I BELIEVE IN BIRTH-NINJAS
Sunday afternoon, we got home dead-tired. We both crashed for a nap, but her phone kept buzzing. Finally she grabbed her bags and headed out the door. It was another pregnant client ready to go into active labor.
I pulled together a bunch of bags of my own.
Bag of chips. Check.
Diaper bag. Check.
Laptop bag. Check.
Food for Hannah (10mos). Check.
Hannah in her car seat. Check.
And I was out the door.
I arrived at Steve and Joy’s at 5pm and the pre-game feasting began. It was the big day, Super Bowl Sunday. Since I am deeply in love with the State of Washington and have spent so much time out there, I was excited to watch Seattle play (maybe demolish would be a better word).
By texting, Karen gave me the play by play of her own Baby Bowl.
I arrived home at around midnight and tucked Hannah into her crib and collapsed into bed. Still no Karen. I woke at 3am, still no Karen…. 7am, and still no Karen.
When Karen determined that she had a passion for being a Doula (i.e. birth coach), I knew there would be days like this. She finally came home on Monday at 3pm in the afternoon. She had been up all night and was borderline incoherent. After 24+ hours of coaching her birthing client, she was taken from her Home Birth to a nearby hospital to try to finish the delivery, which eventually turned into a C-Section.
After we both had a good night’s rest, Karen asked me a question the following day, “Why are you so supportive of my being a Doula?” My answer is what inspired me to write this particular blog. The reason Karen asked was because she had heard so many stories from other Doula’s that didn’t feel supported by their husbands. Truly, being a Doula can be a major inconvenience to all those around you with normal schedules.
There are two big reasons that I am so supportive of this strange new thing that Karen is into:
1. I remember how I felt when she went into labor ten months ago with our firstborn. I was scared. No amount of classes can prepare you for the feelings you experience when it’s baby time.
We had an at-home water-birth, completely natural and supernaturally painless. I never would have guessed that this would be our experience. I had bought into the pop-culture philosophy that Hospitals were safer places to have births. Karen destroyed that idea by introducing me to The Business of Being Born, a documentary on Netflix by Ricci Lake. Very eye-opening.
So there I am working on being a first time dad, totally freaked out, and looking perfectly calm on the outside for my bride and these two angels descend from the clouds (metaphorically speaking). Julia and Dwenna, I nicknamed them the “Birth-Ninjas.”
They were incredible. They helped this very scared husband feel like he had a safety net and that he was a part of a team. They didn’t take over, but they guided the whole process. Within five hours, it was all done and they cleaned up everything, it was AMAZING.
Karen didn’t know that I was scared that day, and I credit our Doula’s with that. Now ten months later, I am still profoundly indebted to those two birth-ninjas that came out on a wintery March day and were ready whenever we needed them. They made my side of the birth experience an incredible one.
I remember what the husband feels and I want other husbands to experience what I did. For this reason, I will gladly take care of our baby by myself and send my wife out into the snow to help to the point of exhaustion (also cause she wants to!).
2. The second reason that I am so supportive is because I believe that is the role of a spouse. Karen supports, cheers me on, encourages me on the rotten days, and wants me to live out the dreams in my heart.
I remember when I first resigned from my full-time job to pursue the dreams in my heart. Karen continued to work full-time for two years while I got my feet under me and I was finally making enough income for her to resign permanently and she hasn’t had to work a job since. The point being, she bet on me, she believed in me, she believed that by investing in me for those two years, my dreams would become a reality (Karen, you are definitely a woman of faith).
I want to do the same for her. It’s an ever-changing journey. I wouldn’t have known 2 years ago that Karen had a passion for childbirth, she didn’t know either!
It wasn’t until she got pregnant that she began to be stirred up with a passion to see painless childbirth. So we have been on a journey together, Karen is pursuing her dreams and I am learning how to support this new Birth-Ninja (I am so proud of her). We all need to stop from time to time and ask ourselves, “How can I get behind my sweetheart and help them pursue their dreams?”