I often receive emails or facebook notices of people giving random facts about themselves. This post was prompted by one of those posts.
Three random facts about Tricia:
1.) I dislike chocolate... this means that all of the chocolate that I bring to the births (yes, I always bring chocolate!) gets to be eaten by YOU!!!
2.) My initials ate TLC... which is exactly what I like to think that I do best at a birth. Everyone needs a little extra TLC when in labor :-)
3.) I cry at every birth.... it's not like I break down into hysterical sobbing, I just get a little misty eyed. I have often said that the day that I don't cry at a birth is the day that I will stop being a doula. Birth is an amazing, emotional, wonderful experience and deserves a tear or two!
Three random facts about pregnancy:
1.) Pregnant women glow... it's true! Your body will increase it's blood supply by almost 50% that extra blood ends up showing through the skin (especially in your cheeks)
2.) Pregnant ladies feet can get larger during pregnancy.
3.) Daddy's cannot have babies, but they can have pregnancy symptoms! It is not uncommon for the dad to be to gain weight, get cranky, experience morning sickness and even feel abdominal cramping.
Three random facts about your baby:
1.) Babies first toy is their umbilical cord.
2.) The average weight for a baby born in the USA is 7lbs 6oz.
3.) Only about 4% of all babies are born on their due date. Babies have a mind of their own and while your care giver will give an estimated due date, the fact remains that
I have often been asked about what tricks and tools I carry with me in my doula bag, here's a sampling of what I bring with me to a birth:
* Rebozo (Mexican shawl, I use this at almost every birth and my clients LOVE it)
* Massage balls
* Lotions for massage
* Rice sock (which the client gets to keep!)
* Electric tea lights
* Snacks (dried fruit, nuts, various bars....CHOCOLATE!)
* Visualization cards
* CD's (although I encourage my clients to bring their favorites)
* Bendy straws
* TENS unit
* Suckers (quick pick me up for laboring mom, easy to remove when a contraction begins)
* Personal items (no one wants to have a doula who hasn't brushed their teeth or is needs deodorant!)
At the end of my initial meet & greet I always ask if the mom-to-be has any other questions or if there is anything else she would like to know about me. At one of my recent meetings the mom asked "Did I miss any important questions... what should I ask?".
Here are a few good questions that many women do not think to ask their potential doulas.
1. How many clients do you take on each month?
2. Do you have a back-up doula and can I contact them?
3. How many births have you had to use a back-up doula for?
4. What training have you had?
5. Do you have any references that I can contact?
6. What is your greatest strength as a doula?
We all know that in life we go through seasons, and that each season brings with it different joys and difficulties. Pregnancy is no different. Your life is drastically changing on a daily basis and you never know what the next day holds.
When I was pregnant with our oldest son, Benjamin, I was so anxious for the day when I would go from looking frumpy to actually looking pregnant. When that day came I was overjoyed, I loved my "baby bump!" I was however unaware at the time how that little bump would drastically change my life. Over the next few months that bump made tying my shoes a bit harder and pretty soon I couldn't see my shoes to tie them at all. I was giddy with excitement when I felt him move for the first time and was less than pleased when I found out that my not so little baby had cracked my rib while still in utero.
No matter what season of life I find myself in I know that it is just that, a season. While my boys were little I was sure I would be stuck in the season of nursing, diapers and potty training FOREVER!!
Now I look back and wish that I had treasured those moments a little bit more. I didn't realize that nursing babes eventually wean and that the joy that comes from tinkling in the big-boy potty is no longer found when they are 10.
So I resolve to enjoy the season that I find myself in today. I will be greatful for the good weather and the bad. I will find the joy that comes with each new season.