When You Become a Doula, You’ll Understand

“I’m sorry honey, but I can’t do this anymore.”

My partner was sitting next to me in the car. We were an hour into a six hour drive, and something huge was happening.

Tears were streaming down my face.

I’d been sitting on my truth for weeks until I found the courage to speak. He didn’t say anything in return. His face didn’t give me any clues. He was just… quiet.

I began to panic.

Why wasn’t he saying anything? Was he saying – by not saying – that he didn’t want this anymore?

For the past 3 years, our home has been in one city and his work in another, half a state away. For 3 years, I’ve been pretending it was (mostly) fine and bailing out our Titanic of disconnection with a teacup.

I finally screwed up the courage to tell him my deepest truth about it and wouldn’t you know, he didn’t respond to me with the perfect words right away!

Naturally, I got mad.

My first impulse was to lash out.

It was while I was skating along the edge of anger that I realized that something in me had to change.

We were being given an opportunity to take this deeper.

I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown lately, and, (this is never a bad plan) I asked myself, “What would Brene do?”

I got real.

“The story I am telling myself right now, the one I am making up about your silence, is that you don’t want me with you in the same city. And honey? I’ll be honest, that story is really freaking me out.”

Something shifted, like a deep breath. He started talking and he didn’t stop for a long time.

At the end of the drive, we’d made plans to relocate me to the city where he works. We are more connected than ever.

Because I trusted him to see me at my most vulnerable, he was able to meet me there in that place and let me see him at his.

That moment of trust is when the real work of finding a solution, of rebuilding our connection, began.

It can feel frightening to connect, deeply, and engage with another person’s process.

Seeing someone in a state of distress can feel distressing. On the flip side, it can also be challenging to let people in and let them truly see us, see when we’re scared or see what hurts.

Ironically, it’s those very moments when we can open and engage with another person’s process without the fear of judgment that things begin to move and shift.

Those moments can be transformative. They can give us space to grow. I truly believe that it is there in those moments of connection, and vulnerability, where we have the opportunity to do our very best work.

I’m your doula.

When you’re in labor, when you have a new baby, I’m there to support your process.

When birth gets overwhelming like the waves of the ocean during a storm, when your new baby just won’t stop crying (and neither can you), that’s when my work begins.

My job isn’t to dictate the outcome of your story. My job is to make room for your story to unfold.

I am not a part of your narrative, you are the hero of your own journey. I don’t judge how you get there, I just walk beside you.

At the heart of it all, I am the soft place that you can land and the mirror where you can see your own strength and resilience reflected back at you.

I am the encouraging voice, two strong hands to hold on to, and the nurturing silence when only silence will do.

You aren’t alone. I’m right here, beside you.

I’m your doula. And you can trust me to meet you where you are, even when you are at your most vulnerable.

Authored by: Rain Hannah