The following post comes from our previous Great Expectations blogger, Pamela. She writes the following letter to her doula (for all 3 births!) in honor of World Doula Week.
"Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you." Misty Copeland
Dear Mary Beth,
I love World Doula Week. It's such a great reminder to take a moment and reflect upon the woman who supported me through each transition into motherhood. I couldn't be more thrilled that it was your name, Mary Beth, that floated across my resources lists as I prepared for Julian's birth. I received your number from Malia, my Bradley instructor, who spoke so highly of your abilities to support mothers. We were so excited to have you on our team after our meeting at Starbucks to see if we'd be a good match. Right away I felt I knew you and that you would be the perfect person to guide us through our first birth experience.
While Julian's birth was far from what we both expected or prepared for, I don't know how I could have made it through without you. With a sick child at home and a labor that was beyond anything you had experienced up to that time, I was honored that you stayed with us through it all and continued to support us through difficult choices. It was a marathon of a birth and you and Thad were the best duo I could have asked for.
You know how difficult the healing was from Julian's birth. You came with me to my first International Cesarean Awareness Network meeting where I shook all the way through telling my story and your support that night was incredible. Telling your birth story to a room full of strangers is scary and vulnerable and you held my hand through it all. My transition into motherhood was made easier with your knowledge and care through those first few postpartum months.
When it came time for Daschel's birth, that crazy snowy wintery night, you came and helped me through the biggest challenge of my life. We were fighting for our vaginal birth after cesarean and Thad and I were clearly in uncharted territory as his arrival became more imminent. I don't know when I began believing his birth was going to happen - that my body wasn't a lemon and that I could actually birth this little boy after a traumatic cesarean birth - but it was your voice and support that encouraged me when I started to doubt. You believed in me, and other than my husband I don't think I've ever had someone fundamentally believe in who I am and what I could do.
Simon's birth was so fast and furious and you arrived ready to help me catch this beautiful posterior baby in the caul. Simon's birth was transformative; there was no doubt that I could have my baby, but the rawness and speed of Simon's birth was something that I don't think I would have believed if I hadn't experienced it. I never believed birth could be "easy" but when I had my dynamic duo of yourself and Thad supporting me, I don't think Simon's birth could have gone any smoother or any more peaceful.
From what I've heard, it's rare to have a doula serve the same mama for all of her births. Mary Beth is my birth angel, my constant supporter, my believer of the power that women possess. You helped me become the mother, woman, and activist that I am today and I am forever grateful for the love and support you gave me time and again.
You are forever a part of our family, Mary Beth. Thank you for being you.
All my love,