
One more noteworthy event from this week...The SW Florida Birth Network, which I'm proud to be a part of, has released its 2016-2017 Edition of the Birth and Beyond resource guide! We had a very fun networking party to launch the latest edition of this guide, and I was able to connect with some doulas I know and meet a couple that were new to me. Our birth community here is pretty awesome. Those that are involved have soft hearts and are in it for all the right reasons. Not only doulas, but prenatal massage therapists, chiropractors, placenta encapsulators, photographers, counselors, childbirth educators and many other professionals who are involved with birthing women. Look for the Birth and Beyond Guide all around SWFL in stores or check out the online guide. Nicely done, SW Florida Birth Network, in bringing us all together! Here's to another great year! (Cover image credit: Brittany Geraci Photography)
P.S. Stay tuned for the next edition of The Doula Diaries, and if you enjoyed this one, leave me a comment below or on my facebook page!
P.P.S. September childbirth classes are FULL but I'm taking pre-registrations for my online childbirth series launch in October!
In case you missed one, catch up on the full Doula Diaries series!
Doula Diaries: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Doula Diaries: Sunday June 26, 2016 Inductions
Doula Diaries: Friday June 17, 2016
Doula Diaries: June 5, 2016
Doula Diaries: Sunday May 22, 2016
Doula Diaries: My Luminary Doula
Doula Diaries: Being On-Call
Doula Diaries Part III: Thoughts on Pain-Coping
Doula Diaries Part 2: A Day in the Life
Doula Diaries: What Do Doulas Do All Day?