_We welcomed a little girl into the world in the wee hours of the morning. This verse from Paul King is an inspiration for me in my doula work (I also knit for our new babies during their births!):

A head I have for thinking deeply,
Listening, and learning, and looking with care.
Hands I have for work and creating
With fingers skillful to make and repair.
In my heart I can carry the sun
Shining with love for everyone. (Paul King)

 
 
Being a doula is truly a labour of love! I am regularly woken up in the middle of the night, am on call all the time, have missed Halloween, have missed birthdays, find it hard to schedule my own appointments and vacations, etc. I manage to handle this thanks to a huge amount of support from family and friends who are prepared to leap into action at a moment's notice. I have a friend who will even come over in the middle of the night if my husband is away and I get called- amazing!

I wouldn't trade in being a doula for anything though. It is a privilege to accompany people on their journey to becoming parents. I can't think of any other circumstance in which I would get to know people so quickly and so intimately. Parents share their dreams and fears with me. Parents place their trust in me. They turn to me for guidance and support.

At a recent interview, I was asked about the most important thing that I bring to a birth. The first thing that came to mind was "love". Now I wasn't sure if I should say that- I didn't want to seem flaky! For a second, I though about mentioning all of my training, experience and the material things that I bring (Tens, etc) but I decided to say "love". Since becoming a mother myself, I feel a universal mama-love connection with babies, children, and parents-to-be. I bring my mama-love to every birth and couldn't be a doula without it!

As the amazing Raffi says: "All I really need is a song in my heart, love in my family"

 
 
I have recently started knitting baby booties for the babies that I see entering this world. I love that I am able to knit them even with two busy boys at home! I keep my knitting in my purse and pull it out whenever I have a moment (sometimes even during quiet moments at a birth!). 

My eldest son (Owen) often asks me which baby I am knitting for and how I decided which colours to use. It seems to help him to bridge that gap between me being his mama and being a doula for others. The wool that I use changes colour as I knit so each bootie is an explosion of colour. 

When Owen went for an interview at the Vancouver Waldorf School, he found and presented his teacher with a "jewel". He came up close beside her, leaning his body against hers, and presented her with his gift. The gift of his trust, love and imagination. A few months later, at the beginning of Kindergarten, his teacher mentioned that she kept that "jewel" on her coffee table all summer as a reminder to keep him in her thoughts and heart. My knitting is like that for me: the parents that I work with share their dreams with me, give me the gift of their trust, and invite me to witness the birth of their families. One of the things that I get to do is transform plain wool into something special while keeping them present in my mind's eye. Knitting gives me a chance to dream about each baby who will be entering our world. Beautiful! 
 
 
As adults, how often do we feel nurtured and supported? Do we meet many people who truly listen and who care?

I wear many hats these days: mother, birth doula, postpartum doula, prenatal mentor, and postpartum counsellor. My work involves so much listening, empathy, nurturing and love. I strive to create safe spaces for the parents that I work with and to help them tap into their inner wisdom.