Why will these last few days live in our memory banks? We were busy, yes, but we've had birth storms before. What made this week so special was how full it was of the diversity of what birth can be.
1. This week, our doulas attended seven births at locations all over town. We assisted in some of our favorite locations -- those traditionally supportive of doulas and the work that we do -- and others that are just ho-hum about what we have to offer. We flexed both our teamwork and diplomacy muscles, and it felt gooooood!
2. Some families fulfilled the plan they desired and others not so much. Our goal is to prepare our clients for a variety of situations and birth outcomes, and we work hard to help them achieve it. Unfortunately, all parties involved are human and much of the birth experience is completely out of any one person's control.
3. Our doulas were on the sidelines of all manner of medical procedures but also supported completely unmedicated births. We held hands through epidurals, Pitocin, cesareans, cord blood removal, and more! Doulananda's general philosophy is less is more when it comes to fiddle-faddling with birth, but technology is here to stay and we are glad to be familiar with all of its shapes. Supporting technical procedures reinforces our skills and gives families comfort that they can lean on our expertise through anything!
On the similar note of the diversity, we supported international clients to women homegrown in our Northeast Florida backyard. Since a cornerstone of Doulananda's mission is to build community wherever we go, our hearts are so full that we were able to shine our sunshine into all the nooks and crannies of this town. How humbling that so many different kinds of special ladies found their way to our front door!
5. ...and while we were at it, we supported a Modern Family unit too! Privilege is a word used so often here that you would think we were giving the day's weather report. "How's it looking today, Doulananda?" "Sunny with a 100% chance of privilege!" Well, the truth is, every instant we spend alongside a family on this childbirth journey is one of privilege that we don't take for granted. This week, in addition to our Mom + Dad = Baby families, we were able to share the birth experience with a surrogate family whose road to this day was bumpier than most. This completely modern approach to welcoming a child into the world simply reminds us that the ways to begin a family are as diverse as the stars in the sky and how lucky is Doulananda to witness that moment.
6. Our final Super Week birth is EXTRA special to us. One of our very own doulas gave birth to her own beautiful boy at a local birth center. It is not every day that the tables turn and the birth announcement is for us.
As we lay our heads upon our pillows tonight, we once again give thanks for being a bystander to the width and breadth of the birth process. After reflecting on this short week's activity, the magnitude of what is possible during childbirth has absolutely blown us away.