I have some exciting news to share - two days ago, I finally got my motherfunkin' backside in gear and submitted my final piece of coursework to earn my Doula certificate - and now I have it!
How did this happen?
Since attending the workshop part of the course in Brighton last May, I have tried to write my final piece I don't know how many times but each time it somehow felt mediocre, kind of ok but nothing special. I'd write it then leave it lying around for a bit. I'd re-read it and think - 'nah!'
I think the reason is because in my heart I know that my main work right now involves being here for my kiddos and facilitating their learning journey. It's a pretty full-time gig. I chose to do that for them, to be with them, and my commitment to them is 100% The same question kept coming back to me - 'How am I logistically going to find childcare for my bambinos at the drop of a hat?' Birth is a bit, you know, random, generally, so how do I drop everything I'm doing and help another mama 'do the do'? The timing of birth is a science unto itself, and unless a client goes for an elective c-section, how can I know my children will have someone to look after them, care for them, feed them, educate them?
And then I had a realisation. How many clients am I really likely to have? Here, in these marshy flatlands I call home? Maybe two or three a year? Is this really such a big deal? I'll have time to figure things out, no?
So, laid up in bed with a bad back, on day 3, I started to write my coursework. And man, did I enjoy it! I wrote in a frenzy, the words finally tumbling from my heart just as I had always meant to say them. I couldn't write them before, because I hadn't quite figured it out yet. I had to go through months and months of experiences, interaction, thinking deeply and educating myself further. And in doing so, I have worked out.....
....my manifesto! ta-da! And here it is:
To listen to each mother with my eyes, ears, hands and heart
To honour, defend, and support her right to find her own strength, her own truths, her own power
To act as a signpost towards information but not to be pushy with my own agenda
To respect that each woman has her own journey
To recognise that each mother will have different needs and wants
To help the mother to tap into her primitive, monkey brain, whatever setting she births in,
by speaking gently, touching gently, acting gently, and thinking gently
To provide relief for the father/birth partner of the child by allowing them to rest as necessary
- To acknowledge and respect the laws of oxytocin and adrenaline production – keeping my own adrenaline in check so as to extend a feeling of calm to the mother and father/birth partner, and in turn, the baby
To help the mother to process feelings of joy, elation, tiredness, disappointment – the whole
gamut of feelings that can follow a birth
To help her feel safe to process the decisions she made, help her to be at peace with her birth and help her
to self-reflect so she can draw her own conclusions if things might have gone better….
To commit to my own ongoing education about birth
To help the birthing mother to the best of my ability, to have a truly nurturing birth
And here's my certificate :-)
( Doula-Doula happy dance )
I am one very happy motherfunker, so I am!