Two repeat clients in one day!
It’s a weird life, this doula-ing. Generally my workdays are filled with driving to an intake, a birth preparation meeting, giving an occasional massage or giving a private yoga course. But the rest of my workdays are actually not typical workdays. I live my life with my family while working! We go out to diner while working or I go to the sauna while working and sleep in my own bed while working.
24/7 on call!
How can that be? Well, I’m constantly on call. Wherever I go, I take my phone and if I go further from home than an hour drive I even take my doula-bag with me. That’s because you cannot plan birth.
Recently I had a wonderful full day of loving my work and a perfect example of how crazy and unexpected, yet wonderful, my life as a doula is. I had my three year old running up to me to wake me up at 6.00 in the morning, as she does often. Then I got up, did some yoga and had breakfast with my three children. During breakfast I texted my client to check what time she’d be going to the hospital for the induction that was scheduled for that day. I let the babysitter know what time I’d be needing her to watch the children and continued to clear the table while the kids got in the bathtub. I took a quick shower, because you never know how long you’ll be gone for a birth and packed my lunch and healthy snacks (watching what I eat because frequent midnight snacks and sugars at birth don’t agree with my waistline.) My clients let me know the hospital was not in a hurry to start the induction and I still had time.
So I played boardgames with my children for a while and then an uneasy feeling that maybe my clients would be needing me soon at the hospital, made me ask my babysitter to come anyway. She arrived at 11.00 and within 5 minutes I got a call it might be nice if I came to the hospital.
Birth number ONE
At the hospital I met my clients and after a bit of talking did a foot massage with pressure points to help the contractions to get going. After two hours we discussed that maybe some privacy might help move things along and I had some time to catch up on chit chat with the midwife and the father. When we got back to the room things progressed quickly. Seeing as this was a repeat client I knew quickly how to comfort her pain with some counter pressure and I watched as this strong woman gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl.
As the, once again, new parents were meeting their baby I took pictures and comforted the emotional father, who was deeply impressed with the intensity of birth. After the placenta was born the parents slowly settled into watching and cuddling their precious girl. After the baby had her first feed, she was checked, dressed and had time cuddling with dad. She was soon ready for another feed so I said my goodbyes, promising to meet them the next morning to take pictures of the two big brothers meeting their sister for the first time. I cycled the 5 min ride home from the hospital somewhere past dinnertime, content after a lovely workday.
As I locked my bike, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I was too late to pick up so I listened to the voicemail while walking into my home. It was another client who had been having some mild contractions the past hour and with the intensity now increasing she would like me to come. So I had the chance to kiss all my kids goodnight, say hi and bye to my husband who had just come home and grab a sandwich.
Birth number TWO
Then back on my bike, because this client lived close by and I was on my way. The door was unlocked so I wouldn’t disturb the two boys who were sound asleep and like a ninja I made my way past their bedrooms to the bathroom where my client was breathing through contractions. I helped her onto her bed while her partner was preparing the birth pool. Again the place where she felt most of the pain was similar to where she had experienced pain in the birth two years before where I had also been to support her. So while placing a warm hand on her belly we discussed calling the midwife because the urge to push was coming up. As her partner was busy I called the midwife who arrived 30 min later.
I loved how affirming and trusting this midwife was, telling her to follow her instincts and how powerful and wonderful she was doing. As soon as the bath was half full she got in and let the warm water from the hose just run over her. I made a few pictures as she squeezed her partners hand for comfort… and some more pictures as she in her own power at her own pace birthed her baby. After some cuddles, an attempt to feed and birthing the placenta, we helped her out of the pool and onto the bed to feed her baby boy. After the birth pool was drained and cleared and everybody got sleepy.
Home to bed
I headed home for some rest. It was nearly 2.00 in the morning and I had to get some rest before going to my first client for that promised photoshoot. As I got on my bike to head home all I could think of was how strong and powerful these birthing goddesses had been, and how grateful I was they had left just enough time in-between for me to be able to attend both births. Boy, do I have the best job in the world or what?!