Wednesday, 29 October 2014
mothering the mother
it is about two and a half years since i finished my training as a doula, i wrote about it a few times at the beginning but then i fell silent: there wasn't much to report, there is client privacy to consider and i felt it prudent to keep schtum about my story because some doulas are quick to criticise any of our number who makes the vaguest client details public knowledge. even though i dont publicise this blog, google can reveal anything to anyone and i wouldnt want to get my own profession off side through even an innocent rambling.
this week i booked a client. she will be the fourth woman i work with this year and although four clients is very well below what one might hope for i have been blessed to work with wonderful families so far. the jobs i fear with long, exhausting labours, difficult clients, traumatic circumstances or me failing in some crazy way have not materialised and the births i have attended have each been triumphs in their own way.
along the way i have learnt that some people will have me drive all over the city to give them a free consultation when they have no intention of booking. i have learnt that by even hinting that i want them to meet me on my own terms i can dissuade the ones who dont respect my time.
i have developed a website, created a standard invoice, made an information package to hand out, written a client agreement, got business cards, collaborated on a logo design, learnt how to get on the first page of a google search and started developing a format for how i can best cover everything i need to cover as a clients' pregnancy/ birth/ early parenting consultant.
i have discussed breastfeeding, mastitis, baby shopping, family dynamics, circumcision, yoga, epigenetics, self care, hypnosis for birth, lotus birth, water birth and so much more.
i have done many, many "meet & greet" appointments, most of which didnt result in me being hired but i liked all of the people and could genuinely wish them well.
i have figured out that print advertising seems to be money down the drain and that google maps always underestimates travel times.
i have talked birth so incessantly that my daughters could probably doula without formal training and even my sons know that an all-fours position is my default recommendation for women to labour in.
i wanted say thanks for your enduring interest and support and though i cant tell funny / heartwarming / graphic stories i can tell you that taking this path has certainly been the slow road but the scenery is lovely.