Being a Doula Really Means …

Being a Doula and witnessing life and birth is absolutely beautiful. Seeing babies and mother born is like nothing else. Watching the strength, love and empowerment is beyond words. It's not all sunshine and flowers, it's hard work and takes commitment, sacrifice and dedication, and it's definitely not for everyone. With that in mind, I thought I would write about the not so glamorous part of my dream job.

Being a Doula really means ...

• Carrying your phone around 24/7
• Plan family vacation over nine months in advance
• Needing 2 months off for a 2 week vacation (up to 3 weeks on either side)
• Standing for hours and hours and hours on end
• Postponing Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter for a birth
• Providing counter pressure for hours on end
• Drive through snow storms, rain or shine
• Holding a barf bowl with a smile
• Missing kid’s sports game, play, recital, birthday parties or prom
• Holding your bladder just a little longer
• Leaving the restaurant before your food arrives
• Getting text pictures in the night of mystery underwear leakage
• Using your shoulders as her foot rest
• Waking every 20 minutes in a panic, scared you missed a call
• Trying to keep your phone dry at the water park
• Skipping meals
• Laying down to sleep and having your phone ring
• Getting bodily fluids on you, your clothes or shoes, packing an extra set
• Finding reliable 24 hour childcare that can drive really fast
• Running out of your house while yelling back forgotten directions
• Researching rare medical condition information for days straight
• Passing up that delicious margarita cause you are a lightweight and on call
• Get bit, yelled, cried and cussed at
• Driving home after been awake 50 hours, hoping you will stay awake
• Go to bed early anticipating a call, and can’t sleep
• Stooped over for hours applying router pressure, often while mama is on her back or in a tub!
• Perfecting your middle of the night GO routine to a few minutes
• Paying the doctor missed appointment fees
• Taking two separate cars to the _________ because you are on call
• Lugging your camera gear everywhere, arranging drop points all around Winnipeg so you are always ready to go
• Holding it together while supporting clients through loss and birth
• Waking up at 4am Saturday, and coming home 1am Monday
• Leaving hair cut appointment, asking stylist to "just make it even" so you can go
• Grabbing a cat nap in a chair or your car
• Hoping if the officer will let you off with a warning because she needs you NOW
• Choosing your dinner out of a vending machine
• Giving away your expensive concert tickets because baby is early/late
• Wiping sweat, blood or other bodily fluids off her body
• Leaving a birth headed for a hot meal and sleep, and turning around to head to another
• Walking through empty parking lots in the middle of the night
• Rubbing her back, legs etc - all night long
• Ending every RSVP with "unless I’m at a birth”
• Being up all night with a sick kid, hoping your phone won’t ring
• Coming to the realization that the longer and harder you work … the less you are paid

We do this heart and soul work, because we LOVE supporting these families through some of the most precious and beautiful moments of life, and we get to watch miracles happen! Being a Doula is hard work! It doesn't matter how long or short the birth is, or how much work she does - a Doula will always sacrifice something by simply being on call for her clients. ~ Mother Birth

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