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.
Like this post? Come “like” Jodi the Doula on Facebook here for your daily dose of birth wisdom with a side of laughter.