A day in the life of Debbie the Doula

Before jumping into this post I have to say a big Thank You readers of I am, therefore I write. My little notification tab was astoundingly filled with “likes” today. Some associated with my early morning post on the Miami face chewer and others focused on random posts within the blog. I appreciate the like-itude you sent my way 🙂

More to the point, Debbie the Doula conducted her second childbirth class with the expecting daughter and son-in-law this afternoon. We have set a meeting schedule for every 2 weeks to fit with Ca’s free from work weekends. Last time we got together was on Mother’s Day for our first class–pretty apropos I think. My two clients learned lots of relaxation techniques which I was told today they have been dutifully practicing. Great job guys!

Today was all labor, all the time. More precisely, we covered all of the first stage of labor and the accompanying breathing techniques associated with each phase: early, active and transition.

I had assigned Ch some homework, just to see what his preexisting level of knowledge was regarding labor and birth. I know that Ca has a huge working knowledge of labor as a nurse but I wanted to make sure Ch was up to speed on basic terms, etc. He did great in our little quiz.

It is such a joy teaching a couple that really wants to know what labor and birth is all about and to work with a mom, even though she is my daughter, who feels that these techniques for coping can and will work for her in labor. Medicines have their place at times, but during the time years ago when I was teaching full-time, mom’s were moving back into anticipation and acceptance of managed births, rather than seeing the power they possess as women to birth their babies with love and support and little intervention. At that same time, myself and fellow instructors and doulas began to see a reversal of the open policies toward labor. Coupling client philosophy with increased medical procedures, it became very disheartening to attempt to circumvent these patterns as a provider.

My current clients work so well together. They are a joy for me to watch as a doula. Ca takes the techniques seriously and Ch strives to be loving, supportive and present in all aspects for Ca, even though this is only practice for another 3 months. Their work together is all the more special when I am privileged to witness the love passing between these two family members. I have no doubts that Ch will be a constant for Ca during labor.

We have two classes left together and will most likely be finished at the end of June, leaving them a good solid month to practice as much as possible. Of course, no one knows for sure how her labor will progress, nor how she will react during this life changing event but my philosophy is that the more prepared the couple is the better they will be able to draw from their knowledge when the hard work really begins.

I look on her belly in awe each time I see them together. This was my first baby and now she is going to be a mother herself. How can the time have gone so quickly? She was my baby, my little girl, my young adult and now she will experience a life event unlike anything one could ever imagine and Ch will be by her side.

I hope they know how proud I am of both of them. I don’t say it enough I’m sure, but I hope they realize. As I said to Ch today, try to praise mom after each and every contraction. Never let her feel like she has failed in any way. Keep her positive and support her no matter what. Simple words like, “I love you, great job, you are awesome, you can do this” go such along way to reassure mom. So to both of them I say:

“Great job, you are both awesome, you both can do this and I love you both.”

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