When you find out you're pregnant, oftentimes you're hit by a wave of emotions. You immediately wonder and worry about so many things.
How will I give birth? Where will I give birth? What classes should I take? How will I feed my baby? What do I need for this baby? Should I get a doula? Will I be a good mother?
Never in a million years did you think you'd have to worry about giving birth during a global pandemic. This is certainly an unprecedented time to be delivering a baby.
Just a few weeks ago, my doula business was busy—I was attending birth after birth, all while standing right by each of my client's sides. Then, things changed.
As we began to hear more and more about the coronavirus each day, we began to realize just how much this was going to impact us as doulas and, in turn, all the families we were in the process of supporting or planned on supporting. Things changed rapidly.
My last in-person support was a few weeks ago. I walked into the hospital to be with a couple that morning, and by the afternoon that very hospital changed their policy to say only one support person would be allowed in the delivery room.
I felt your wave of emotions and worries now shift completely. You wanted me there and I wanted to be there for you—like we planned.
As a doula, it truly is an honor to be there with you to witness the miracle of your baby coming into the world.
As a doula, I aim to support you emotionally, physically and educationally before, during and after the birth of your baby.
As a doula, I aim to reduce fear and instill strength.
Just as someone might hire a wedding planner for their wedding, I am that for your birth. We spend a lot of time together discussing and preparing for your big day. And just like a wedding, rain or shine, the big day is going to happen.
Global pandemic or not, your baby is going to be born.
Changes in your birth plan or not, your baby is going to be born.
In-person doula or not, your baby is going to be born.
Things have shifted, mama, and it breaks my heart that I won't be able to be there physically in the room with you. What shatters it completely is knowing that this is breaking your heart, too. Knowing that you are scared and feeling doubt as you wonder, how am I going to do this?
But remember all the many ways doulas can support you. Just because the physical aspect has been taken away, doesn't mean I am completely taken away. Now I will be focusing on supporting you emotionally and educationally. I can still be part of your birth team—virtually. I will be on the phone talking, texting and FaceTiming with you every step of the way.
Yes, I know and understand it is not the same. I know this was not what you envisioned for your big day.
But here is what I want you to remember: You can and will get through this.
You have been through difficult times in your life and you have made it through to the other side.
You have done everything you needed to do to prepare for this day and you know what to do.
You are strong.
You are brave.
You are ready.
You are a mother.
Remember to take it moment by moment, one breath at a time. Allow yourself to move, listen, connect to your body and baby. Remember all the strong women before you who have birthed life into this world. Remember you are not only connected to them, but to every woman across the globe who are also getting ready to birth their babies.
This is a historic moment. YOU are the women giving birth to babies born during a global pandemic. YOU are superheroes.
Now, take your arms and wrap them around your belly and close your eyes. Take a deep inhale and slowly exhale. Know you have the strength and power within you. You can do this—with or without me—because you are your baby's mother. Even though I will not be with you in the room, my heart and my words are right there by your side.
Sending virtual (for now) hugs,