What I love most is infusing women with confidence in their body. I love meeting a woman who has asked me to be her doula, who is maybe scared, or unsure, or untrusting of the process of birth, and helping her to transform herself. i love seeing the momment where she realizes that she can do it! Or when I look at her to realize that she may still be nervous, but there is a sparkle of excitement in her eye too! I love being the person who really believes in her, and seeing this in her doula can give her strength to do what she needs to do.
What I find hard: I find being diplomatic in the hospital hard sometimes. I really am very sweet and kind and lovely to the medical staff. I try very hard to listen to them to let then know I value their knowledge and respect their job. I appreciate them. BUT sometimes this is super hard. many times I do not agree with their assessment, or their values of what a birth "should" look like or their hospital procedure. Sometimes I feel like yelling "no fair!! hey!! seriously, this sucks!! (or worse!)" But I don't , because for one I am not a doctor with a medical degree, and also, bringing that anger into the hospital room does not do anyone any good, and three, if I make all the staff my mortal enmy, they will make it very hard and uncomfortable for me to be there, and if i can not comfortably be there, I can not help my ladies! Sometimes this gets hard.
Advice: Learn how to take care of yourself! It is very important. Learn what and when you need to eat, and what yoru stragety will be for getting this food to your mouth if you can't leave your momma. I eat a lot of soda crackers, because i find i need carbs or I feel neausous, and I can shove one into my mouth between ctx. Or cut a protien bar into little cubes! Learn how to cat nap, learn when you are at your limits and need to take 10 min to yourself... find a way to do it. Can you call in another doula for 1/2 an hour? Can the moms sister or husband hold things together for a few? Sometimes this 10 min will allow you to be a great doula for the next 10 hours!
Also, allow yourself to be inexperienced. Don't expect yourself to be the same as the doula with 10 years under her belt. Accept that you will always do teh best you can do, keep learning and pushing yourself and growing. But let yourself be where you are now. Forgive yourself for saying "I don't know, let me find out" And believe that even a young doula, even with limitations on her skill set and knowledge base, can still provide wonderful support. You always have your heart and your kindness and your intuition!