An open letter to my doula

My darling doula,

From when I began telling people I was pregnant, the question came… “but will you have a doula”? It was as if people wanted to catch me out in some weird way – like did I really value what I did?

The answer was of course yes without question. And again without question, I knew I wanted you by my side.

I felt like I was already being doula-ed by you. At a time when I felt utterly broken, you offered me such light.

This was the first time I’d felt the magic of the support you can give by merely being and not doing. And just by sitting & being you made me feel so safe.

Then we did ‘do’ we did the rewind technique together which offered me such healing & my birth became my joy to aim for, to work towards.

So of course you had to be with me.

You protected my space whilst I looked into the birth I wanted – the birth I needed it to be. You helped me to create a picture in my mind, a future memory to bring to life.

My hand was well and truly held and guided as we changed hospitals to enable us to have the homebirth I so yearned for. The hospital where I had my other two was my safety net, my familiar, my ‘known’. But you offered me the light to be able to step away and choose something more.

For me, I needed to have faith in my team and faith in my body – I had those hands down.

My husband needed facts, figures & questions answered to allow his medical mind to be at ease with stepping out of the medical institution and embrace birth undisturbed. You offered him all these answers, through evidence based research. You gave him his black and white & me my light.

You helped me plan on a real practical level… from towels to pads, from pool to pants I felt so ready.

When it came to b-day, your presence made me feel safe. Not in the medical term, but kinda more than that, safe to just follow my body and have faith to find my rhythm. Your hand to grip, your gaze to give me strength and your breath to join mine in rhythm to find my focus.

I was fed and watered… we’re talking hobnobs & green tea – you knew what I’d want. You knew what I’d fancy – you were there before me.

You tucked me into bed, armed with a placenta smoothie to nourish my body from the beginning. I felt so safe, so held, so cared for. And then your practical sweat & slog that you put into clearing the birth space whilst I cuddled & fed just allowed my practical mind to quiet.

You also set me up on my mothermoon by affirming for me it’s ok to stop, to heal & to pull up the drawbridge.

You’ve taught me so much as I now know how it feels to be truly held, to be genuinely heard and to feel totally safe. In my mind…

Why on earth would any woman NOT want a doula??

Your companionship on my birth journey will always hold such a special place in my heart. I will always be truly thankful.

As it’s World Doula Week – I put it to all the pregnant mamas out there to give your birth the time & thought it deserves. Birth isn’t something to fear, to dread or endure.

There is a wealth of varied, beautiful support out there who could walk with you to embrace your birth with open arms. To get you excited for your birth, to feel empowered by your birth and to own your birth whichever path it takes. Go on… you deserve it.

www.doula.org.uk

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