Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Interview musings

I interviewed with a prospective couple a few nights ago. Because they are due near the week I'll be out of town for summer vacation, I asked my doula partner and friend, T$, to come too. She would be as likely to attend the birth as I would so we wanted the couple to get a sense of us both.

We may end up doing a "Double Doula" (trademark pending) birth for them: both of us assisting through labor. We did it once before and it was a blast. T$ and I had both been scheduled to interview with a couple. They were due between Christmas and New Year's, so we were both nervous about missing all of Chrismas Day for a birth, so we agreed to split shifts if the birth was a Christmas, but otherwise both attend.

As it worked out (and things always do, I'm learning to believe), the baby came January 2 (2004). T$ and I were both there. We took turns working with the mother and her partner, who was very anxious. At one point, the laboring mother got intense thigh cramps, so each of us grabbed some oil and a leg. The birth mother still says that was a highlight of the labor. Here they are shamelessly fawning over their new son (a habit that hasn't slowed a whit 15 months later!):

Ironically, that couple is who referred this week's interview to me. Both are lesbian couples. I'm delighted that the first couple was so pleased with our care that they recommended us to friends. This couple assured us they'd heard great things about us both. This couple also asked whether we had worked with other lesbian families. When we said no, they joked that they would "hook us up." Ann Arbor has a lot of lesbians -- and a lot of them are mothers.

Lesbian births could be a pretty cool niche to work in. At the other couples' birth it was them, us doulas, and the birth mother's mother. And a female nurse and OB. That much pure female energy in one room for a birth was pretty amazing. And nary a man in sight (until the resident showed up, damn him).

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Blogger Devon said...

Queer/lesbian birth is the main niche I'm trying to get into for my practice. I think it would be incredibly cool, too. :) Luckily, I live in an area with a whole bunch of queer folk, so I'm not anticipating a problem with demand. I'll keep Ann Arbor in mind if I ever feel the need to move, though! :)

2:50 PM  

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