When I was pregnant, someone somehow talked me into giving birth without drugs. You’ve gotta know, that was anti-Beth. Going into my pregnancy, my plan was to get the epidural hooked up sometime in my eighth month just to be safe. So moving from that end of the spectrum to only an Advil the day after birth was crazy town. But I did it and I’m proud of myself and I went on to do it again. But not without the help of a doula. A doula is basically a woman who is trained to help you through labor, and I believe they typically specialize in helping women who want a drug-free birth.
So after having two more-painful-than-anyone-could-have-ever-prepared me for drug-free magical births, I was asked by two friends to be a part of their labors and deliveries, somewhat acting as their support person, or doula. I was excited and scared and honored, and both birth experiences were amazing and gorgeous and life-affirming. Probably helped that I wasn’t the one squeezing a person out of me. Anywho.
I’ve noticed a pattern in my life. After I planned my wedding, and loved it, I became a wedding planner. I was sort of a wedding doula. After starting and leading several ministries, I’ve had women ask me for advice on how to start and lead ministries. I was sort of a ministry doula. Since I started writing over twelve years ago, I have met and exchanged emails with a fairly considerable handful of women who have wanted to know how to get started in the writing industry. I have been sort of a writing doula.
And now that I’ve lived through a difficult marriage and a difficult separation and a difficult divorce, I am meeting with women to talk through all these topics. I have even gone so far as to begin to serve as a court advocate for women in domestic violence court and divorce court who don’t have anyone to go with them on those scary, stressful days. My girlfriend Erika coined the most excellent phrase divorce doula. (We’re even kicking around having it added to my business card; I jest.)
But I really kind of love that idea. I love the idea of knowing that I’ve made it through something with both enough pain to be empathetic and compassionate and yet enough success that I’ve learned some things and have garnered some healing that someone else would want to know how I made it through the muck and into my wide open spaces.
So if you are in a difficult marriage or difficult separation or difficultly divorced, I’ll be your doula. We’ll get through this. Trust me when I say these words: you.will.get.through.this.
And if you’ve made it through something really rough in this sharp-edged thing we call life, who can you reach out to? Who needs you to be their doula?
If my work has encouraged you and you’d like to partner with me as I reach out to help hurting women, click here for more information.