We’re on birth alert around here right now. No, I am not expecting another grandchild. The arriving baby belongs to my doula daughter’s client.
I had never heard of birthing doulas until a few years ago when a student in one of my Sacramento seminars told me that she was one.
According to Wikipedia, this is an ancient profession that originated in Greece. A doula is a nonmedical person who assists before, during and after childbirth. The continuous support during labor is associated with improved maternal and fetal health.
How Jennie became a doula still intrigues me.
One morning about seven years ago, she fetched me from the Burbank Airport. She could hardly wait to tell me her news.
For some time, Jennie had wanted to have a second child, but was not getting much enthusiasm from her partner.
Then the revelation came.
“I woke up this morning,” she told me, “and thought maybe I don’t need to have another baby. Maybe what I really want is to have babies in my life. My next thought was that I could become a midwife.”
Although it was early in the day, she had already called her local college, found out the requirements for becoming a midwife and was planning to enroll.
She spend the next year taking math and science classes which had not been part of her previous undergraduate program. After doing her catch-up work, she was scheduled for two years of nursing training followed by midwifery school.
It was a big commitment. Along the way, Jennie did have a second child and decided that doula training was a better fit for her. She also added Reiki training and hypnobirthing to her toolbox.
Although I’ve never seen her in action, I can imagine that her calm and confident demeanor is a huge asset to her clients. I have heard that she’s glowing when she returns home from a birth.
Ray Bradbury advised, “In the moment of knowing a love, intensify it.” New ideas are as fragile as babies. They also require incessant nurturing if they are going to grow into something magnificent.
That’s precisely what Jennie did.
It also happens to be the way we get our marching orders for the Joyfully Jobless life.