This post, again, is going to have very little to do with writing, but it's one I need to get out of my system.
A lot of you know that as well as being a writer, I'm also a doula (professional childbirth coach). I love being a doula. I haven't attended a birth in over two years. Doulas work all sorts of strange hours so the combination of being a doula and having a husband in law school didn't work very weel. But several months ago, a client who I assisted two years ago (the last birth I attended, actually) asked if I would come back and assist her in her next birth. I was thrilled just to have done a good enough job to be asked again! I knew the timing would be weird and I might have to leave my husband totally in the lurch for a day, but I couldn't resist. Not only was it my first repeat client, but she was going for her second VBAC, which is always a rather precarious situation. (They watch the mom like a hawk and she has much less freedom to do as she pleases for safety reasons, so you often have to be creative.) So I said yes.
She gave birth just after midnight last Saturday.
I've been in kind of a haze ever since.
I love attending births. I had forgotten just how much I love attending births. Not only that, but this was a very gentle, easy birth. The last birth I did with her involved (birth details ahead, you've been warned) almost twenty hours at the hospital with her, 14 hours of pitocin induced labor, and three hours of pushing due to a transverse head. But we did it. in the end she was exhausted and her body had worked harder than it ever had before, but she was able to have her VBAC. This one was different. She still had to be induced about six hours after her water broke and labor didn't start, but labor picked up on a very low level of pitocin and she only labored for about five hours, and much of that was in the tub where labor is much gentler. And her favorite part? Less than fifteen minutes of pushing (and not even a skid mark!). It was a beautiful, gentle, perfect birth. And her second successful VBAC.
I miss this.
I do have one more client (a homebirth, yay!) but after that, my births will again become sporatic and few and far between. Between Harper's plans for me, my own plans, and my husband doing lots of babysitting anyway, I just can't commit to being a doula as often as I would like to.
But this weekend has convinced me of something.
I can't give it up.
It's not my main job. Being an author is my main job. And I am perfectly okay with that.
But there is a trade-off. And that is that I can't do this other job that I love quite as much without straining my family--which is something I'm not willing to do. But if I can do a couple of births a year, I think I will be satisfied.
It's been two years since I attended a birth, but it's almost like addiction. You go back once, and it's like starting all over again.
That's how I'm feeling today.
Thanks for reading.
ETA: Yes, I am still waiting for final approval to post my cover. But the minute . . . the second I have it, I will share! I promise!