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My First Doula Experience

I woke up on Sunday of labour day weekend to a request for a chiropractic house call on my phone. My patient had finally gone into the birth process and wanted an adjustment! How exciting!

I jumped out of bed and hurried my way over to her place, I didn't want her to be in pain any longer than she had to. I had planned to double check the house number when I arrived, but there was no need for that. As I exited my vehicle, I heard her loud and clear.

Let me set the scene. I am pretty sure the composition of my blood was 50% blood and 50% adrenaline. With all of my equipment in hand, I walked up to her door, knocked, and then let myself in. Bass lines of loud club music filled the air, on top of birth war cries. What was I getting myself into?

I set myself up, plugged in my vibration massager, and started working the tension out of her low back and pelvis. It was intense, but if she could handle it, so could I. We worked through a head-to-toe chiropractic treatment (soft tissue therapy, mobilizations, adjustments), in between contractions.

I was not there alone. She was surrounded and supported by a team of people who loved her: her husband and the Ridge Meadows Doula Services doulas. I kept calm and quiet, watching the doulas, and jumping in when they needed me. This was my first doula experience, and I was so honoured to be shadowing and learning from the RMDS girls, who in my opinion, are some of the best and most qualified doulas in the lower mainland. I was in awe of the doulas. I thought they were awesome before, but here my jaw was hitting the floor all over again. If you don't have these women on your birth team yet, get on the phone, now. I was also completely humbled by the strength, energy, and determination of my patient. She is one of the strongest and inspirational women I have ever known. I almost cried about 200 times during the birth. I somehow held it together until I got home and then cried for her, for all the ups, and all the downs.

*permission to share pictures from patient

Here is a quick summary of what I learned during those 7 intense and beautiful hours:

- birth is normal, beautiful, and intense

- birthing at home, in your own energy, is amazing

- every pregnant and birthing woman should have a doula, they are the most important part of a birth team, without question

- being nervous and scared is okay and does not mean you are weak, it is a strength

- your body knows exactly what to do and you need to trust it

I will never forget my first birth experience and will forever be honoured and grateful to share such an incredible experience with all who attended.

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