Being a doula

One of the most intense, emotional and amazing things I have done, was being a doula.

doula              /duːlə/            noun
 – a woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman during pregnancy and during and after the birth

My friend was planning a home-birth and as she knew I was very interested in midwifery and knew I had a good relationship with her other children she asked me to stay with her for a few weeks in preparation for the baby and when the baby was born.
The idea being if she needed to go into hospital I would be there to look after the other children.
The most amazing part of the experience was that everyone made me feel a part of the family and I still can’t believe I held this little baby so soon after she was born. It felt like a huge privilege to be included and to get to be one of the first people to hold this beautiful baby.
The baby came in the middle of the night and as I let the midwifes do their job I sat in anticipation in the other room; as soon as I heard the baby cry I burst out in tears. It was just indescribable.
It was a bittersweet time for me, because I enjoyed so much spending time with my friend and her children and cuddling this new baby, but not being able to have my own child made it difficult at times to not feel sad for myself.
Although my anxiety was rife and I was really struggling I carried on with a smile because they were so much more important than my anxiety was. The things is, however scared of something I am, if someone needs my help I won’t let my anxiety stop me.
This experience is one I will always remember and it brings up so many emotions. I will be thankful to my friend for including me and thinking me worthy of this role.
When I tried to persuade my friend to let me do a bump cast, she went along with it and now she has two, beautifully decorated. She even read a book I bought her on hypno-birthing which meant a lot because she valued my thoughts.
I am so grateful for this experience as it may be my only experience of birth and what an incredible experience that is.
Louise xo

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