The Single Mom Doula.
Being a single mom is hard. Being a parent in general is difficult, but doing it nearly by yourself completely changes the dynamics of everything. I’m sure being married has it’s difficulties. I kind of liked being able to do my own thing with my son, and not really having to worry about what a “partner” had to say about it. I breastfed as long as I wanted, I co-slept, I did the whole save-the-planet-cloth-diaper-thing for a while. I had the freedom to parent how ever I wanted without “running it by” anyone. I am sure my son’s father would not have agreed with everything that I chose to do, and there would have been disagreements. We are not on the same page...Shoot, we aren’t even in the same book. I got to make all of those decisions by myself, which was glorious. I think I took that for granted at one point, when I was in the midst of it all. But looking back, I really appreciate the fact that I could do what I thought was best for my son without having anyone “to answer to”.
Now, I know that showers are a luxury as a mom in general, but as a single mom… I can count on my one hand how many times i’ve been able to shower alone since the birth of my son in 2011! That kid is always up my butt. Momma-this; Momma-that; Momma I shower too. I don’t have the luxury of saying “hey, go sit in the office with your dad for 10 minutes so I can wash my hair”. And, with single parenting comes the nightmare of things such as custody/visitation/child support/general social awkwardness… It is all just one big headache. I am the primary caregiver for my little guy-physically, emotionally and financially. I have him literally 90% of the time. At one point I was working three part-time jobs, and I am in school full time for Graphic Design at Rutgers University.
And then I became a doula.
Being a doula is a lot of work. After being at a birth for hours, if not days, you literally feel like you ran a marathon and got ran over by a tractor trailer as you crossed the finish line. Maybe I just need to lay off the pizza and hit the gym… but it is exhausting work-both physically and emotionally. At the same time, it is the most rewarding work I have ever done. There is nothing like the high that comes after a baby is born. I attended a birth that was a VBA2C (vaginal birth after two cesareans), and I was literally high for weeks off of it. I still get tingles when I think about it! This momma was thrilled with what her body was capable of. I had the honor of witnessing it, and cutting her baby’s cord. That is something that stays with you forever!
There is no way I would be able to do this work, that I love so much without the support of my friends and family. Ginnie is one of my closest friends. She has watched my son for me, picked him up from visitation and dropped him off to a family member... ect. My mother has dropped my son off to the sitter in the AM if I have to leave in the middle of the night to go to a birth. My nana has watched him for entire births. My father and stepmother have taken him for weekends as needed. My awesome sorority sister, Letty has been “on-call” for child care for select weekends. My supportive boyfriend has also been willing to help out in anyway possible. There is no way I would be able to do this work, and come as far as we have in the past year without the support of my fantastic friends and family. My heart overflows with joy and thanksgiving for them. Loving Birth Services would not exist if they did not exist.
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