I have been a mother now for nearly 12 years. Fast approaching is the next threshold moment for myself, and once again my firstborn, the arrival of the feminine cycle. The last few months I have been thinking about how to prepare her and myself for the day that she steps through that moment in time, forever changing from a child to a woman.
When everything was shut down a year ago, and I was not allowed to enter the hospital to support my clients, my heart broke. I did my best to pivot to virtual support. Virtual support is better than nothing, but it is not the same. I started saying 'Doulas are more than our physical support.' This is a true statement, but I knew in my heart a virtual doula is not the same as an in-person doula. Over the weeks and months I kept the lines of communication open with the team at the hospital, I shared statements from ACOG, and DONA regarding 'Doulas are essential.' I was SO relieved when through the hard work of several folks here in the Asheville area our local hospital opened the doors back to doulas support in birth.
This was outstanding, now I could support clients at Mission, and at WNC Birth Center. ( The birth center never stopped letting doula's come, they just pivoted on what they required we do during the support). During the fall it came to light that Advent was still not allowing a doula to come with a laboring couple. So I reached out with letters and phone calls and help to partner and create a policy that would allow our support back in their hospital.
Two weeks ago, I learned that Haywood Regional was still teetering on the idea of doulas returning to work in person with laboring clients in the hospital. I was blessed to have a meeting with the director of women's care services at Haywood regional and we discussed the return of doula's to the hospital, along with many other ideas for local community support.
It always blesses me to have conversations with people and come to a workable situation for a mutual goal. It is a win-win.
It feels great to know that I am getting back to work EVERYWHERE.