"OPINIONS are like assholes: we've ALL got one."
There's a very simple reason I don't bring my BUTT along to your birth:
I will not ever bring my opinions into your space!
(And my butt IS pretty fabulous, so this is a BIG deal)
I have opinions, like everyone does about parenting, about birthing, about the best way to drink coffee, and every single other aspect of life,
I will NOT allow those opinions to be placed onto you
and I will not judge you based on my opinions.
This is NON-JUDGEMENTAL support.
And it is what I offer every single day to every one of my clients.
I don't mind whether you breast or formula feed,
I don't mind if YOU choose to birth in the woods under a willow tree or in an OR with a cesarean, I don't mind here or there, and I do not mind anywhere!
I believe YOUR BIRTH and YOUR PARENTING choices are YOUR decisions to make;
and my BUTT will not be involved in YOUR process!
What am I going to bring along instead of my big ol' BUTT?
I'm glad you asked!
I'll make sure to bring my:
3- LISTENING SKILLS
7- BIRTH BAG
19- KIND WORDS
21- BENDY STRAW
22- GENUINE SELF
23- MORE COFFEE
I can't say I don't have an opinion,
but the fact is:
It is not my place as your professional doula to tell that to you
because this is YOUR BIRTH and YOUR CHILD.
So, please don't laugh too hard when I walk in BUTT-less to your birth!
#layfayetteindiana #kokomoindiana #doula #butt #opinion
7 years ago, right around this time, I headed in for my 3rd baby's sex reveal ultrasound.
I'll never forget that moment and the huge smile on my face when they said
"It's a GIRL!"
I was HAPPY! Oh, so happy.
With 2 other little girls at home, I was almost relieved because I knew what I was getting into with girls and I really didn't care either way, as long as my new babe was healthy.
THEN IT BEGAN...
"Oh, I bet you really were hoping for a boy!"
"What? Another girl? How is that even possible?"
"I'm sorry, I'm just a little disappointed. I was really hoping for a grandson."
...SEX DISAPPOINTMENT FROM OTHERS!
While these feelings from others were valid;
them voicing them to me was very hurtful.
How do I respond to someone who is making me feel SHAME and GUILT
over something I had no control over?
I would try pointing out how happy I was and how healthy she was,
but it never stopped.
I didn't have too much time to hear it all because
my beautiful 3rd daughter ended up being born at 31 weeks gestation.
But even while sitting in the NICU, holding my amazing, fragile new daughter
I couldn't shake the feeling that everyone was disappointed in me.
Sometimes disappointment comes from within and sometimes it is from others.
Sometimes people's words cut deep and cause horrible guilt.
I'll never forget that guilt:
For being happy about the SEX, when I felt I had let everyone else down.
Your happiness or disappointment about the SEX of your baby should be determined by
Friends and family:
Please, watch your words: They can cut deep.
#lafayetteindiana #kokomoindiana #doula #daughters #momof5 #birth #disappointment
This is something very personal and difficult for me to write about,
but to understand the role of a doula (birth or postpartum)
I think this is the best example I can give:
A word that strikes fear into the hearts and minds of even the most seasoned military spouses.
But when it it the first, it is even worse.
I'll never forget that day my husband came home and stood in our bedroom door and told me the news: He'd be leaving.
For 8 months.
(I need to interject for a moment and let you know that my husband has now served in the Air Force Guard and Reserves for over 11 years. We've been together for 8 and married for almost 7. It was only a matter of time and we were so grateful it hadn't happened up to this point of us being together, but nothing will ever prepare you for hearing that for the first time.)
I needed a doula in that second that he told me and the days following when I felt like I was losing my best friend and I could barely breath. Someone to hold me when I cried those tears of being so scared. Someone to encourage me, let me know everything was going to be okay. Someone to help me sort out my emotions and support me where I was.
I needed a doula for the next 8 months of waiting for him to leave for training. When I felt our relationship straining with the knowledge that we had very little time left, counting down the days. I needed someone to help to me find resources, help me get prepared, and let me know all these crazy feelings I was having were normal.
I needed a doula when he left for training. For that period over Christmas time where it was everything inside of me to not cry walking into all the kids programs alone. Someone to go with me and sit there and know how I was feeling. Someone to tell me the time coming was going to be rough, but I was strong and we would make it through better on the other side.
I needed a doula the MOST in those 7 months he was gone.
In those 7 months I needed a doula;
A DEPLOYMENT doula.
Someone to hold my hand as I walked out to the car after dropping him off and saying goodbye.
Someone to look me in the eyes everyday and tell me I was strong enough to make it through.
Someone to text at 1am when I couldn't sleep because the fear was getting the best of me.
Someone to pick me up off the floor when I was crying so hard because I felt like I was failing and couldn't go on another second raising 5 kids alone.
Someone to help guide me to what I needed to do next when our relationship felt lost.
Someone to remind me to take care of myself.
Someone to empower me to get up, get dressed, and smile knowing it would soon be over.
Someone to tell me it was okay to be angry that he was coming home later and later.
Someone just to be there and sit with me in silence sometimes because I just needed a presence to "hold space".
I wish I would have had a doula through my husband's deployment.
That is what a doula is to me;
What I strive to be for every woman!
Through their birth and their postpartum.
When did you need a doula?...
That non judgmental, unwavering, empowering, understanding,
informative, kind, professional, loving work of a doula?
And a BIG shout out to ProDoula for giving me the inspiration
and guts to make this blog post a reality!
#lafayettedoula #lafayetteindiana #kokomoindiana #doula
#1- Plan WAY Ahead
Lots of people plan to get pregnant. If this is you, plan your ideal birth team now! Why wait until you get that positive test to start saving for paying for the baby and for your health? Wouldn't it be so much easier (and probably put your mind at ease a bit) if you set aside money a little at a time for when the pregnant time comes?
#2- Give Up that Coffee
I may have lost a few of you on this one, but hear me out: I don't mean give it up completely, I just mean buy good coffee at the grocery and make it at home! That $3 everyday Starbucks habit will add up really quickly, and guess what you can do with that money you save? Even if you go from every day to twice a week, you've saved $150 in 10 weeks!
#3- Ask About Payment Plans
Most Doulas will have the option to not pay full amounts up front. Even if it isn't advertised, monthly payment plans are a great way to get over that feeling of a large lump sum investment all at once. And most people see the idea of even $100 a month as much easier to swallow ($100 a month x 9 months of pregnancy = $900 doula paid for)
#4- Ask For a Doula as a Baby Shower Gift
As the attendee of many baby showers, I can attest to the fact that a lot of times I am totally stumped on what to give as a gift. I always want it to be thoughtful and helpful... If someone ever said "I would like donations to help pay for my doula." as a shower gift, I would probably lay down even more money than on some outfit I know is probably only getting worn once! People want to help you and give you and your baby gifts that they know you will like and really appreciate; What is better than a doula? (Some doulas even have programs set up, so you can give a link to the invited guest and they can make direct donations)
#5- See If Your Doula Needs Anything
Some doulas offer bartering for services: Do you do graphic design work? Does your spouse own a flooring company? Someone in the family a hunter and you have hundreds of pounds of meat in your deep freezer? There's a lot of options for "trading of goods and services" and it never hurts to ask if your doula offers this type of option.
Even if your doula doesn't offer bartering, think about any service you may be able to do for someone to make a little extra money (Lets not get x-rated here now though); Babysitting is a huge one!
#6- Apply for a Rewards Credit Card
Did you know that lots of credit cards these days offer awesome rewards and some have 0% interest for years? From free hotels, to free flights, gift cards, to even cash back; Credit cards these days kinda rock! Use your card to pay for the doula. Not only do you then have the option to pay it off slowly (or if you're like me pay it off as quickly as possible); You also are getting a little something extra from the transaction! And who doesn't love a little something extra?
#7- Sell Your Random Stuff
We all have that stuff sitting around our house that we know we will never use again: an extra bike, that random end table, the brand new pair of shoes that you haven't ever worn after buying them 2 years ago... Sell them! There are hundreds of "garage sale" pages all over the country on FB, Craigslist, local newspapers, or have a garage sale of your own. Not only will it make you some extra money, but who doesn't like feeling like they have less clutter?
Doulas are a luxury,
but if you value the services they provide
and the benefits of having one by your side
it is something you can make happen!
There are so many ways to make sure you have the doula you want and deserve; sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
Good, professional doulas are extremely valuable and should be seen and viewed as a part of your strong birth and postpartum team!
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Doula trainer, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!