Day 1. Post a photo of yourself with a family or families whom you made a difference.
This image is a thank you card I made for my clients and it comes with a story. It was the second time I attended birth as a doula. I did it for free to get the necessary practice for my doula certification. I needed to get this practice done early enough while I was still pregnant with my second child as I could not see myself doing it with a baby in my hands later. I remember how during my doula course I was afraid to find a client that wants a c-section (yes, doulas support their clients in any type of birth, not just home birth or vaginal birth). Given that 95% of birth in private hospitals of Guatemala are c-sections (and quite a legitimate question would be why but that`s another story), my chances to find someone like that was high! I was afraid to see a c-section not per se, but rather didn’t want it to affect me emotionally before the birth of my own baby. Eventually somehow just before I started looking for my first clients, after seeing multiple videos of c-sections here and there I calmed down and accepted a possibility of it.
This couple did not want a c-section. In fact they chose to give birth with a midwife at Centro Integral de Parto Natural Ixchel known for probably the most natural approach to birth possible. But birth is often unpredictable and after a long day of labor where this brave mom did an amazing job being calm and singing and even laughing at times with contractions close apart for many hours, we ended up going to the hospital for a c-section. Sure I was a little bit nervous – it was my first time ever in the hospital in Guatemala, a foreign country for me where everyone speaks Spanish, foreign language #3 for me, and I had to communicate in it with the hospital staff, trying to be polite but assertive trying to get in the operation room (coz, my clients wanted me to be there). I was not allowed. But anyway, I was there for them before and after, and left only after I finally saw their baby latching. This couple may not realize but helping them during this challenging day, trying probably almost every possible doula tool and technique I learnt at my doula school, and doing it on top of it mostly in Spanish, a foreign language that is still not as strong as my English or Russian, and seeing their transformation before birth, during and after, brought me confidence in that I can do this and, moreover, I enjoy providing support to people in any possible birth scenario. I also understood that despite my limited Spanish, my messages came through, and my work had a value for them. And this is the most important!
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