Friday, February 25, 2011

Jude's Birth: A Doula Provided

[part 1: prelude]

If I had been planning a hospital birth again, I'd have hired a doula without a second thought. I wished I had had one the first time around. But initially, I thought that with a homebirth, I wouldn't need one. To make a long story a tiny bit shorter, I ended up deciding I wanted one, and thought I had the perfect candidate lined up, a doula I already knew slightly through online interactions. I was stoked. Until a few days later when it all fell through.

I tried to trust God through my disappointment, reminding myself that if He had wanted her at my birth, if that was what was best, He would have made it happen, and that if it didn't work out, that was because He had something better in mind.

How could I have known what He was up to?

The immediate problem was, how would I find a new doula? My dilemma was that I needed someone who was a Christian. I'm sure there are plenty of amazing doulas who aren't--but it was important to me to have someone who would pray with and for me, someone with whom I could process things with from a biblical perspective. I ended up going to a meet-and-greet and expressing interest in a couple of the doulas, but I still didn't know how to approach the faith issue.

A week later I was contacted by my #2 choice, Dee (#1 wasn't available for October). I explained in an email what I was hoping for in a doula, and asked whether she would be able to support me in that. And her I mean, just wow.

She told me that she was a believer, and proceeded to share how she is thrilled to discover that a client is a Christian because she can then encourage the mom as a sister in Christ and not just as a doula. She described her sweetest births as ones where she's prayed over the moms/babies. All that was more than enough to satisfy me--it was exactly what I needed to hear.

But then. She went on to share, oddly, that she is Reformed. Said she hesitated to say so because it can be unnecessarily divisive, but in the interest of being an open book, there it was. Described the church she goes to as similar to John Piper's church. And I'm all, Seriously, Lord? Seriously?

I realize that those of you who are not Reformed are scratching your heads at this point going, either, "What's Reformed, anyway?" or "I don't get it, why is that a big deal?" whereas those of you who are Reformed are going, "Wow, that's so awesome!" :) Let me clarify that I have plenty of non-Reformed friends and don't view the Reformed ones as somehow superior. Basically she just communicated to me that she and I were very much on the same page theologically, not merely believing the same basic set of truths, but understanding Scripture the same way, reading the same books, listening to the same podcasts, and therefore interpreting life through similar lenses. And that lens is one that's in the minority among Christians, so it's not a commonality I expected to find.

I couldn't even believe she mentioned it--it was sort of odd, really, if it hadn't been so...appropriate. I emailed her back and basically said, "Isn't it just like God to provide me with this? You're hired." I mean, I could have cried. To drop a doula in my lap--my third choice, no less--who not only was genuinely a believer in Christ but was actually on the same page as me theologically?! And her response was similar--she confessed to second-guessing herself in her original disclosure, wondering why she'd shared that, and then after hearing back from me, said, "How KIND of God to match us up! This is very, very cool."

So in early September, I was reminded very powerfully that my God is a kind and loving Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children. He faithfully lavishes grace on me even when I am full of doubt and fear and fail to trust Him. He delights to blow me away by providing abundantly more than I asked or imagined.

I needed that reminder--and this doula--as I prepared for Jude's birth.

[part 3: waiting]


Danielle said...

Awesome! I thought about hiring a woman from our church who's also a doula, but as it turned out, I doubt she'd have made it to the hospital in time! :)

Elysia said...

So if you don't mind elaborating, why did you decide on a doula even though you had a midwife? What does the doula do that a CPM doesn't? Or why did you want both? I'm just curious because I'd like to have a homebirth someday. Did the midwife mind you bringing a doula in?

Amy said...

sure, Elysia - I have been planning to do a post on why I chose homebirth - I will plan another on why I hired a doula :)