Monday, January 09, 2006

Without a Net

I could go on reading about women's waxing experiences and thoughts for days -- the things I'm learning (a Sphynx!) -- but it's time to move on.

A few posts back I mentioned that my friend and doula partner broke her leg right before Christmas. Aside from the sympathy aroused by seeing a friend in pain and hugely inconvenienced, her injury has me experiencing a vulnerability I have not experienced since I was a new doula, that of operating without a backup.

I have a client due Sunday and another due the first week of February. This is closer than I usually have clients. If the first goes late and the second goes early, I could have two women in labor at the same time.

In truth I am not without backup support. I have lined up a doula I adore -- a woman my mother's age who is so gentle and nurturing -- to back me up for the January birth. And I am tracking down a doula for the February birth from among several colleagues.

But I do not have the relationship with these women that I do with T$. The arrangement between me and them is strictly a business one. And though as doulas they still are wonderful women to share my birth concerns and joys with. They don't have the history that T$ and I do.

Indeed, the February client is the first woman T$ and I were "double doulas" for. She is the first repeat client for both of us. It won't be right to attend her birth without the other half of my team. And for all the other births that T$ and I did not attend together, we still met each other's clients and kept each other posted on the situations so that the clients really felt shared, even though only one of us really interacted with them face to face.

T$ provided a lot of breast feeding support to a client of mine during a week I was out of town. I was present when one of T$'s clients delivered precipitously and T$ was at a different hospital with a client who was having a version performed.

So in addition to feeling a little exposed without my backup, I have also been relfecting on how fortunate I am to have a partner who not only matches me in birth philosophy and style of interacting with clients, but who also is a friend. I don't think that happens every day.


Blogger Connie Banack said...

Congratulations Doulicia on having a backup who has a similar philosophy and is a friend, that is sadly a rarity! Given that, I worked solo a lot in my early years as a doula and I took the tip of a very wise midwife, "let your clients sort out their dates." She has all of her clients who have close due dates meet and in discussion, they find each other's due dates, thoughts on going early or late, fears, etc. I have always done this since I learned of this. In my experience (and hers) this absolutely does work! If nothing else, there is nothing but positive outcomes from your clients meeting and befriending.

2:43 PM  
Blogger doulicia said...

What a great idea! I actually have a related philosophy, "things will all work out fine," which certainly has happened when there was a date I really would not be available or an unexpected stomach bug cropped up. But letting the women talk to each other and internalize those calendars is a spectacular thought. Thanks for sharing.

2:59 PM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I love that idea, too...

I sure am glad T$ is doing well, although I know she'd prefer to be working with you, not eating raisin bran for every meal. :)


9:29 AM  
Blogger T$ said...

This is exactly why you guys CAN'T MOVE! (sigh) You express my sentiments exactly doulicia. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with you over the past 2.5 years, but am even more honored to call you my friend. xoxo T$

6:40 PM  

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