I had the pleasure of working with Lucy's mama prenatally to get some special photographs that she envisioned. I love to see the progression from expecting mother, to her process through labor and delivery, to her adjusting to home life with 3 children.
I joined them in labor where she was calm and collected and moved with her body to rock her baby out.
Lucy's first latch! She's a champ!
Lucy, 2 weeks old at our postpartum visit. She was sweet and quiet and she has 2 big brothers that love her very much!
It's been a while since I set foot in my gym. No excuses. Just haven't made the time. It had been so long that I was noticing structural changes my partner noticed months ago. Whoops! So to say I was a little less then comfortable on the treadmill was an understatement. So as I'm huffing and puffing along the doula in me came out. Saying "I can do this," and "One step at a time." "Don't over do it. Keep breathing!" I started considering hiring a doula for my gym time.
Of course she would meet me at my home if I wasn't ready to go to the gym yet. She would gently encourage me. Maybe give some great massage and suggest some positions to get ready. "Hi, there!" She would greet me with a comforting smile. "How are you feeling?" She would listen to how my night went and how I'm feeling about going to the gym. She would ask if I've been hydrating and if I've eaten a good complex carb meal.
When I decided it was time and I was ready to go to the gym she would join me there. After checking in and putting my things away in a locker and changing into my gym shoes she suggested we start with a walk. She walked by my side on the treadmill next to me. We got a good pace going and it felt nice. As things sped along I started to get uncomfortable and she assured me that it was my body just getting used to this next phase.
When I was done with walking I sat down to rest for a few minutes. She reminded me rest was good but I needed to get into good positions to stay on track and keep progressing. So I went over to the weight machines so I could sit but still continue to work. As I moved she corrected my positioning, and reminded me to keep breathing and relax my face. Deep breaths in and out. Smooth and even movements. Rest in between reps. She told me I was doing great and handed me my water. I told her I was feeling tired and weak. She pulled out a honey stick from her bag and offered it to me. A sucked it down and I felt a little energy boost!
Time for some more cardio. We went over to the Elliptical. I hate the Elliptical. It's hard and just feels wrong. She tells me that she knows it's hard. But it's worth it. And I'm almost done. She sets me up with some motivational music to focus on. She told me not to fight it, just give in and let it take over me. So I got on. It doesn't feel good. It's getting harder. She told me again that it's worth it. She told me to let go. Go into myself. Find my strength. My hips swaying from side to side. I'm building up a sweat. I have moments of intensity, but I push through. She tells me how great I'm doing. She says "Look at you! YOU are a rockstar!" Again she hands me my water. She reminds me to not get ahead of myself, but stay in the moment. I'm quiet except for a few moans and grunts. I'm almost there. So close. She is here with me, she believes in me. I watch the time count down and FINALLY I am finished! I'm done. The machine shows me my results. I climb off. I feel tired and overwhelmed but proud. Look at what I did! Look at what I've accomplished!
My doula is beaming. She knew I could do it. She takes my picture so I can remember this moment. She gives me more water and a cold cloth for my face. She tells me I was awesome. She gives me a gentle back rub and hands me a granola bar. I'm ravished. I shower and she has my clothes ready for me when I get out. She again tells me that I did great and to call her if I need anything and would contact me in the morning.
How great would this be? Sure, I can workout without a doula... But why would I want to?!!
Photographer, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Intactivist, Seamstress, Partner to my long time boyfriend, and Mindful Mama.