You sit with a doula across from you. It’s your first meeting, and you already can tell that you love her. You ask, “So tell me how long have you been a doula?”
She responds, “I took my first training February of 2015!”
“Wow almost 3 years ago! How many births have you been to?” You eagerly await her number hoping she’s been to exactly 325 births in 3 years.
“What if Godzilla shows up?” Her reply makes you laugh.
As a doula I have no problem telling you how many births I’ve been to. But that number seems to matter to you a lot more than it matters to me. I’m sorry that you’ve been lied to, because the number of births I’ve been to doesn’t matter.
What will you do with the information of how many births I’ve been to? What does that number mean to you? Do you know why you even want to know?
You will have a unique birth experience unlike any other birth any other person has ever had. That’s the truth. No single birth is the same.
To think that I’m a better doula if I’ve attended 325 births isn’t accurate. I’m not going to have experienced your birth, or supported you before. No one else has.
What makes me a great doula is my ability to see you as a unique human that I have never served before. You are having a unique birth that I have never witnessed before. It would do us both a disservice to assume you were like a past client, having a birth like that client.
What makes me a great doula is that I can attune to you. I have a knowledge in birth and postpartum that exceeds the average population. I have the ability to listen and hear what you say without assuming what you mean. I have training in making you feel supported and instilling strength in you.
Those skills make me a great doula.
How many births I’ve been to doesn’t really matter. It won’t change your outcomes, or our relationship. If you feel a great connection with me, if you feel validated and understood, if you feel safe in my presence- then I’m the right doula for you.
The joke here is that some things we can’t plan for, and some things just don’t matter.
What would we do if Godzilla showed up to your birth room? I can promise you no other doula has experienced this one before. But any great doula would handle it the same. They would attune to you first, and then handle it in the way that would work best for your personality. I might not have attended a ton of births, but if I know how to deal with Godzilla I think I can handle anything else.