Don't Do It Without A Doula!

The bloggings of a new doula, and the other things that take up her days!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The dream is on hold

After much discussion, my husband and I decided that the doula dream needs to be on hold for a few years. With young children it's just going to be too difficult for them and us, not to mention finances (for every paying birth I seem to have four volunteer ones!). When our children are a little older, and we're in a better financial position, I will pick up where I left out.

I'm still a doula at heart, though. I promise!

I'm sad, but I know it's the right decision.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

This could be an interesting birth

I met with the lady I talked about in my previous post. We'll call her Daisy. She is very nice, really wants a natural birth. I tell you ladies, if there were EVER a perfect candidate for a doula, it would be her. She has no-one else to be with her, she was going to labour alone! Her Mom is the only person and she has to watch her daughters. Her baby is the result of a sexual assault on her by her ex-boyfriend. I'm so thankful that God made our paths cross. Traci (my new doula friend) is excited about helping her too. We're going to try and make sure one of us can go with her to most of her OB appointments, since she has no-one else. I'm not sure what the rules are of the home she's moving into but hopefully I will know more soon.

If anyone reading has any advice about supporting this woman please feel free to post it in the comments.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'm going to be a DOULA!

I'm so excited! A girl e-mailed me about being her doula. I didn't hear back so I followed up... turned out she couldn't afford a doula. To make a long story short she is a single Mom (3rd baby), age 20, ex-husband nowhere to be found and left her financially screwed. She is really sweet. She lives pretty near me but is moving on Thursday to a maternity home out near St. Charles (which is pretty far from me). I pretty much had to convince her I really WANTED to do this for her and she shouldn't feel crappy about not being able to pay - I just told her to 'pay it forward'. She wants to become a doula someday too and solely help low income women like herself!

I'm just so excited. Plus this will be a certification birth for my new doula friend, this will be the first birth EVER she has attended!

AND she might come to my church tomorrow so that would be really neat. :) I'm just so excited. She's due in August so I will be on call in a few weeks... WOW!

Some exciting things are happening

I was in the local Birthright office to donate some things and talk to them about volunteering my doula services. I saw some pamphlets for another doula, I was pretty surprised to hear of a doula in this county because as far as I knew they were pretty much non-existant! So I called her and we met up a few days later. She's been trained for almost 2 years and still never been to a birth. We're brainstorming about ways to get new clients. She's also a massage therapist, which is really cool. We've agreed to be each other's back-up doula too. We're swapping doula books and other resources.

I also have a few prospective clients again... mostly volunteer work but I'm just excited to attend births. As long as I can afford the gas to get there!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Craigslist may open some doors for me!

I'm excited about this. I listed my services on Craigslist a few days ago, and I got an email tonight enquiring! She is delivering at the closest hospital to me, only 12 miles away or so. I would love to have a client that close, usually everyone delivers at the bigger hospitals which are about 45 mins away from me. Yay!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My anniversary!

Of the first birth I did alone after I decided to be a doula! Alone meaning without a doula mentor there.

I wish I had her birth story saved but I don't. It was nerve-wracking and fun though, especially because I was pretty pregnant myself and looking forward to my impending birth. She seemed to think I did a good job. :)

I have a client!

YAY! This makes me feel so much better.

There's only one small teeny tiny glitch...

She's not pregnant yet! She is hoping she is this month already though, I can't wait to find out. She wants me to be really hands-on because her husband, though well-meaning, is not very helpful in labour. (He fell asleep last time watching TV!)

So I'm praying she is pregnant now or soon so we can start this exciting journey. :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Cost of certification

How discouraging. I don't really feel like I need to be certified, to be honest. But I understand it's probably good from a client's point of view to be sure I've passed the criteria of a 'governing body'. So I have been looking into it, but it is so expensive! It's several hundred dollars. Even to be listed in DONA's directory is $80 for two years. Ouch.

Another testimony

I got a wonderful message from my friend J. She's the one who did hire me to be her doula, but I missed the birth. I remember driving home from the airport and checking my voicemail... none from her or K (my backup doula). I was so excited! She didn't have the baby yet! So the next day I called K... and yep, she had the baby. I was happy for her but SO bummed that I missed it. Here's what she wrote in a testimony for my website:

Amber was a great comfort during my pregnancy. She was always available to answer questions and calm any fears that I had concerning the delivery. I was able to borrow many books from Amber to educate myself and reaffirm my decision to have a natural birth. After her phone calls just to chat and see how I was feeling, I would feel such a sense of peace knowing that this wonderful doula was going to be there to support me as I gave birth to my baby.

Unfortunately due to a family emergency Amber had to leave the country around my due date. Amber’s back-up doula, Katie, did a wonderful job filling in for her, and my husband and I were extremely grateful for her guidance during my labor. She also took the most beautiful pictures during my labor, and after the birth, that I will treasure forever. Amber was so disappointed that she just barely missed the birth, but did make sure she came to see us both at home and in the hospital.

Having a doula made my natural birth so much easier. Amber and Katie are both amazing people and I feel so blessed that they played an important role in the birth of my second baby.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The news I didn't want to hear

I went to my Chiropractor this morning. The morning receptionist wasn't there. She wasn't last time, either. I thought that was a little strange, last time I saw her she told me she was pregnant, haven't seen her since. I was worried about her, so I asked. She had a miscarriage, at about 10 weeks. She won't be coming back to work, it was too stressful for her apparently. I am so sad for her, she was so excited. And I was excited too at having her for a patient! I told my Dr. to tell her to please call me if she wanted to talk.

Later that day I called an acquaintance who gave me some cloth diapers to ask a question. I asked her how her pregnancy was going - she was also interested in hiring me to be her doula. She had a miscarriage too, almost a month ago. She was 12 weeks and ended up in the hospital because she hemorraghed.

What a day of sadness. I'm so incredibly sad for these women, and sad for me too because (selfishly) I was really excited about being their doula. A week ago I had 3 potential clients, now I have one who never emailed me back, and two who lost their babies. I wish I could fix it.

And another potential client cancelled her meeting with me today, because she was too tired. I have no problem with that, of course! But if there were ever a day I felt like maybe I shouldn't be a doula, it was today.