Why I decided to become a doula
Doula work is an important work. I made a social media post about this on Facebook, writing what a doula is.
"What is a doula, you ask?
Just an angel sent from heaven.
Someone who holds your hand, comforts you, calms you.
Someone who whispers reassurances and cheers you on.
Someone who believes in you, who doesn't doubt your abilities and that you trust your body and the process.
Someone who informs and gives you options straight and without guile. Someone who cares for your welfare as well as for your spouse. Someone who supports your spouse and takes care of them, too, and gives them nourishment and support.
What is a doula? An invaluable investment in your motherhood journey, that gives you a sure footing and lends you strength when you think you have none. A woman with a passion for strengthening others.
A mother mothering the mother, who knows how to nurture and love in just the right ways.
A doula is love."
I firmly believe all of that. And it's taken me three long years to realize that I have worked as a doula before. I have held hands. I've given counter pressure. I've gotten food and drink for mom and dad. I have given hugs. I've reassured and comforted.
I've been a doula all along. It's been in my heart all along.
When it comes to birth, "coach", "cheerleader", "mentor" don't have the same ring or connotation that "doula" does.
"Doula" is much more encompassing and nurturing. Trust me, I've played sports and some coaches are anything but.
So it seems I've been led to being involved in birth in this way: to help cheer on a laboring mom, to give an encouraging smile, to inspire and motivate.
But funny enough, and more often than not, I leave inspired, encouraged and enlivened. I've been the one lifted, because birth is a funny thing. More than one life is born in the event of the miraculous thing we call birth. More than one new life emerges from the room. We are all changed as new life is given to all who witness the majesty of life coming into being.
And the birthing room isn't the only place where doula work can occur. We can ALL be doulas. We can nurture, love, serve each other in any place. It doesn't take a pregnant woman in labor for us to be doulas to each other. Whenever we reach out a helping hand to someone in need, we are being a doula. I've been doulas to my own children as they face fears or are awakened by nightmares or are sick or injured.
If we all adopt the doula way of life, love would reign. Hate would diminish. And our world would be a better place for it.