Being a Doula is a true calling, I absolutely love what I do, I don’t think I could do it without the support of my husband (and my children) though.
He doesn’t mind the long days, the emotions, the 24//7 month long commitment to being close to home, he lives with the enormous highs and occasional lows of living with a Doula and Birth Trauma practitioner.
Being a doula is a whole family affair – There was the time, I waved my husband and 3 small children off to a Faerie Festival without me for the weekend, and not a word of complaint from anyone, there have been many times when the answer to “Can I go to” has been “if I am not at a birth”.
Being a Doula’s Sidekick Means Being an Expert Tea Maker – At home birth groups I host, South Wales Home Birth Support Group and when I am running my Creating Your Positive Birth Courses, he has gotten himself a little note pad so he can take orders and be an excellent waiter, serving up perfectly made cups of tea of many varieties, while juggling bedtime for our 3, 6 and 8 year olds – who also like to pop their heads into meetings.
He is a doula in training. He has read many a birth book, he listens to my rants, he promotes informed choice and is also quite a keen breastfeeding supporter, I offer him as a “Chat with a Dad” service, although I find – and I know we shouldn’t generalise, chat and dad are oxymoron’s a lot of the time. I think one day he will probably do a Doula UK Recognised Training course for the love of it.
He runs around after my clients and I. At one of my twin births I was at, this is what he did. I got the call at 5 am, he went to get my mother, while I got ready, he dropped me at the hospital as I was staying overnight with my client, then he went to work.
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I rang to say I had forgotten my professional camera and could he bring it – so he went the 12 miles home, collected it and popped it into the ward during his lunch break. After the birth my client (and myself) were hungry, so I rang him, he popped to Subways for us and brought our exact requirements.
My client had suggested he popped in so he brought the food and got to coo over her newborn, not convinced the staff were so sure “there is a man here” they announced, we were still in the delivery room mind you.
He came home and took over the children from my mother, in the morning, he collected my client’s mother and dropped her to the hospital, collected me, took me home, took my mother back to her house and then went on to a full days work in his day job.
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My husband doesn’t do this much at all the births I attend, (although twin birth pretty much always has his support in it somewhere) but this client was a family friend as well as a Doula client, behind the scenes he always does plenty and would willingly do this for every client I have.
And no he doesn’t mind. He believes every woman deserves the best birth she can have, he is passionate like me, about helping women to achieve those births – he sees his support of me as his contribution to the birth world. Being a Doula fulfils me and makes me happy, which makes for a happy life for every one.
I chose the headline photo because it captures the essence of him, no-one asked him to dress up for the Tea Dance at SuperSpirit, he wasn’t even expected there, he was just popping in to see me, but like everything he does, he threw his heart and soul into it.
This may be a bit of a soppy self serving post, however, I get asked it all the time “doesn’t your husband mind” and this is my answer. Every Doula with and without children, needs a really good support network, he is the mainstay of mine.
Samantha Gadsden walks with women on their life’s journeys. She is an experienced Doula, based close to Cardiff in South Wales, mother to 4 children and wife to Eddie, more information can be found on her facebook page, Samantha Gadsden Doula and her website, Caerphilly Doula. SOS Doula, Telephone and online support is always available.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog or sharing a life or birth story please feel free to contact her HERE.
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