Saturday, September 17, 2011
My life as a doula
Every healer comes to the art with proclivities, areas within which she has a natural feel, a knack. We can't ask for these gifts, they are divinely bestowed, maybe from before the time we were born, who knows? Sometimes our particular gifts fit seamlessly into our lives, other times they seem oddly placed.
Every now and again I take on the role of doula, or birth attendant. Usually this happens with people who have seen me for pre-natal massage. The role of doula evolves out of our work together, which makes perfect sense.
What doesn't make sense, not in the conventional way, is this gift. It doesn't make sense because I never wanted children, and I do mean never. I remember making a bet with my sister Karen that I would never have kids. She said by the time I was 30 I would have two. The bet was for $15, an enormous amount of money at the time. What was I, ten years old? I already knew I was not meant for that kind of relationship in this lifetime. That I was not meant to have kids is one of the few things I've ever been absolutely sure of. It's interesting.
I had my tubes tied at age 23. The doctor tried to talk me out of it, which at the time I found insulting because after all, I WAS an adult. Looking back now, who can blame the doctor? Twenty-three? Holy cow. But I never regretted that decision, never heard the ticking clock later on in my thirties, never developed a need to hold other people's babies. Babies are like humans of any other age - I like some, others I'm not as interested in. The maternal gene is missing from my DNA, I swear.
All that said, truth is, it's fun to work with pregnant women. Babies in utero are very psychic, something they dispense with (mostly) once they're born. A common experience in this work is for the mother to fall asleep on the treatment table while the baby kicks, dances and moves like crazy. I feel very engaged with these babies; I'm always extremely curious to meet them after birth. It's like meeting a blog friend for the first time - we know each other well, yet we have never met. It's very fun. Ironic, isn't it?
On October 3, give or take a few, I'll be part of the team welcoming someone through the gates of life into this world; that is, I'll be attending a birth. The parents are friends as well as neighbors and clients. They are very dear to me. I want to be the best doula I can be for them. It's much on my mind.
The role of doula is incredible, it deserves a post of its own. I'll write about it tomorrow.
I slept twelve hours last night. I am definitely once again above the weather, a good thing since it is moody and cloudy outside. I followed my own rules and feel back to myself again. Yay. Have a peaceful Saturday.