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The Way of the Doula by Jody Richards

As doulas we experience that each and every birth is so vastly different, but there is something that remains the same. When we walk through the door, be it the maternity ward in the hospital or into the familiarity of your own home, our role remains the same.

Sometimes our lenses catch glimpses of candlelight, cozy pillows supporting weary knees, the familiarity of one's own bed. Our ears capture sounds of water filling the tub with the sound of slow, deep breath, music from another room, the galloping heartbeat sounds coming from one of the many tools the midwife has brought with her. Our nose smells the fragrance of some home cooked meal waiting to be eaten, in a glorious, well earned, post delivery feast.

We feel with our hands, with steadiness or rhythmic massage, just how hard she works to carry this new life into our world. Our voices carry messages to remind her that she is doing it; she can do it, one contraction at a time.

We rely on our body, our heart, our senses, to soak in all these details to helps us attune to her every need. Other times we are welcomed by elevators and bustling hallways. We enter rooms that many have birthed in before. The busy world left to do it's thing beyond these walls.

We use buttons to move beds in all kinds of ways. We sometimes hear beeping and electronic sounds. Again we hear that ever so familiar galloping heartbeat of baby.