I was called as a back up doula to step in for a local doula last Saturday. It was marvelous to be called upon to serve this family.
Mom was lovely, handling most contractions like a peaceful song, toning low and letting her body tell her when to move. Mom's bag of water stayed intact for a long portion of labor - creating lots of extra pressure. She loved the double hip squeeze and any fears I had that I was "doing it wrong" were dismissed when mom said mid contraction "ohhhh-i love that."
Mom loved to be talked to gently through contractions, "That's it, take some deep cleansing breaths, thats right, breathe the baby down." she would sail through the contraction.
I had only planned to be away as a back up doula for a few hours but ended up staying at the hospital almost 6 hours just entranced in Mom's labor. The Mom's main doula was present and I had to leave to nurse Jude because I didn't bring my pump.
I left before the baby was born, before Mom could claim her reward for her body's hard work, but I left feeling incredible.
The reward of a doula's work is immediate. Just the look in a moms eyes when she swears she can't go on, and you suggest a new position, work on breathing or remind her of her body's strength, and she reaches within herself to take labor....one contraction at a time.