Anne is a dear friend and superb doula. I taught the breastfeeding portion of her DONA-approved doula training a few years back, and since then, we have been friends and doula sisters. This sweet description of 'what doulas do' is a testament to doulas everywhere.
I Speak Birth
"Waer." Everybody else in the room has puzzled looks on their faces, but I automatically reach for the glass of water.
She suddenly sits up straighter with a slightly panicked look on her face; I reach for the puke bucket. Oh and when she first mentioned she felt nauseous, I had gotten a washcloth wet so that she could wipe her face if and when she ever did "use the bucket."
Her shoulders are rigid; I lightly touch them and they instantly relax. I do this countless times.
She has the shakes; I hold her shaking limbs so she can relax.
Her face has become slightly dewed with sweat; I again have one of those immensely helpful wet washrags on-the-ready, and a handheld fan.
Transition hits and I keep her distracted with position changes -- frequent position changes -- while giving her room to find the repetitive rhythm and ritual that works for her body and her labor...then making it possible for her to relax completely in between contractions.
Doula work is intense and focused. It is a dance. Doulas read minds and body language. I love what I do. I love this "other" language I know called "Birth".
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)