Friday, 17 December 2010

Beginning on call

Today I go on call for my single mum.  This means that over the next four weeks I begin to earn the title of Doula, female slave.  

My diary now works on the premise that I can never be more than an hour away from my client.  I always ask my clients for a ninety minute window to allow for extraordinary circumstances - snow on the line anyone?  I will still attend parties, plan to go the the theatre, go to the cinema etc.  No point in putting life on hold.  Things can be cancelled and re-arranged, but births... well only baby knows when it's time to come.

I remember telling a school mum that I was a Doula and the fact that intrigued her most was that I would leave a party for a birth.  "But it's a party!" she cried.  There'll always be another party but there will never be another birth like this one.

This weekend my son will be celebrating his 18th birthday.  It's impossible that I should suddenly be old enough to have a son of this age.  Tonight it's pizza and a (legal) beer for him and the other 18 year olds.  Soft drinks for the under 18s (we hope).  I won't be in attendance.  This is about him and his mates!  I'll be having my cares massaged away at The Sanctuary and hoping to hear nothing from my lady.  This is my last opportunity to use my voucher.

Saturday will include a late lunch with a friend and then a Christmas party into the early hours.  My phone discreetly tucked into my bra on silent, ready to be checked periodically.

Sunday brings a pub lunch for the family so that we can celebrate the boy's birthday.  His aunts will be there with his cousins.  The godparents will also be in attendance and the boy has elected to bring two mates.  

I have told my lady my plans.  She says that, so far, all is quiet on the Western front.  Just a slight clear mucus discharge.  So I go ahead into my weekend ready to change my plans at an instant for her.  

I do hope that this baby, like most firsts, comes past the EDD.  Christmas is looming and I have a back up Doula on call because I want to spend the day with my own family, but that has been pre-arranged and is the only day that I will not be available. I am now on call until May with brief respite mid January.  

I'm often asked if being on call causes me stress, but why should it?  I know what I've committed to and what I can and can't do.  It will limit any drinking through the festive period, but that's no bad thing.  I believe that I'm at the births I'm meant to be at.  This little lady will come when we're all ready.

For now... where did I put my swimming costume?  I have my book.  Quick school run and I'm good to go.

No longer a baby. practically a man!

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