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Work Blunders: A Year in Review

The top 3 most ridiculous things I’ve done or said as a doula in the last year.  WARNING:  may not be for the weak-stomached and if you’re a current client, you might lose complete confidence in me.

1)  I chased a placenta down a hospital hallway.  It was almost midnight and I hadn’t had anything to drink or eat since noon.  The client asked me to take her placenta home so she could get it later.  Staggering under the glaring lights, I walked into the hall holding my birth ball, doula bag, and odd tupperware-like container of placenta.  I dropped the container which then rolled an enormous distance past the nurse’s station.  I dropped my bag and ball and bounded like a toddler after the container much to the amusement of one OB and several nurses.  Thankfully the container remained closed.  Could have been a disaster.

2)  I made up a story about marshmallows.  I had a client who seemed to respond well to mental imagery during contractions.  I was doing ok at first with the usual “Imagine you’re in the center of a field on a breezy day…”  Then, after so many of those, I went blank.  She was lying on white sheets with fluffy white pillows so I said something so embarrassing like “You’re climbing a mountain and when you get to the top, you realize you’re on the edge of a bowl of marshmallows.  And you spread your arms and fall into them.  Smell the powdery sugar.”  And if the image wasn’t bad enough, the client followed a kosher diet and I couldn’t remember if marshmallows were kosher!  It was awful. 

3)  I wiped meconium poop with one hand while eating chick-fil-a with the other.  I was starving.  And the glorious saint of a dad called his mother to bring me a chick-fil-a sandwich.  It didn’t arrive until the mom was pushing so it got dropped in the shuffle.  During the birth, my entire chest got covered with amniotic fluid.  As soon as baby was breastfeeding, I grabbed my sandwich and started munching.  Then baby pooped on mom’s hand.  So, wearing a saturated shirt and with my half-eaten sandwich in one hand, I used my other hand to clean her up with wet wipes.  A few years ago, that scene would have really bothered me.

It was a good year.

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6 responses »

  1. Denise Robinson

    Sounds great, Julie! Those aren’t blunders, just signs of a GREAT doula who works at it with all her heart!

    Reply
  2. More than great, absolutely amazining! #3, yeah, thats me. 🙂 I’m just amazed you were still about to finish your sandwich!!

    Reply
  3. Yeah, you just sound extremely devoted to me! When I read the headline of the placenta one, I thought you were going to say the hospital staff had accidentally taken the placenta to dispose of it and you had to run to get it back from them. But I guess they usually dispose of it in the delivery room.

    Reply
  4. what a perfect post! i so needed that laugh to start my day! i agree, sounds like dedication to me:)

    Reply
  5. LOVE IT! what a year! Thanks for make my year successful too. You are a great doula. I recommended you to my friend working on her 3rd natural birth (usually in a hospital).

    Reply

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