Yesterday, I attended my doula meeting. I'm not a practicing doula, but this group keeps me feeling positive about birth. At the end of a busy, all business meeting (they have an upcoming conference planned and were working through all the details) different doulas began to share their recent birth stories. Awful, horrific birth stories. I know they were letting off steam. One even shared her story in tears. The worst part for her, was that the parents were fine with everything that had happened to them. She was falling to pieces, while they thought everything was just honkey dorey (how often do we see that happen? the iatrogenic shit hits the fan, and the patient thinks the doctor is savior- its kinda like thanking your rapist for wearing a condom) Everything was feeling really heavy when a new doula speaks up and tells about a homebirth she attended that morning. Ahh, you could feel the tension release. Birth does work. There still are good births in the world. As promised, I shared about navelgazer's blog, and encouraged everyone to go online and read it. After the birth story sharing, I think the group would benefit from a discussion group on the topic. I felt badly that the aforementioned doula thought she had done her clients a disservice. I assured her, she wasn't broken, the system was. Sally, the senior doula of the group, offered that perhaps the blog could be used for a future discussion. I was especially excited by this because the group had recently lobbied a local family practice resident group to use volunteer doulas in their practice. I was equally saddened to hear that the powers that be were already laying down rules for what the volunteer doulas could and couldn't do. (Part of me shudders at what experiences await them, another part of me is glad that the residents will have some exposure to what doulas are and what they can bring to a birth-if allowed.)
As for me, I look forward to my self-care day. I'll start with a massage, then go shopping and get my hair cut. My long-time friend Debbie, is moving back to town today. I haven't seen her in years but we've kept in touch. I'm going to ride out with another friend to her new house to meet her when she arrives with her three girls (her husband moved in last week to start his new job). I'm looking forward to surprising her and seeing her again. She was with me at the birth of my eighteen year old (she'll be shocked to see what a big tall strapping young man he is now). She is kind and sweet spirited- a nice contrast to my brash and outspoken ways. Yes, this day will be a welcome respite.