The families! I am so deeply honored and respectful of how important this day is. This is the most important day. Everything counts. I get to become a part of your birth story. A part of your extended family, a part of the village for this new soul, and witness to another miracle.
Being myself! Feeling blessed! I am so grateful that I get to do this work. It's such a heavy thing to invite someone to your birth. Its also so amazing to me the gratitude I get from families for my presence at their birth. Its so special because I love being there, and I get so much love and appreciation in return.
Community service is a high value for me. And its not all altruistic. My mother infused giving into me and it really does feel good to do it. I started volunteering as a teenager down the block at our local senior center. When I went in, they where bewildered why I wanted to be there, with no court mandate. They finally put me to work with their blind seniors. At first, at age 17, I was disappointed I was assigned to the "old blind people". But I actually ended up falling in love with them and learned that they were way more fun than the sighted seniors, and had way better (dirtier) jokes! More recently, I've worked with PET International with my children, helping to build and ship PETs to Benin click here for more info. PETs are off-road carts for the disabled in developing nations. My boys also like to volunteer dog walking at Barc shelter in Brooklyn, and they helped restore the mosaic tile Rolling Benches at Grants Tomb with City Arts. I do volunteer work with a iVolunteer and make weekly visits to a Holocaust survivor. I chose to do that because after watching yet another documentary on the Holocaust one night, I just couldn't take it anymore. I just needed a place to put it. My weekly visits to Mrs. B keep me grounded. Keep me in perspective. Give me strength. I am honored to support such a special person, and even more honored to be a friend and part of her extended family.
And all this community work relates to my doula work because birth in America is on Amnesty Internationals naughty list. Doula work is beyond helping women have a beautiful birth, which I do, I also see it as human rights work. Before doing this work I was enraged by what was happening with birth in America. Now I am part of the solution. By the way, if you are pregnant now, don't read that report too much (too depressing). Read the books on my recommended reading list on my resource page. Choose a good provider. And get a doula, preferably me!