The hardest part of a doula's life is not the work. It's the waiting for the work. Not waiting to get clients (though that used to be a concern) but waiting for the clients to have their babies. When I am on call, which is probably about 75% of the year, I am constantly thinking about Plan B. Who will pick Violet up from school, do we have a spare car seat in the car, did I take a shower, who will watch the kids if my husband is at a game and cannot be reached, can I have a glass of wine tonight...you get the picture. When I am on call I plan the morning out before I go to sleep and then do it all over again in the morning when I wake up still in my bed, birth bag still in the closet.
It's very stressful.
Right now I have one client who is a week past her due date, and one due tomorrow. Tomorrow is Violet's last day of preschool, tomorrow night a wedding, Saturday a bartending shift and Sunday a barbecue? How many of these things will I miss?
Here is a perfect example: My phone just rang. Client A called, due tomorrow. Her water just broke, the midwives told her to go to sleep and wait for some contractions (I love midwives!). But...Client B called earlier, already plenty dilated, 41+ weeks, went to have an acupressure massage tonight. What happens if they both go? I have my back-up on standby, but after many months of getting to know these woman and their partners, I would feel AWFUL if I had to miss either of their births. I know it happens, but I really didn't want it to happen to me.
See what I mean? It's very stressful.