So it’s like being a doula my BFF remarked, as we sat savoring a rare evening of time together catching up over glasses of wine.
Exactly! I replied. That is how I often think of it myself.
The topic had turned to that of the Lay Counseling Certificate program that I am pursuing and my reasons for doing so.
Between us we have birthed fourteen children, so we know a bit about labor, delivery, and post-partum as it relates to birthing babies. Her daughter runs a doula agency that is top-notch in its mission to support families through their birth experience, so she is familiar with the role of doulas and their scope of care.
I loved that my best friend was able to put those words to my mission.
Just as a birth doula sits with a woman who is laboring through contractions, offering support and comfort measures, while she waits to birth a child, so I sit with women who labor with pain in their stories as they wait birth out a new chapter of or transition in their life. I listen, offering support and comfort in the process.
Just as a birth doula knows when to call on one with further training and skills for the next stage of labor, so I know when to recommend further help from one more trained than I ~ a licensed therapist or counselor, a medical doctor or psychiatrist. Sometimes more is needed than listening skills and comfort measures to help someone through the story~birth process, especially during a time of transition.
Just as a post~partum doula walks alongside a new mother, helping her adjust to the many changes that a new person brings to life, so I walk alongside those who have a new chapter in their story to process and work through.
Yes, I would consider myself a heart doula.
I remember one night, in particular, when this image was made clear to me as I drove off in the dark to the home of a friend. Sleeping on her couch, being present in her pain, reassuring her that I was there, these things all reminded me of the early stages of labor. I wasn’t the solution to a problem but a part of the team who offered care and support during the story birth, transition, and healing process.
That is why I am pursuing this further training to develop my skills. I am gifted to be able to sit with women in places of great heart pain, hear hard things, and not flinch or panic. I can be present. I can handle the emotional blood and bodily fluids leaking out and offer assurance and reassurance throughout the process of birthing out whatever they are carrying inside.
I can sit with and support as those higher up the scale of care offer their insight and wisdom and prescription for healing. I can be with in the process, walking alongside, offering my presence and reminder that She is not alone.