Submitted by guest blogger and postpartum doula Erica Aday
You might think doula work is all about the babies, but one of the best things about being a postpartum doula is getting to know and work with other doulas. The First Daze & Nightzzz doulas are an extraordinary and interesting team of women. Among us are devoted moms, daughters, grandmothers, wives and friends who do amazing things like practice yoga, run marathons, extreme bird-watch, downsize into a “tiny house”, paint murals, and travel the world. And yet, with such diverse interests and backgrounds, we are all united by our desire to help families adjust to and enjoy the journey of parenthood. Each of us has our own unique life story and has traveled a different path to become part of our community of caregivers. The variety of knowledge and experiences we share with each other allows us to continue to grow professionally and better serve families. We come together as often as possible to acknowledge and build upon these connections over good food, wine and laughter.
Together we enjoy celebrating our clients’ milestones, like when we witness a family transition from “survival mode” to being happy and having healthy routines that include better sleep for the babies and parents. Sometimes we show our support to the families with extra hugs, sometimes we leave encouraging notes, and sometimes we find offbeat ways to bring lightness into the home.
Not long ago, after I’d spent several nights each week with a long-standing twin family, I noticed that in the darkness of the nursery, a giant stuffed giraffe looked rather lifelike. At times it creepily appeared to watch over me as I cared for the twins throughout the night. When I snapped a picture of it and forwarded it to our team of doulas, they agreed that they noticed it as well. That’s when the fun began.
As the parents began to feel more confident and comfortable in their roles, the energy and mood around the house began to lighten. At the same time, the giraffe took on a life of its own. Each night it changed locations around the nursery, surprising doulas and parents alike. It wore hats, bibs, bunny glasses with a boa, and even dressed as a Jedi warrior, complete with light saber and a sign proclaiming “May the Force be with you!”
One night, I entered the nursery to discover the giraffe straddling the top of the crib like a rodeo cowboy, wearing sunglasses and a cloth diaper kerchief. I emailed the previous night’s doula to congratulate her for almost causing me to wake sleeping babies with my laughter. Lo and behold, we had new players in town. Turns out, the parents had joined in on the antics, too!
The pranks eventually slowed down, and the doulas and parents both agreed that the healthy dose of humor they provided was much appreciated!
We postpartum doulas are very serious about helping families thrive and discover the joy in parenting, and we’ll continue to find fun and creative ways to do so!