I joined this beautiful couple at their home where Cheliss labored until it was time to go to the birth center. After laboring there with the wonderful midwifes for quite some time the decision was made to transfer to the hospital, where eventually their beautiful son, Solomon, was born.
Some of the pictures taken by their photographer, Amanda Long, captured part of my role as their doula in a way that is rarely seen by the outside world. I have been given the honor of sharing some of those images with you.
Thank you, sweet Cheliss, for bravely allowing me to give the world a glimpse of your story.
“They (doulas) can guide the woman or couple through strange territory, provide continuity, help them apply the useful information they received in childbirth class, provide a link with the caregiving staff and, above all, nurture and protect the birthing person’s memory of the birth experience.” -Penny Simkin
This family was an absolute joy to work with and I believe I did for them what Penny Simkin is referring to in this quote when she says that the doula provides continuity of care in strange and unknown territory. Throughout their long journey they saw countless medical professionals, each one only seeing a glimpse of the winding road they were traveling down. But I had the joy of walking with them through it all, and witnessing the unfolding of their beautiful story.
There is something deep and meaningful that happens when you have a doula who has taken the time to get to know you before labor; your past, your fears, your hopes and dreams, your needs and preferences. Who is then a companion to you throughout your personal birth experience. A companion who really saw you through it all; who cried with you and held you when the journey was rough, and rejoiced with you in the proper time.
Isn’t that what we all want in the most challenging moments of our lives? To be seen and understood, fully supported and cared for emotionally and physically. The far reaching effects of this kind of care cannot be measured, and I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to have provided that depth and continuity of care to this family.