Trauma is hard to experience. It is also hard to watch. While doulas always attempt to keep a professional level of interaction, there are situations and stories that just...get to us.
This past week had a few of those.
Obviously, I'm not going to go into the details of these events, but I am giving myself a few hours today to sit and process.
This allows me to keep showing up for my clients as they sit and process.
My role is always support and education, not decision making on behalf of my clients. I arrive and support YOUR goals, not mine.
All that said, it can be hard to witness things that we know hurt our clients.
Our clients go in envisioning their birth a certain way...and leave feeling that was snatched right out of their hands.
To the mama that had a textbook birth, until she started pushing and the doctor gave her an unwanted episiotomy-I see the pain you're in and how disappointed you are. I see the nasty infection you got as a result and how long it's taking you to heal (both emotionally and physically). I am sorry. ❤️
To the mama that went in for a peaceful induction but ended up with an emergency cesarean section-I see that new scar and those flashbacks to the scurrying surgery team and how scared you looked while I held your hand. You were so brave, and I am sorry. ❤️
To the mama who wanted a med free birth but ended up with a cascade of interventions that you didn't anticipate and a lot of friction between you and the medical providers-I see you trying to process what happened and if you did something wrong (you didn't) and how it felt like you weren't respected or valued. I am sorry. ❤️
To the mama who felt like her concerns were ignored because of her skin color or social status-I see you and while I don't walk in your shoes and understand your feelings, what happened was wrong. You were wronged. Our team is trying to learn and listen and stand with our clients. I am sorry. ❤️
To the mama who went in to have a scheduled c-section and had every complication possible-I see you and how hard you are working to be a good mother while feeling utterly overwhelmed and incapable of basic tasks. You gave every bit of yourself to get that baby here safely. I am sorry. ❤️
To the mama who had birth complications caused entirely by a hasty or uncaring medical professional-I see you and all the times you tried to make your decisions known, all the ways you advocated for yourself and your baby. You did all the research and were so prepared for everything excepted being ignored. I am sorry.❤️
To the mama that had a "normal" birth but still left feeling weird or disheartened and isn't sure why-I see you and your feelings are valid. Birth is such a big deal, even if nothing went wrong. Your whole world just changed. I am sorry.❤️
Your perception of your birth matters. How people responded to you matters.
In those moments where the birth plan is ditched, your doula sees your pain and is going to still be there in your corner, holding space in whatever way she can.
If you are wrestling with how your birth went or just want to discuss it, call your doula today. Part of the job is the aftermath-the fourth trimester care-and even if she doesn't understand exactly what you feel, she can still listen.