I see prior doula clients everywhere in the community-in the park, at Safeway, at restaurants. Often with their new little ones and it is so rewarding.
Just a month ago, I was at Baranof park and there was a cute little 8 month old boy in the swing. His mom looked my direction and smiled as she said, "Hi Zoya!" from behind dark sunglasses.
I said, "Who's that?".
She said, "Its me, N*****!". Too funny-I didn't recognize her in the Katie Cruise-style sunglasses! It was so fun to see her and we talked for a bit about her little guy- his happy temperment,etc. We exchanged a hug before I had to leave and I was struck by how fun it is to always have these women, birth partners and babies as part of my life. We shared that special moment together of their little one being introduced to the world. What a great honor!
Another time (at a restaurant) I ran into a prior teen doula client, who had birthed her baby many months prior. She looked very pleased with herself as I ooohed and ahhed at her cute, chunky baby boy sleeping in his car seat. She told me all about how she was still breastfeeding, and how she was excited to start working out and getting the baby weight off. She had adjusted to motherhood so wonderfully and as I walked out the restaurant, I was just struck by her maturity and how incredibly well she had adapted to being a mom.
These experiences made me realize how being a doula is for more than just at the birth-its the post-partum visits in the first weeks after, and then there is always that great community connection with these families. Its an aspect of the job which I didn't anticipate being so rewarding. I know that the people who were at the births of my babies will always hold a VERY special place in my heart, including the doulas! They made it possible for me to birth in the manner that I desired. Doulas are able to help moms treasure and hold on to those memories and moments surrounding birth.
This year I had the pleasure of going to two, Happy 1st Birthday parties (of doula-client-babies), which was so fun. Making it to the 1 year mark is such a big deal as a parent--and its so fun to celebrate with friends who all helped get you there! I remember feeling that way-especially with Nora.
The rain and wind continues and Patrick is hoping to make it home tomorrow from his 2 week petroglyph (rock carving) survey on the south end of the island. Yeah! The 2 weeks have been somewhat long-especially with the dance rehearsals. Patrick will be gone for 1 month later this summer, so this was a good run-through of what it'll be like. One thing I know is that its MUCH easier with the kids older to have him gone then when they were babies. My, those days were especially challenging!