My First Experience As A Doula.

Doula = a female slave; a woman servant

I recently had the honor of being a "doula apprentice." Heather (a friend, my mentor, my manager) is a certified doula and has given me the opportunity to be her apprentice (a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer). After I excitedly agreed and let it settle into my brain what was in the near future, I began backtracking with hesitation.

I have never given birth. I have no experience. I am under-qualified. I had watched two (now 4) births, both of which were very different than one another and also very intense. I was slightly unsure of what I had agreed to, though I ached to pursue this.

As I proceed{ed} in this alongside Heather as my teacher, I grew so grateful. Humbled by the opportunity to not only be present when a human being took his/her first breath, but to also aid and serve the mother who delivered this human. What? I am still in awe.

Heather gave me two books to read from her Doula course; they were completely insightful, revealing myths and truths, services, knowledge and so much more. I learned that (to my surprise) some doulas are certified, some are not. Some have given birth, some have not. Some are very old, some are very young. Although few do not support medication use during labor, most simply want to be there for emotional support, physical support (it still hurts even with medication), and an advocate for your needs and wishes! Doulas are amazing. They are there to support the mom as well as the family; giving dad breaks & reminding him to eat. Doulas are not in replace of anyone or anything, simply a beautiful addition to the team.

Cover art

Gentle Birth Choices Harper, Barbara 1 of 1

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The much anticipated phone call arrived in the evening. My adrenaline sky rocketed and the prayers began. Heather drove to my home and picked me up; we were readily equipped with a yoga ball, a hot compress, hair ties, snacks & water, coffee, clean wash cloths, soothing oils... As we drove to the new parents home, we prayed. This was it.

Without giving specific details, I want to let the world know what an honor the evening was. I want to let the world around me know that being a doula is something I desire to add to this ministry God has placed in my life. Why? Because it is an amazing privilege.

Heather and I arrived and were ready to serve this family; do whatever needed to be done in order for that evening to be the best experience for them. I was ready and passionate to wear the title "woman slave." We rubbed her feet & legs, her temples & neck. Her husband amazed me - his deep love moved my heart, observing the way he cared for her. We got her a hot compress for her aches, ice for her forehead. Heather taught me that squeezing the hips together during contractions relieved a lot of pressure and pain. The pressure points and different massaging techniques were right up my alley and I was so grateful to be able to use my gift of touch. Heather was incredible and wonderfully taught me how to serve this mom. Jesus was ever so present and as the night rolled on, I continuously thanked Jesus for the oddly beautiful way he brings his children into being.

As Heather & I rooted mom and dad on, I was humbled to be there in that precious moment. Life itself was being birthed. I could go on & on about the honor and beauty of it all.

I pray I have many more of those honoring experiences in my life.

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I want to invite you to think about having a doula or at least looking into it {if/when you're pregnant}. There are plenty of myths out there about doulas that are false & misleading.

I am excited about this new part of my life & the adventures it may bring!