A Doula’s Day

2:36am: *text message dings* “Hey! So, I think maybe I had some bloody show. Wanted to let you know, but didn’t want to wake you! See you soon.” Of course, every phone noise wakes me when it isn’t meant to, so I type a quick reply before I snuggle back into my warm bed.

3:14am: Phone is ringing this time. “Hi, it’s Jack… I think Megan’s water broke.. she’s…. she’s in pain, but told me not to wake you this early. Can you remind me where to put my hands for counter pressure?” I remind him of the comfort measures we’ve practiced and we quickly talk about heat packs or getting in the tub. I remind him to give their provider a call with an update about the ruptured membranes as I put the last items into my birth bag and put my shoes on.

3:41am: Incoming call from Jack. “Okay, we need you now.”

4:17am: I arrive to find Megan in the shower, humming and swaying through contractions. We talk about how she’s feeling and she decides that she wants to labor at home for another hour or so before heading into the hospital.

We spend some time swaying together while Jack finishes packing last minute items and takes Molly, their older child, to the babysitter. In between contractions and hip squeezes, Megan is overwhelmed with joy. This is it! She’s finally in labor and her baby is coming. Molly’s birth was a failed induction turned emergency cesarean birth, and Megan was ecstatic that her body really wasn’t broken.

6:11am: We’re at the hospital and the provider comes in to read her the VBAC consent forms. Megan and I are kneeling on the floor by the bed while the nurse straps on monitors. “You’re doing so amazing, Megan!”

7:58am: “DEB, THERE IS A BABY COMING OUT OF MY VAGINA RIGHT NOW. OH MY GOSH, I’M REALLY DOING THIS!”

8:33AM: A 9 pound 13 ounce baby covered in birthday frosting is placed on her chest and is searching for the breast.

12:51pm: I get home in time to relieve the babysitter and take a shower before nap time is over.

1:15pm-2:30pm: Lunch clean up is done, a load of laundry is in the wash, three emails are answered, sent a text to check in on Megan and Jack.

3:00: School pick up

3:30: Snacks, unpack backpacks, answer other texts from clients, schedule a prenatal.

4:15pm: Dinner prep

4:27pm: Step outside to answer a call from another client, hope the fajitas won’t burn.

4:41pm: Answer one last email while the kids go wash up.

5:49pm: Kid #1 reminds me about the birthday party tomorrow. Definitely forgot to buy a gift for that.

6:00pm-7:30pm: Husband gets home from work, kids shower while I run to Target, kitchen clean up from dinner is done.

8:00pm: Kids are in bed

9:15pm: The phone dings. “My contractions are 8 minutes apart. Fingers crossed!”

We’ve missed parent teacher conferences, school events, and birthday parties because we’re at a birth. We’ve missed anniversaries, dinners, and date nights. We’ve rescheduled doctor appointments and coffee with friends because we’re needed. This life may be busy and sometimes a little chaotic.. but this life, this work, this passion is incredible. Wouldn’t change a thing.

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