By Michelle MacLean
I am not like every doula.
But I hope I share the same views on birth as others.
I have attended all types of births. Home, water, hospital, cesareans,
hands off and highly medicalized, and the unintentional homebirth. Over
800 births and all of them different and so unique yet they all hold the
fuel that keeps me working as a doula. Hold that thought.
Side note. With no doubt, we as doulas only want birth to go as smooth
and gentle as possible. Babies being born with as little interruption is
always the dream. Birth that doesnʼt need intervention, rather left to
unfold as it will and all will be as they say “perfect”. However, birth is not
predictable, itʼs untamable. Not always does birth unfold as wanted or
dreamed of. Oh and lets not forget the key players, the one giving birth,
and the one being born. Some people birthing may choose to birth in a
more medicalized manner which is their choice and whatʼs best for them.
High Five. Its their birth. Then there are those babies, babies that may
need assistance in their birth. So they are born, with helping hands.
Birth is an unknown.
Come back to that part about fuel.
The fuel that feeds a doulas heart and soul is the act of falling in love.
You meet over tea. Its like a ﬁrst date. Introductions and bonding. Over
time you get the joy of getting to know one another and learning about
what their wishes are around the birth of their child. You ease anxiety,
fears, you encourage and excite dreams. Trust is slowly being built.
Then the call for the birth happens. Upon entering their birth space, the
ﬁrst glance from their eyes busts through you and your heart expands.
The relief that you are there with them, your presence needed, wanted.
Hands held, eyes locked, breathing in unison. Back rubbing, throw up
catching, tear wiping. Partners working seamless with you, eyes smiling
or crying without words just complete understanding. Add the twists and
turns the unexpected and not wanted into the birth and watch them
choose the best option for them and baby. The hurdles that they jump
over, some with ease some with so much help. The look on their faces
and the power and conﬁdence they exude, so much growth. They are in
a vulnerable yet closed, protected and safe. Letting down guards,
allowing another to help them, lift them and care for them.
As their baby is resting on their chest, there is that moment where your
eyes catch, no words are spoken but you both feel it. You are so so
proud of them, they transformed before you. Allowing you on their
journey. You witnessed their family be born. No greater gift.
At that same time you are in awe with them, they are staring right back
at you with those eyes that say “thank you”.
That is how I view birth. It’s a love thing.