Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Doula Cometh

Oh stop it, you know I'm not pregnant! It's just a good title, and did it work? Did it pull you in?

Well, it is also true. My doula is coming to visit, and I can still call her that because once you have doula-ed, you are always a doula. Or something like that.

In this case, my doula is my sister-in-law Mary, from Cleveland. And in this case, she will not be here to doula (can I get an amen, sisters!). No, in a novel twist, she will be here to visit! What a treat! I am sure she agrees. Mary and Ken came to visit and help for a week just after the girls were born, and then again when Phoenix was born. For this, and many other reasons, I cherish her. I cannot tell you the relief it brought me to have Someone to Pick Up A Crying Baby when we were floundering around, adjusting to twins, and then to the Baby 4. And, equally as important: Someone Who Cooks!
Mary knew all the needs of a weepy, drippy, leaky new mother and kept me well-fed and well-hydrated during each doula visit. She would bring me water when I was "locked up in the stocks," as she called my giant twin nursing pillow. (This huge pillow strapped around me and supported the little piglets. It was quite a commitment, feeding two tons of fun every two hours. So that pillow truly felt like the stocks on many a day...)

I still chant a little tune from her visit during the girls' infancy. You have to picture me with a big show-biz smile, snapping my fingers and tapping my toes. It goes like this:

"Who's crying now??? Who's crying now???"

Repeat as needed, with as much pizazz as possible. (The pizazz helps with the annoyed feeling you may get from all the crying infants and children that you may or may not be surrounded with.) I still find far too many occasions to sing this tune, but I never fail to think of Mary and her song-writing abilities.

Most of all, when I think of those days, it is with a sense of having been rescued somehow. Of being safe for just a bit, from whatever worries and cares a new mother is subject to. Oh doula, my doula!

So this is my ode to Doula Mary and Dear Ken (equally tender and capable in the childcare area!), and my welcome to them for a regular old visit, infants not included. But toddlers? Oh yes. Our resident toddler will be welcoming them as well. Around 6am. Cock-a-doodle-dooooo!

Mary and Phoenix, summer 2008

A picnic at the park

Uncle Ken is like St. Francis of Assisi, only with children. They flock to him and settle in for a snuggle.


  1. Sweet photos! Enjoy your time together!

  2. I want an Uncle Ken. I hope you all have a beautiful time!!! but actually, I think it's a given :)

  3. Bethany,
    Hooray for those people who seem to know how to handle the "just had a baby" situation. Now that I have had wonderful experiences in that dept. I hope that I will pass it on...the horror stories on this topic..well, they are HORRIBLE! :)
    Sounds like Rick's sister is so sweet!

  4. I didn't know you have twins! I'll bet that was an adventure!


Put it right here, babe!