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Client Meetings and other fantastic news

Well I have two more interviews with prospective doula clients. I'll be meeting one mama today at 1:30, so please give prayers and doula-vibes one more time. I'm going in with the positive outlook that I *will* be hired. This is a momma with no support person, and she sounds like she really wants a doula. If I remember correctly, she's due soon, too - sometime in early April.

I have another tentative meeting for next Saturday, although I need to call and confirm. That mama isn't due until late September, but she's getting an early start. She already knows she doesn't *quite* feel comfortable with the idea of birthing at our local hospital. She has midwives and wants an non-interventive birth, but these midwives work through the hospital. She's actually looking into switching to the midwives I had with Eden & Ivy. Unfortunately, these midwives try to discourage mamas from using doulas, because they feel they offer the same support by staying with the mama the whole time. (*cough - BS*) :( I let the mama know that ahead of time, but I'm hoping she'll go ahead and hire me anyway - especially since I know all of them and also had a waterbirth, which she's kind of hoping for.

So in preparation for my meeting today, I did a quick looksie over my client handouts. For all you doulas out there, I have an 'About Me' sheet that I give to my clients. As I've mentioned to a couple of you on your journals and in doulas, I feel that this really helps me, given that I haven't attended that many births. I've had several clients, but due to several not calling me (volunteer births - another reason why I don't do 'free' births anymore), I've only actually been at two births. So my About Me sheet just tells a bit about me and my journey into motherhood and doulahood.

I realized last night that I hadn't revised it since having Ivy, so I spent some time cleaning that up and getting it up-to-date. My good friend evilrbtmonkey then offered to be my Beta-Reader and go over it for me. She's an editor, and she gave some very good suggestions for more powerful wording. I owe her many, many thanks! She also noticed my blog addy in my email signature and got to checking out LJ and decided to join up last night, so please make her feel welcome. :D

I also realized that my About Me sheet had a bit of an over-abundance of Reiki information. It's a hard line to walk, because many people know literally nothing about Reiki. But a couple months ago, I did a presentation on Reiki & Childbirth for my local doula organization, DAMA (Doula Association of the Mountain Area). Now that I have a Reiki & Childbirth handout to add to my folder, I cleaned up that part of my About Me, as well.

I believe that at least one of my wonderful readers is also both a doula and Reiki practitioner. If you're interested in using this sheet, please email me and I'll be happy to share it. I have no problems sharing as long as you leave my info, which credits me. I don't know how to make it a pdf for sharing online, but if anyone would be willing to help me out with that, I would be very grateful.

I haven't had a doula client since Ivy was born. Last night, I was slightly disappointed that all of my 'nice' clothes were stained with spit-up or no longer fit me. Since I recently learned that my weight loss grand-total has reached 41 pounds (!), I decided to bust out a bag of pre-preggers clothes and see if I could find anything that would now fit. I DID! Not only did I find a pretty sweater to wear, but my favorite pair of khaki pants fits me again! And I wasn't even able to fit back into those after having Eden, but I saved them because they're my favorite.

- Not only do they fit again, they're slightly baggy in the butt. Yay for me! -

With a day starting out this great, it can only get better. :)


* Bad LJ! 'Doula', 'Reiki', & 'blog' (?) are not recognized by spell check.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
**DOULA VIBES*** Good luck pump'kin!! I think if you go into it like your already her Doula youll get her hands down!!! Ive noticed that about some of the home birth midwives around here as well (not reccomending doulas) its very odd tome, but I have just recently come to see and understand the snobbery that comes along in the birthing community. Doulas are the bottem of the barrel and highly under-rated, as far as Im concerned ;) ....Your free clients never called you? I have gone to 12 births for free, but the program I work with is for low income women. Only a few have had support persons outside of me with them, and the ones who I found out later abused the system (had more oney available to them than me) were the ones that I had a yuckie time with. Only two clients never called me, one gave birth as she was walking into the hospital (lol good for her!!) Im sorry to hear that though its always dissapointeing and very frustrating.....I had a dream last night that I was skinny (laugh) Im so happy for you!!!!! I have so much motivation to get in shape after this baby, but well see how that goes, lol :) 41lbs, thats amazing!!! Keep up the good owrk, and let us know how your meeting went!!! :)
Mar. 26th, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had two volunteer clients who signed a contract with me, had several prenatals, and just never called me back. Then I had a mama go in for a cesarean and not call, even though I specifically said, "I only need one more birth! Please call me if something happens earlier [she'd been scheduled for a cesarean birth for the next week, but water broke early], and I will come in and support you until your surgery." And then she was like, "Well, it happened at the doctor's office. It all happened so fast," but when I went in to see her the next day at the hospital, she said, "You know they said it was an emergency and sent me right in, but they had me waiting for seven hours before they finally took me for surgery." *blink*

Oh, and my midwives really upset me with that policy. They talked me out of a doula the first time, because "We remain with you the entire time and provide those services." At that point, I did not realize that a major point of a doula was having an unbiased person who was familiar with things...I didn't have a doula and was so disappointed. She tried to talk me out of it last time, too, "Now why do you feel you need to have a doula?" And I was a doula this time! But once I told her why, she was cool with it. I just wish they didn't try to talk people out of it. A midwife and a doula are not the same thing, no matter how great the MW is. Blargh.

I think my meeting went well. We chatted a good bit, and seemed to hit it off. She said she had talked to over half a dozen doulas on the phone and chose three to meet with - she mentioned that she enjoyed our phone chat and felt we made a connection. I was so pleased, because I felt the same way! But she still has to meet with the other two doulas...I'm just going to continue hoping earnestly expecting that she hires me. :)
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)
I don't know any links off hand, unless you want to check out Dona.org.

A midwife is trained to provide medical support. They catch the babies and provide medical care.

A doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support. They do NOT provide medical support, such as vaginal exams, fetal heart tones, blood pressure...

Now, some doulas do - especially if they double as an RN or midwife's assistant. But then they are 'removing the doula hat' and 'putting on the RN hat', so to speak. Some doulas provide these services even without proper training, but it is frowned upon by the majority of doulas.

Doulas help with comfort measures, relaxation techniques, etc. A doula will basically try to help you have the birth experience you want, whatever that means. She does not work for your care provider (OB, midwife, etc.) and she does not (in most cases) work for the hospital - she works for you. (Now some hospitals and some birthing centers provide doulas.)

A doula can also be helpful if a deviation from your birth preferences is necessary. For instance, if there is an emergency situation, the midwife would be focused on tending the problem. A doula would be focused on tending the mother: explaining what is happening, what the midwife is doing, what other options are available, comforting her, holding her hand...

Does this clarify any?
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
Woo-hoo! One more for the team...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )