I recently attended my longest birth to date - 24 hours of continuous support for a wonderful mama and her partner, which included a 10-minute nap on a hospital room floor. Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way; I could never leave a family for a nap in the waiting room. Baby arrived just after dawn, and she truly was one of the most amazing beings I have ever laid eyes on. Yes, I believe that all babies are beautiful, especially "my" Flutterby babies, but this one had a certain something - I couldn't quite describe. The bond I had formed with her parents was especially unique and deep - One of those couples that interviews you and you just *know* it was a match meant to be.
It is a doula's job, though, to leave the bounds of that relationship and leave that beautiful baby and her parents and head home - Back to "reality" and one's own daily living. Often times I leave and feel a bit down, but this one was especially difficult. Perhaps because we had spent so many intense hours together; perhaps because of that little baby's sweet spirit. Always managing to hold it together, and shed any sweet tears of departure once I get to the car, I couldn't contain the wave of emotion in front of these parents. There were hugs and tears. In some ways, they comforted me too. They told me things like, "We couldn't have done this without you." Now, I know the strength of parents - I know that they could very well do it without me. And I am as grateful for them as they are for me. Oh my - there is it. The gratitude I have been searching for under the cold winter's snow.