A Doula's Memories on Mother's Day and Everyday

Mother's Day brings us to think of the women in our lives. As a doula there is a special honor of remembering the moments my clients became mothers themselves.

I often think of my past doula clients throughout my daily life. I think of that amazing meal we ate together after you worked so hard to bring your second baby girl earthside at home whenever I eat shepherd's pie.

When I eat biscuits I remember a first time dad waking up extra early to make a full course breakfast for everyone, including homemade cheddar biscuits. Oh those biscuits where so good! Did I mention there was bacon, eggs, and pancakes too?!

Okay, it's not all about food but I often remember meals we've shared on your special day. Birth bonds people and food does too. 

When I am in the grocery store and see Dove dark chocolate ice cream bars I remember how much you talked about them in labor. After I said my goodbyes I quickly ran to Publix, grabbed some, and snuck them to your mother-in-law to surprise you on her way up to your room with your older daughter.

I remember, after days of prodromal labor, you finally got some rest and your husband went to get us food in the cafeteria. He brought back chicken tenders and french fries. They were the most delicious tenders! Maybe we were just really hungry from supporting you, but you know what? When I eat chicken tenders I think of you three and how proud I am of you.

Other memories that cross my mind are how beautiful and fierce you looked riding through the waves of contractions and that moment you realized this was really happening, that you are really doing it!

I remember the moment my VBAC client succeeded in her trial of labor and told me "I did it!"

Sometimes when I swear (yes, doulas swear) I remember how you thanked me for saying the F word when "everyone else in the room was being so sweet." You said you really needed that F word because it's "what got you through."

Whenever someone gives a time limit, I remember how we talked about how if you wanted an epidural to tell you "let's just wait it out 30 more minutes and then re-evaluate" and then how your baby was born 28 minutes later!

I remember us playing "tug-o-war" with a rebozo over your midwife's shoulder at the birth center and you saying how strong I was. We all started laughing because I literally had to have my foot against the bed because you were lifting me off my feet with your strength!

When the song "Lightning Crashes" comes on by Live I remember your birth team all bobbing our heads to the song while you pushed with all your might to birth that sweet beautiful baby that is now a toddler. Crazy, it feels like it was yesterday.

I remember how you said a certain phrase over and over (as your coping technique) so when I hear someone in conversation say that same phrase I am taken back to that day.

Birth isn't always speedy. Sometimes moms run marathons and others sprint but both are a challenge. I am happy to be there on the sidelines giving you water and telling you how amazing you are doing each step of the way.

You, my client, stay with me just like I stay a part of a memory so special to you, the birth of your baby. You stay with me every day, but especially on Mother's Day.  

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Image credit: Jennifer Martin, Photographed mom: Alyssa Melin

Brandi has been serving families in the Tampa Bay area for the last 4 years as a birth doula. She also offers Placenta Encapsulation and other placenta services as well as Bengkung Belly Binding postpartum. You can reach her at 813.898.7209 or mailto:Brandi@barefootbirth.com