The Doulas of North America define a doula this way:
the word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.Well, substitute "scared out of his pants pooper" for "mother" and "pooping" for "postpartum", and that pretty much describes my day.
I provided continuous (and I do mean continuous) physical, emotional and informational support to my son before, during, and just after he pooped in the potty today.
I've never used a doula for my births - I've used an anesthesiologist and prayed for really nice nurses - but the scene in our bathroom this afternoon is pretty much how I imagine it would go.
Simon could be heard screaming things like:
"I can't do it!"Meanwhile, I sat holding his hands, rubbing his back, giving him sips of poopy juice (my homemade cocktail of prune juice, apple juice, and Miralax), and could be heard saying things like:
"I won't push it out!"
"I'm scared I'm scared I'm scared!"
"I can NOT do this!"
"I just want to take a nap!"
"You can do this."And then, after hours of bowel labor, in one noisy splat, the potty was full and we jumped around rejoicing and admiring what he produced.
"It's almost over."
"A few more pushes."
"When you get the feeling, just push"
"It will come out - don't fight it."
It was exhausting, and I'm not sure the end result was as miraculous as what official doulas get to experience daily, but it sure felt like it at the time.