Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Scent of a Mother

I very rarely write "down-beat" posts, so I thought I would give it a try. I am tired, very tired. I spent 12 hours at the hospital with a doula-client last night/this morning who was having contractions. It turns out that this sweet lady was sent home b/c her labor "stalled out". In fact, one of the labor and delivery nurses actually told her that she "actually wasn't considered to be in labor" (never tell a woman who is contracting that she is not really in labor). As it is my privilege to attend these births, it is also a reality that they leave me, and my family, drained. And sometimes I question, "Why am I doing this?".
My darling Sophia was less-than-thrilled to see me go last night. She was teary-eyed and pretty downcast about Mommy heading out to be a doula. She often takes an article of my clothing to bed with her for comfort. Well, last night she took two... my night shirt and my watch.
Needless to say, after a night of interrupted sleep and sentimentality (Elias woke 9 times, but quickly settled back in on Mike's shoulder each time), everyone was thrilled to see me stumble in the house this morning, albeit groggy. After throwing my arms around my husband (aka "Mr. Mom" once in a while, whilst I'm out "doulaing") I scooped up my little baby bird and had the other two wrapped around each leg. I shuffled over to the sofa and gave them all what WE were all in need of- Mommy Love.
Although we venture into each other's realms/roles quite often and fervently stick to our motto, "hometeam" (I'm sorry, I married a jock and this is kind of our thing when referring to picking up where the other leaves off) we both enjoy returning to where we fall naturally- Mommy as Mom and Daddy as Dad. Although he is darn good at holding down the fort (sometimes I am envious that he can do it all and then some while I'm gone) we both admit to lacking the "it factor" that the other brings to their primary role. This is seen in major ways like Mike not being able to breastfeed Elias or me not wanting to spend each day away from the children OR small things like my making oatmeal differently (by different, the kids mean better!) than Mike and Mike being way better at "bear wrestling" with the kids than I am).
Sophia noted that I "didn't smell like Mommy" as we sat entwined on the sofa this morning. She said I smelled like the hospital, then quickly retrieved my night shirt and said, "Mmmm, now this smells like you". Nicolas quickly leaned in for a sniff and agreed, "You smell like a doctor". "Well, she is a doctor Nicolas", were the words of his sister. I gently reminded them that "No", Mommy is not a doctor, she is a doula, but first and foremost, I am Mommy.

1 comment:

Mama Sarita said...


I will give you a ring. That is a big big bummer. At least they gave her time.
I share your overwhelmedness (is that even a word) at the enormity of being a doula. Some days I think 20 hrs a week at starbucks would be easier.

anyway, I hope you got some rest today.