I have now attended five births; three of which I served as the actual paid doula.
I absolutely love this.
It is such an honor to be asked to participate in such a moving, life-changing moment in a young family's life; and to be trusted that you will bring something positive and vital to the experience. I am in awe of the strength and will of the mothers as they work with their bodies to bring these little ones into their open arms. I adore the doting fathers; all of those I worked with were excited, nervous, and itching to find a way to work with his wife and lighten her load. I remember one man after his wife decided to get an epidural. She went straight to sleep, and he stood next to her, watching her breath. Finally, after a few minutes, he turned to me and said, "Is there anything you would suggest I could do for her right now?"
The love and the raw emotion that surrounds this event are positively gripping; I won't lie, I shed a slight tear or two at every single birth. It has been amazing to me how focused and consumed the parents will be with the hard work of labor; the atmosphere is generally quiet, inward, and intense. But then, when that little one finally comes out, all intensity vanishes. Laughter, tears, and gasps are all that remain.
Is there anything more holy than watching that little threesome gaze into each others' eyes, marveling in every little bit of each person? I surely can't think of much.
I am so incredibly grateful to have this experience, to know that I have done some good in the world, and have gained so much more in return.
I pray that I will continue to have these opportunities to serve.