thoughts from a 41 week pregnant doula

I’ve never enjoyed being pregnant. I’ve known a lot of women who do. They feel good and healthy, and love the kicks and are wonderfully amazed at each new stage and step of the way. Their biggest complaint is at 39 weeks when it’s a “little harder to sleep”. I stare at women like this in utter bafflement. As a doula, I meet many many pregnant women. I encounter many types of pregnancies, labors and personalities. As a doula I meet women in a very unique time in their lives. And as a doula, I will admit to all of you that I hate being pregnant. Literally, when I think of being pregnant, a feeling of dread comes over me. Long before I ever was pregnant with Harper I always assumed I would love being pregnant. I would enjoy all the movement and embrace all the changes. And then I got pregnant. And quickly learned I did not like it. Needless to say, I was really disappointed. I had hyperemesis until about 16-18 weeks and was on medication [and the same has been true for each of my pregnancies], my sacrum and pelvis throb for the majority of the second and third trimester [yes, I go to the chiropractor, do yoga and lots of strengthening exercises to help stabilize and support which helps] but I just have a general feeling of ickyness that lasts until my babies decide to be born which each time have been over a week past their due dates [and yes, I know it’s an estimated date]. I made it through 41+ weeks of pregnancy...

summer

Remember last summer? I’m sure you do. I’m sure you remember the pool and beer and sunshine and friends and hiking and vacation and all the good stuff summer brings. I remember babies. I remember hospital rooms and homes. I remember being woken up in the wee hours of the morning. I remember hearing little ones cry for the first time. I remember holding many a momma’s hand. I remember a breech vaginal birth. And 3 others where we barely made it to the hospital in time. I remember barely making it to a couple home births. I remember one momma shouting from the mountaintops “look at my baby! He is amazing! He is beautiful! So many newborns are ugly, but look at him!” This momma will probably forever remain the most “high” from an unmedicated birth I will witness. She told everyone in the room to rob a bank if they couldn’t afford a doula. So if you wanna top her, you better get creative. I was there when a momma made the call to her deployed husband in Kuwait “Babe, he is here! I did it with no pain medication, I wish you could have seen me!” I have vivid memories of my first mommas who needed c-sections. I remember many sad and happy tears shared between me and these families that so graciously allow me into such a sacred time. I remember being pretty tired. I remember an emergency c-section where I ran next to her bed with her as far as I could, she continued on passed the OR doors, and then within minutes I...

year 1

It’s been a year since this journey began. I always prayed that what I did when I grew up had meaning and purpose. I never in a million years thought I would be this blessed. I can’t count the times I’ve smiled, nodded and whispered to a husband with the deer in the headlights look “it’s ok, she’s ok”. Or times I’ve driven 3x the speed limit to get to their house or hospital. I’ve been with mommas who were in labor for 27 hours. I’ve been with mommas who were in labor for 2 hours. I have held hands and cried with mommas whose labors went nothing like we planned. I have rejoiced with a mom when she is finally complete. I’ve fallen asleep sitting at the foot of the bed, with my head by their feet. I have been a doula to a doula. I have told a mom she needs to get an epidural. And the many times I have come home to John after a long or hard birth and the second I see his face I start to cry. And many, many times I tiptoe into my kids’ rooms in the middle of the night when I get home, kneel by their beds and watch them sleep and twitch. I’ve cut an umbilical cord. I’ve been seen as a part of the team by some health care professionals, while others never even acknowledged my presence. Or the times the nurse has been our lifeline, our saving grace. And we hug each other before leaving. And when an OB looks me in the eyes, shakes...