Why I love being a twin doula

My gorgeous pair are now 12.  It doesn’t seem but a moment ago that I was holding just over 10lbs of babies.  Lady Baby came out 4 minutes before BoyChild.  She was 4lbs 5oz and he was 5lbs 14oz.  I called them FatBoy Slim (still do really).  They were born via caesarean section at 36 weeks and 5 days.  My blood pressure was very high and they had an a tendency for spinning.  My gorgeous consultant, Gaye Henson (retired), was keen for me to have a vaginal birth, but that was not the way that they were to be born.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finding out that you’re pregnant with twins can be exciting and/or overwhelming.  Healthcare professionals, friends and family can sometimes make you feel like it is going to be the hardest thing in the world.  Your pregnancy is dotted with decisions.

I find the whole process exciting and thrilling.  I love talking about the possibilities, rather than the restrictions.  I love watching clients discover for themselves the options that they have.  When we meet, we meet early in the pregnancy and we talk about how my client wants to birth her babies.  We talk about the risks and the possibilities.  We open up the options that sometimes haven’t yet been shared. We establish the red flags, the lines in the sand and we relish the ongoing journey.

It’s not just about the birth.  There are the post birth days.  Supporting a new mum as she feeds her babies, watching her delight in them.  Sending her (and her partner) back to bed whilst I make lunch and supper, these are things that I love.  I remember when friends appeared at my door with no interest in me or the babies (lots of people liked to hold and coo at the twins).  They arrived with a bucket, rubber gloves and cleaning products.  They cleaned my bathroom and my kitchen.  When they left, there was food cooking in the oven.  It remains one of my best post birth memories.

I love being a twin doula.  For me it’s all about the double blessing.

 

Why I love being a doula

It’s 3.08am and I’m in deep sleep.  Los Van Van rings out from my phone.  I love a good salsa ringtone.  Always wakes me and makes me want to dance.  It wasn’t ringing to invite me dancing though.  A baby was on the way and its mum wanted me.

I trained with the fabulous Michel Odent and came home wanting another baby.  I have 5.  A sixth wasn’t really what I wanted.  What I wanted was a ‘do over’, to see how my own birth would have been with a doula, or at least with the knowledge of physiological birth that was filling my head.  Instead, I get to share that journey with so many others.

I watch birth unfold in a myriad of ways.  It’s not always the way that Michel described it, the births that made me, for a nanosecond, want to birth again.  It is, however, birth nonetheless.  Beautiful, glorious, awe inspiring, breath taking, birth.

Sometimes, those rare sometimes, the baby has died.  My role is almost different now.  Holding the space, crying tears, supporting, loving, silent, vocal doula care. Conscious of dreams once held.

I’m a believer in good births.  Informed decision, informed consent births.  Sometime these don’t come as beautiful physiological things.  Sometimes they come with some emergency, minor or major drama.  Sometimes they come vaginally, sometimes via caesarean birth.  These single, multiple, head, bottom or foot presenting births.

It’s more than a baby being born.  It’s a family being born and I have the privilege and honour to witness so many.

I love being a doula.  I didn’t know that this was the thing that I had waited to be.  It fills my every pore, my breath, the core of me, my heart, my soul.  So when my phone rings at 3.08am, I rise from my bed and get ready to welcome whatever may come.