Doula UK introduction workshop 14th April / leaving your baby for the first time

I'm writing this on the train on the way to London for the introduction to being a doula day, led by Ali Edwards. 

I didn't know her name at the time, but Ali held my sleeping bub during the Doula UK conference in March when I couldn't hold on any longer and had to wee. I felt pretty bad handing over his heavy sleepy body as I was making her miss some of the talk. It was the first time Auden was transferred to a stranger and stayed asleep, and maybe it was because he was wiped out, but I think it was partly due to Ali's lovely calm warmth. 

On reading that she would be leading the course I felt immediately less nervous and so glad that I would see a friendly face. 

I did a little YouTube search for her last night and watched the most beautiful video of her speaking about infant loss. It will not be an appropriate view for everyone, but if you are a doula I would recommend watching it. 

I'm so looking forward to hearing from her and meeting and listening to other potential doulas.  

On a different note, this will be the longest I have spent away from my baby. He is 6.5 months today and the longest I have spent from him is 3 hours. I start getting angsty around the 2 hour mark, even if I stay where I am and continue to have fun. Today will be 10 hours. 

I have written here about our journey to me having breaks away from Auden and therefore breaks from breastfeeding. 

It will be a full day (8am until 5.30pm) of formula today. Fortunately his week of bad teething appears to be over for the time being. 

And my thoughts turn to, "what right do I have to make my baby cry (potentially) to do something for fun, well for business, but business I want to do, not the one that means I can stay with him until he is one". I'm spending my free time, my almost only time of leisure writing about my guilt and fear. But maybe that is good, perhaps I need to do that too. I have books in my bag, untouched on the train. 

Ive asked them not to tell me if he is really bad because it will take me a hellish 2 hours to get back to them.

Here goes... 

Way home...  

So, I could knock you out with my boobs. I took a bottle with me and have been hand expressing, but my god, it is not enough! Fortunately I've never been overproductive so although I felt a bit like I was being sat on, it wasn't too painful.

And the workshop? If you are not sure what a doula does, or if you know but you want to know if it's right for you - this is the one for you. 

We sat in a beautiful room and listened to Ali, eachother and got the chance to be listened to in turn. We gathered our questions, some quite vague and high level, others getting into the nitty gritty practicalities. 

I would say that out of the 12 of us: 5 were in the initial stages of considering doula-ing - maybe on maternity leave or looking for a change in career but not sure what, 5 were already working in the world of birth (breastfeeding counsellors, hypnobirthing practitioners, antenatal teachers) and seemed more inclined to be a professional doula, the last two were waiting for their midwifery training to start and checking out other options. 10 were mothers, 2 were not. Our ages ranged from around 23 to 60.

The day I booked the workshop I had been pondering a new way. I knew I wanted to work with new mothers, I knew I was fascinated by birth and pregnancy. I didn't know how it would work, I just knew that if I didn't do something right then that I might never.

Since that day and between this I: bought 16 books, a ticket to the Doula UK conference, a website and incorporated a company. So I was a little more set in my decision today than on first booking it. 

Just being with Alison and listening to other women's experiences for a whole day was an utter joy. It set my mind even more firmly that this is what I'm going to be doing for the time being. 

Can't wait to get home to my baby now...