2017 marks my first year as a doula. What an amazing experience it's been so far! After completing my DONA birth doula training with Sterling Doulas in April, I had the privilege of serving five clients from June - November. As this isn't my full time job [Best Passion Project Ever!], I'm super psyched to have been present at five totally different births.
Supporting families through one of the most important and influential moments of their lives is something I don't take lightly. To my amazing first five clients, I am forever grateful to you for trusting me to be your doula!
So, to help put a cap on 2017, I wanted to share my top five reflections from my first five births.
- Birth is Beautiful. I'm certainly not the first one to have made this comment and I know I won't be the last. After experiencing my own two pregnancies, I don't think I had a complete picture of how amazing the female body is during labor and delivery. To witness my five amazing mamas birth in their own ways are memories I will never forget. And, to witness their partners be in awe of their hard work is about the best thing ever. You know that line in that silly movie 27 Dresses - "You know how the bride makes her entrance and everybody turns to look at her? That’s when I look at the groom. Cause his face says it all you know? The pure love there." It's the same with birth. The face a partner makes when a baby is born is about the most beautiful thing. Swoon.
- Every Birth is Different. While there certainly are averages, I witnessed a bit of everything. Quick labors, long labors, contractions that were 2 minutes long with a 2 minute rest for hours on end, fast progress, slow progress and everything in between. What was common between my amazing mamas is the sheer love, willpower, strength and beauty they all have to grow a human and bring him or her into the world.
- Every Baby is Different. Colic. Calm. Easy breastfeeding. Challenging breastfeeding. No sleep. Easy sleep. Tiny. Big. The only commonality between these precious five babes is that three were born at 7lbs. 7oz. That's right, triple 7.7s in 2017! What a great omen for 2018.
- Acceptance, Belief and Trust are Key. As noted in #2, every birth is different and takes its own unique path. While you can have birth preferences, ultimately 1: accepting that your birth may not follow a textbook delivery, 2: your body can do it, and 3: trusting those around you to fully support you help make the uncertainty of labor just a bit easier to handle.
- This Work fills my Bucket. Last, but certainly not least...birth work is good for my soul. I thought long and hard about whether launching a little side doula business was the right path for me. As a wife, mother to two young kids, and a professional with a full-time job, I certainly had enough on my plate, but something in my heart was telling me that I should give it a go. I'm so glad I did and I can't wait to see what 2018 brings.