Know what delights the heck out of me? Surprising people. As a doula, this is something I do a LOT.
When asked about what I do, I've learned how to phrase my response to either eliminate or elevate the shock-value, depending on the audience. Sometimes freaking people out is fun. Mostly though, against all my sarcastic insticts, I try to stick to gentle, truthful, educational answers about doulas.
Here's the REAL, surprising truth:
Doulas are not just for hippies.
Let me elaborate, so that all you "mainstreamers" might actually believe me. This isn't a marketing trick. I'm not trying to pull you in, sign you up, and then turn you to THE CRUNCHY SIDE. As a doula, I have one goal, and one goal only:
I have no agenda for you. As a doula, I am not "crunchy." I am not soggy, or chewy, or whatever other food-based adjective mothers have come up with to label and divide themselves. And I don't care what YOU are, either.
Sure, I'll support the mom you're picturing when you hear the word "doula" -- the one who makes her own kombucha, sells amber necklaces, never turns off her diffuser, and wants to birth her baby in a tub of water on the sunporch. I admit it! Yes! I'm proud to say I'm the perfect doula for her.
I'm also the perfect doula for her sister. (And you know these sisters... they're total opposites!) This mom wants to birth in a hospital. She sees NO other way! Her bags are all packed, the to-do list is done, the newborn care class her nail lady recommended, complete. She might want to go med-free, but if she calls for the epidural, man, you'd better not stand in her way! And believe you me, I WON'T! I've got her back 100%. I'm her doula, and she's gonna rock it.
As a doula, I support moms who birth in hospital rooms, operating rooms, and living rooms.
I support moms who want nothing to do with the drugs, and moms who want ALL THE DRUGS.
I support moms who feed from the breast, from the bottle, and every combination in between.
I support moms who are bringing their babies home with them, and moms who aren't.
I support moms of all ethnicities, religions, cultures, backgrounds and sexual orientations.
I support moms who appreciate my sense of humor, and moms who make me promise aloud: "Hi, my name is Ali, I am your doula, and I will make exactly ZERO PUNS while you are in labor."
I support moms. That is my whole, entire job. And I'm here to tell you, EVERY mom is "that kind of mom" - the kind who is going through something really big, and could really use some support. Every. Single. One.
Have you hired your doula yet?