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International Doula Month

May 8, 2013

Well, here we are- May! I cannot believe that April flew by so quickly and May seems to be in just of a rush. Well, let’s slow down just one minute! It is International Doulas Month and we certainly don’t want to pass that by ūüėČ We would like to post a little bit this month more than usual on posts for our fellow doulas. We’ll kick things off by reposting this oldie from August 12, 2010:¬†Being On Call

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After taking a little time off I am extremely excited that I will be “on call” starting tomorrow.¬† The on call aspect of the job is one that people ask me about a lot.¬† They are curious how I manage it, especially with three young children at home.¬† It has certainly been an adjustment over the last couple years (and not just for me but my family as well) but I have learned from others and picked up a few things on my own along the way that has made it a lot easier.¬† For those of you who are curious or you other doulas out there- here’s what I got:

Eat well.¬†Of course I¬†should¬†be eating well anyway but when I’m on call I try to be extra conscious of this.¬† Every meal counts- that could be my last one for a while

Drink Lots of Water. This kind of goes along with eating well.  Attending a birth takes a lot of energy (sometimes emotional as well as physical) and I really need to be well hydrated.  I also make sure to bring water with me to a birth.

GO TO SLEEP!¬†No, I shouldn’t stay up until 1:30am to watch scary movies with my husband because the one night I do I’ll get a phone call at 2am.

Plan ahead.¬†I know who I will call to watch the kids at different times and days of the week and I make sure to talk to them ahead of time to give them a heads up.¬† There are also logistical things to plan ahead for. How will Matt get the car seats to pick up the kids if I’m the one that dropped them off? Which vehicle do I need to take? etc.

Be Prepared.¬†Even though I was never a boy scout I have tried to take a page out of their handbook and strive to “Be Prepared” at all times.¬† This means keeping my phone charged and my bag packed.¬† I also need to have all of my client’s information (copy of birth plan, directions to house, etc.) organized and in a handy place.

Say thank you- a lot.¬†The only way that I am able to do this is because of the amazing support I have from family and friends.¬† First, there is my incredible husband who has had to be woken up at three in the morning by an unfamiliar male voice asking “Is Jessica there?”¬† He is my biggest encourager and champion and a constant reminder of God’s provision and love.¬† My mom has also had to deal with strange phone calls… from me asking her to log into my e-mail and get me a phone number or address because I was still learning that whole “Be Prepared” thing and my brother Pete has received an early morning house call from me and then watched the boys for an entire day while I attended a birth. There are also the fabulous women in my life who are willing to take my kids at a moments notice.¬† Being able to leave my children with people that I not only know will take excellent care of them but who also love them means the world to me.¬† So to all of you who have supported me on this amazing journey- thank you!¬† I love you all ‚̧

I am sure there are some other great tips out there and I would love to hear them- whether from other doulas or anyone else that has ever had to be “on call”.

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