My hindsight is definitely 20/20, but my foresight nailed it! I have never felt more clear about the fact that I was called to be a Doula/lactation counselor/birth mentor after my last birth.
Let me back up and share the story of my clients James and Melissa. For about a month I had been receiving calls from my good friend who is also a childbirth educator and post partum depression specialist, family counselor Maria Zeitz. She is not only amazing, she understands the value of team work. She told me about an extraordinary couple that she had been working with, James and Melissa. She expressed to me that they may need some of my expertise. She connected James with my Rocking Dads™ class. For those of you that don’t know of it, Rocking Dads™ is a group class of about 30 expecting new dads and I work with them for about 4 hours. I walked out to the hall and I saw a couple with canes for the blind walking as they embraced each other heading towards my classroom. I quickly came up and introduced myself (I have chills right now reliving the moment). It took me back to my childhood. I volunteered at the Braille Institute of Santa Barbara while I was in high school. My father’s mother, my grandmother was blind. I was excited to have James in my class. The other men in the class really found strengh in James’s attitude and confidence that was so humble and loving. He was so committed and excited to meet his baby and be the best partner he could be. I was amazed. It was that day that we knew we would work together, I was honered to be chosen as their Dudela!
We quickly did a couples class privately together so they would understand my method Facilitating Fearless Birth™.
Within a couple of days we were at the hospital and the beautiful Lilah was earth side! Now I am NOT going to tell their birth story, but I can say that it was an all time high in my life, personally and professionally. I can say that they were both amazing and with a little help that baby latched like a champ. The value of skin to skin was taken to a new level.
Watching James and Melissa get to know their baby reinforced my belief that using all of your senses really can be forgotten by those of us who have sight. Almost 7 million Americans are known to be blind, that does not stop life, love, and joy. Watching the them both touch, kiss, and fall in love with Lilah was such an honor. I am humbled to the power of love and joy (damn it I’m crying now and I can’t see the screen, hold on).
Ok I’m back and I can see what I am writing now.My point of sharing this with you is that when a baby enters the world it is a powerful experience that regardless of a lack of sight or other obstacles, love always beats them. I can not thank them enough for choosing me and trusting me to help them with their journey. I am blessed and grateful.
I would also like to thank Dr. Margaret Kelly and Dr. Harmon Kelly for the respect and care they provided this lovely couple.
Tips for getting to know your baby using your available senses:
Feel your baby’s skin on yours and acknowledge your proximity
Pay note to your baby’s breathing and your breathing
Smell your baby
Kiss your baby
Look at your baby
If I can help with anything, give me a call, Doula in San Antonio! 210-683-0318
About the Author
As the father of Eva (9) and Daisy (5), Brian is no stranger to this world of babies and parenting. Both of Brian’s daughters were born by emergency cesarean delivery. Brian assisted his first birth at 19 years old and knew this was his calling. Brian holds a degree in radiology, studied biology and chemistry with an emphasis in pathophysiology and owns BabyVision Ultrasound, San Antonio’s leader in pre-natal imaging. Having worked with over 19,000 expectant families, Brian has taught many childbirth classes and currently teaches the incredibly popular Rocking Dads and Facilitating Fearless Birth. Due to his love of birth and babies, he proudly entered childbirth education as a “Birthing From Within” mentor and San Antonio’s only actively practicing male-doula (or “Dude-La” Brian says, being a surfer from California). Brian and the girls live with their domestic partner Alejandra Rodriguez. “I really love it when the switch is flipped and I know that the new parents really grasp what’s about to happen. That is the moment they are ready to own it!” Brian