You Know You’re a Doula When…

You Know You’re a Doula When…

1) Everyone you know talks openly to you about their various gross body functions, and you don’t bat an eye.

2) You find nothing odd about answering an email about placenta encapsulation while eating breakfast.

3) You have received a text message with a picture of a mucus plug and the words “Is this normal?”

4) Your cell phone is never more than two feet away, and a duffel bag lives in the trunk of your car.

5) Your voicemail recording has instructions on what to do if the caller is in labor. Every friend and family member you have has left at least one “Help! I’m in labor!” message. They all think they’re the first.

6) You’ve come to recognize the glazed look on your partner’s face when you’re about to go on another Evidence Based Birth rant.

7) You’ve ever said, “Maybe we should take two cars. I’m on call.”

8) You’re always the mom who’s a “maybe” on the PTA volunteer list.

9) Every commitment you make includes the words “unless I’m at a birth”.

10) You’ve heard the birth stories of your child’s school teachers, the cashier at the convenience store, and every person you’ve ever met at a dinner party. You haven’t asked for them.

11) Your three year old knows, and properly uses, the word “vulva”, and YOUR kid was the one on the playground explaining where babies come from.

12) You’ve talked with a mama about sore nipples…on your cell phone…in a public place… in front of three total strangers…while waiting to have your oil changed… while accompanied by your teenaged son… and neither of you found anything unusual in this.

13) You automatically anticipate the “You’re a what?” that inevitably follows “What do you do for a living?”, and your well-rehearsed ten second “Here’s how I’m not a midwife” answer is already prepared.

14) Without blushing, you’ve told a couple to go home and have sex.

15) You’ve enthusiastically said, “Oh, you’re throwing up! That’s a great sign of progress!”

16) You’ve mastered the art of walking the line between biting your tongue until there’s a hole in it, and offering factual information at the right time and place.

17) You’ve learned how to ask a question and facilitate a conversation without giving an instruction or voicing an opinion.

18) You’ve wanted to leap across the room to  hug the nurse who said, “Oh, I’m sure intermittent monitoring is going to be fine. Let me just call the doc real quick about that right now.”

19)  Likewise, you’ve felt a knot in your stomach at the words, “You know, it’s not like more pain gives you a better baby.”

20) You’ve been the one who has held a hand, wiped the tears, and said “I’m so sorry” when there’s nothing else that can be said.

21) You know the feeling of of speaking softly and keeping a mama calm while your own heart is pounding in your chest.

22) Your family has asked you to please not watch childbirth reality shows because you keep yelling “Get her off her back!” at the TV.

23) Your sons won’t bring girlfriends home, for fear that you’ll say something about birth options and breastfeeding.

24) Whether it’s “surges”, “waves”, “expansions” or “contractions”, you speak multiple childbirth method languages fluently.

25) When a doc has said, “Let’s just all remember who is delivering this baby”, you’ve looked a mama in the eyes and whispered, “YOU are.”

So, what’s your “I knew I was a doula when…” moment? Comment and share!

**Thanks Chris M, Sara S, and Shannon S for helping me brainstorm.

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19 thoughts on “You Know You’re a Doula When…

  1. You know you are a doula when you are so tired after a birth you write an complaint email to a company to comment in their ‘bad customer cervix’ Le sigh. 🙂

    • Yes, I was doing squats and suddenly this very soothing voice came on and almost ended my workout with a good strong, sudden nap!

  2. You know you are a doula, having breakfast with a midwife and you pull out her old medical birth records to read over for fun, and discussion of blood clots, placenta abruption, leakage etc. is normal meal conversation.

    You stub your toe and instead of yelling or swearing, you practice taking deep breathing and you do it with your kids too!

  3. You know you’re a doula when you get pulled over at 3 am for breaking the speed limit considerably on a highway and the cop lets you go because of the panting and moaning coming over your Bluetooth in the vehicle.

  4. When the word “placenta” appears in your Facebook feed at least once a day. And if a day goes by that it doesn’t, you notice.

  5. You know you’re a doula when your kid thinks it’s the awesome-est birthday present ever when you bring home a cell phone picture of the baby whose birth you missed his party for.

  6. You’ve texted your landlord “sure they can tour the apartment but FYI there are two placentas in the fridge”

    Been on a date and had to run because “a maltips srom’d, but I’d love a 3rd date”

    Potential boyfriends love to crack jokes about who has seen more vaginas

  7. You know you’re a Doula when you’ve packed not only a bag for yourself just in case you get a call, but one for your children with healthy snacks and a toy for having to miss you, and you have emailed detailed instructions to your caretakers about how it will work if it’s a particular day of the week. “On Monday if I have to attend a birth, I will give you a call you at 6am…

  8. You know you are doula when- You practice painting belly painting on your 3 year olds pot belly and now every time he drinks milk he is convinced he is going to have a baby. My poor boy, I’ve scared him for life lol.

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