Friday, December 23, 2011

Another Semester Down

Another semester down...

So I've found that I can hold down 2 part time jobs, doula work, a full grad course-load including 3 group semester-long projects, and not go totally insane. I still managed to get all A's and see my friends at least once a week for dinner. My wonderful SO was there to help me through the emotional breakdowns (I didn't say there weren't any!), and I managed to come out alive. I'm quite proud of myself! This semester was very hard and I'm so glad its over.

I had two fantastic doula clients give birth in the same week. Though it totally messed up my sleep and homework life that week, I thoroughly enjoyed helping both these wonderful families. Here is some of what I experienced and learned:

One was a primip who had switched to a birth center birth during her pregnancy. The birth center was big and beautiful and totally empty while we were there. I was with her and her husband for 24 hours at home and the birth center before the decision was made to transfer to a hospital so mom was able to get some pain relief and some sleep. She had been awake for nearly two days! First time moms never follow this advice which I always give, but you really have to sleep in early labor! She was such a trooper - she would have kept on going if she wasn't just so tired. Really such a sweet couple, great midwife and midwives' assistant at the birth center, and a seamless transfer to midwifery care at a nearby hospital. The transfer was very upsetting, and she did reverse some in dilation. I've heard of this happening before and I'm very sure this is what happened here. It was a beautiful labor that ended up being an asynclitic occiput posterior baby giving her so much trouble! (I learned at this birth that the baby can be OP and the mom might not have back labor). 

The second labor was the fastest dilation I've ever seen - another primip who I didn't end up laboring at home with because her husband was very nervous in early labor and insisted they go to the hospital. I met them there and the labor was great - very quiet, calm, peaceful. Very few nurses or doctors bothered us the whole time. Mom, dad and I slept on and off in between contractions. There was also some salsa dancing! I really think this may have been partly responsible for such a quick labor - She actually dilated 5 centimeters in about 2.5 hours. I was definitely jaw-drop shocked when I heard she was complete. I've never seen that before!

Recently I've been contacted by two potential doula clients who are very early in their pregnancies. I've never been hired by someone so early in a pregnancy! So I'm having a lot of doula firsts recently.

Next year I'm going to begin earning my continuing education credits for eventual re-certification... Best to start early! Next year will also be the year I start my internship, data collection and thesis writing. Whew!

Happy Holidays, everyone!


  1. You're doing so great! It's been fun following along your doula journey.

  2. Just found your blog from a link on breastfeeding and I've been reading your back posts. Just graduated from USF myself in Anthro and I'll be a grad student in Med Anthro next year, also thinking about becoming a doula so it was amazing (and shocking)to find you. Great blog!

  3. Hey Lisa! Send me an email - anthrodoula at We should chat more!! :)


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