On my way to work the other day, I struck up a friendly conversation with a co-worker who happened to be arriving at the same time as me. I should probably not be pointing out that we were both arriving late. Anyway, she told me that she would be attending a doula training over the weekend, and I was immediately intrigued. What is a doula, you ask? Essentially, a doula is someone who provides non-medical support to mothers and families during childbirth. I found this story on doulas very interesting when it aired on NPR a few months back.
Aside from a general interest in a career that’s different from my own, I have no real reason to be so intrigued by the concept of a doula. While I am a woman, I’m not pregnant or intending to become pregnant any time soon. In fact, the complete opposite is actually true: I have a huge fear of pregnant women. Yes, that’s right. I’d go so far as to say I’m down right terrified to be around them when they get to be about 8.5 months along. And 9 months? Forget it! They are likely to explode at any moment.
Yes, you read that right. I said, “Explode.” I know that sounds a little extreme, but believe me, it’s not. I’ve seen it happen before.
When I was 3.5 years old – the only child of two adoring parents – something awful happened. My sister was born. Well, actually, that turned out not to be the awful part because I really love my sister. The awful part was what happened before my sister arrived – when my mom exploded.
My dad was tucking me into bed on December 14, 1985, and my mom came into the room to say good night. The minute she sat down on my bed, she exploded, and about six hours later, I had a little sister.
The details between the explosion and my sister’s arrival are a little fuzzy in the memory of my 3.5-year-old self, but I’ve been told that when my mom sat down on my bed, her water broke and she jumped up with a scream and ran out of the room. She tells me that she was not in pain; she was just surprised and didn’t want to get my bed wet.
Likely story. I still think she exploded.
Now, getting back to my interest in a doula. Here’s someone who is not medically trained and yet this person chooses to be around pregnant women when they explode. I’m oddly intrigued.
And, truth be told, still completely terrified – both as a friend of a currently very pregnant woman and as a woman who would eventually like to have kids herself one day. I think I should just be sedated from 8.5 months until the baby is born. After all, there’s a reason we say, “She looks like she’s gonna pop.” She really will!