I think we can all agree that life has been a lot different during these last few weeks. It’s been challenging for everyone as things have been constantly changing. For those who work with pregnant and birthing people things have been changing hourly. In terms of hospital policies, so much inaccurate information is going around.
To all of you who are expecting and due over these next few months, you have so much respect from me. There are the normal pregnancy things you need to think about and plan for but now you’re having to cancel baby showers, forgo having your mom or your doula present for your birth, having to have family wait to meet your baby and possibly having limited support during the postpartum period. I can’t imagine the amount of anxiety that’s intertwined with all of your excitement right now.
Today one of my idols Penny Simkin ran a webinar for doulas to help prepare us for how we can provide support for our clients virtually both prior to their birthing time but also during their births. While the recent changes in response to COVID-19 has caused me some stress the biggest cause of my stress these last two weeks has been from my concern for my clients and how this will affect them.
See I became a doula 14 years ago not because I love babies (which I do) but because I love birthing people and their families. I became a doula because I felt that all birthing people deserved continuous and unbiased support so that they could be empowered and have a positive experience. I love what I do so very much and I’m really struggling with being unable to provide in-person support to families.
Over the course of an hour and half today watching the webinar I cried multiple times. I love my job deeply and it’s killing me right now to know that there are aspects of it I can’t do. I adore being able to take pictures for families immediately after their baby arrives, I love encouraging clients when they are pushing and being able to wipe off their face with a cold washcloth between pushes, I love seeing the look on their face right after the baby is born and the look on their birth partner’s face as the emotion of what just happened hits them. After the webinar, I feel like I have more understanding of how to support virtually, and I feel more sure of myself. But my heart is still breaking that I don’t get to do all that other stuff right now.
Please know that the doulas of Blessed Arrivals will be here for you no matter what. Our support may look a little different and while the two tools I use the most at births are my hands and my voice and right now my hands can’t be there, you still have me (us). We will help guide your birth partner and you in any way we can. Our support during your birth can be via text, phone calls, FaceTime, Skype and can be as much or as little as you need. We have total and complete faith in you and your family and while the world feels out of control right now know that in the birth room the world and time stop inside that room (which is always so fascinating to me). Know that you, your body, and your baby will work together in just the perfect way for you and your family. We’ll be here and help you prepare prior to the birthing time so that you can feel confident and prepared and we’ll be here throughout the birthing time whenever you need us. You’re strong and you’ve got this!