We all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and my biggest strength is recognizing my weaknesses. To that end, my last post on how everyone is a doula prompted some self-reflection: Why am I not a doula?
It didn’t take me long to find the answer.
I did some research into the role of doulas, and it's now abundantly clear to me that I would BEYOND suck at this job. Here are some questions The American Pregnancy Association suggests you ask a potential doula, and here are my answers:
Question: What training have you had?
Answer: Duh! None. I’m terrified of and completely disgusted by vaginas, including my own. Please don't make me talk to you about your vagina. And especially don't make me picture anything coming out of your vagina. Wait. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Question: What services do you provide?
Answer: I'm a pretty good listener and I can keep a secret. I usually offer to pay for lunch and I'm punctual. I can also maybe help you if you’re having a custody battle with your partner over the baby. That's basically it. Also, at the birth I'll probably scream "HOLY SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT??!?!" and/or "CALL 911!! CALL 911!!" a few dozen times.
Question: What are your fees?
Answer: Nothing. I'm a firm believer that free advice is worth what you pay for it. Unless you have a baby that I didn't have to help you pull out of your vagina. Then you owe me a million dollars (here's the dotted line). I've always wanted to own a condo on Maui. That's why I do this!
Question: Are you available on my due date?
Answer: That depends. If you call me after 5:30 p.m. on a weeknight, there's a good chance I'll be too intoxicated to drive anywhere. Same with Saturday night. So as long as you have your baby during the day or on a Sunday, we should be all set. Unless I'm on vacation or there's an Unsealed Alien Files marathon on cable. Then you're shit out of luck.
Question: What is your philosophy regarding childbirth?
Answer: My number one philosophy on childbirth is to never again experience it myself. Other than that, my philosophy is to have a healthy baby using as many drugs and with as little awareness of what's happening as possible. Also, the second the baby comes out, the first thought every mother should have after thanking the universe for the miracle of a breathing infant is "Thank God I'm not pregnant anymore," followed quickly by "I want sushi."
Question: Would you be available to meet with me before the birth to discuss my birth plan?
Answer: Again, that depends. If we can meet at a bar with $13 signature cocktails, then I am totes available.
Question: What happens if for some reason you are not available at the time of my birth?
Answer: You'll have a much better birth.