So we have a doula for our upcoming birth. I’ve been checking in with her about once a week. And I just realized the enormity of what I’ve asked her to do. I mean, how many people in this world would you ask to put up with you at your most bitchy and most pained? It’s a short list.
A loyal friend would, of course, be happy to help. But how many times has he or she seen a live birth? Probably never. And that person probably wouldn’t have any training in helping a laboring woman, though he or she might be willing to take classes to help you.
Ultimately, you really want a person who takes the time to learn all about the stages of labor and how to help a laboring woman be as comfortable as is possible in that situation. And the fact that she’s not really your friend is actually a bonus.
At least for me, I’m not going to be as likely to say something that will personally offend her as I don’t know too much more about her than her name. With a friend, you might bring up that time you had to hold her hair back after the tequila and mud wrestling weekend in college. Even if your friend forgives you for bringing up the incident that you swore you’d never discuss again, it will not be forgotten.
And I’m not just asking the doula to help me. She’ll also take care of The Man. He’s never been to a birth before either. He’ll be torn between feeling helpless in the face of labor pain and wanting to see his son arrive healthy. A doula will be able to give him a break from the delivery room. He’ll know that his wife and son are in good hands while he steps out for some fresh air. Or a glass of bourbon.
So this morning, I realized that it’s a lot to ask of a volunteer doula. I wanted to think of a way to thank her for what she’s about to do for me. A quick search brought me to Pinterest and then to Etsy where I found these nifty, hand stamped, personalized items for doulas by the seller buysomelove.
I opted for this zipper pull and bookmark set that I’m having personalized for her. Sure, it’s probably nothing like enough for the services my doula will render. But again, she’s not my buddy. I don’t know her well enough to give her bottles of scotch and Marlboros, after all. So even though it’s sort of a generic gift, I think it will at least show that it meant a lot to me that she helped.