November 14, 2008

Doulas in Disguise

Status Update: I am still without an OB/GYN, but since my previous post you can say that I am at peace with all of this. If you’ve known me before this blog, you may know that I believe that everything happens for a reason. What is meant to be for the birth of this baby and my health will be.

I have been doing some research this week on midwife options in Toronto, reading through websites about birthing classes, hypnobirthing and doulas. A whole new area from the clinical doctor with latex glove option that I was so sure was my fate. While I’m still unsure of I will go this route, I wanted to share with you something that I read this morning on a doula’s website:
"I’ve watched now, several times, a home video that a couple took whilst on honeymoon to Ulusaba – a private game reserve in South Africa. It is a video of a mother elephant giving birth in the wild to her baby. In a word, it was spectacular. Amazing. Mind-blowing. Breath-taking and unbelievably…. human. I was most impressed by the number of other (presumably) female elephants with their young; all the aunties, sisters, grandmothers, “DOULAS” supporting this new mother in her efforts. As the mother was preparing for her baby to come, she moved, swayed, back and forth, back and forth, walking and swinging her hips, tossing her head. The other elephants wrapped their trunks around her trunk, sweeping their trunks across her brow, stroking her shoulders. It was incredible. It was, in a perfect image, the embodiment of what we, as human doulas, do for our clients, mentors and friends.

"When I am asked by potential clients, friends, family what I do, and what the benefits are of what I do, I often pause and reflect upon the image of the elephants. What is the purpose of what we, as birth doulas do? What is the value?

"If we were in a different time, place, culture, we as doulas would be the sisters, mothers, aunties, and friends of the labouring woman – we would be the women of experience, the women to whom the labouring woman could turn to for continuous emotional, physical, informational and spiritual support as she transitions from maiden to mother… A doula’s role is one of continuous support that is far reaching: she provides informational support, emotional support, physical support and spiritual support when required and/or requested…

"A doula’s role is to provide a client with the best information possible so that when a couple is asked to make decisions regarding the course of their baby’s birth, they can make those decisions from a completely informed place, without ever having to experience the ‘I wish I had known that before I…’ or ‘if only someone had told us that before we chose to….’ "
It was a great description of the role doula’s play in the lives of some many mommies and daddies. But it made me realize that I have so many doula’s in my life. So many people who have been there before me, that I can turn to with my questions and my fears and my concerns. So many people are will be celebrating with my when this baby meets the world.

They say that it takes a village. I am so grateful to my village - those people in my family, those friends, those mothers who have I met recently, the incredible people I have met online, the people that I work with. Thanks so all of the world’s doulas in disguise.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, doulas sound really wonderful :] I was debating one, but after talking with my midwife association, they told me that they have TWO midwives at the birth -- one to take care of me, and one to take care of my baby. My mother, sister, and mother-in-law will also be there (along with my husband!) so I figure I should have plenty of helping hands. But I REALLY do like the idea of a doula and would consider them more closely for a second birth if this midwife thing just doesn't do it for me. I like the idea of a person that's more ... spiritual, I guess?

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