Doula-ing the Doula

I have a high tolerance for pain. The closest people to me know that about me. I didn’t cry when as a child I dislocated my knee as I played outside with friends. I was baffled when others around me (boys mostly) cried as if they felt the pain. I didn’t cry when I gave birth, even when (during my first labor) they gave me pitocin, pulled my baby out of me with a vacuum extractor, (ripping me severely) and sewed me up with no epidural and the shot the ob said he gave me to numb me before sewing me up, still hasn’t kicked in yet. I could go on but I think that’s graphic enough. Point is I don’t tend to cry when in pain.

Now, I’d be lying like a rug if I said I don’t cry. I’m the biggest cry baby you ever want to meet. I look at my family enjoying food I’ve prepared for them and break out in tears. I look at a commercial and cry. I’m sappy. 🙂

Oddly enough, the thing that has brought me to my knees so to speak is… a boil. Lame right? A flippin’ boil has had me crying, no, baaaaaawwwwwling like I’m being tortured. I’ve never had a boil in my 34 years so granted, I have no other boil experience to compare it to but come on, it’s a tiny mayonnaise filled bump, nothing to cry over right? Hmph, well I’ve cried for hours, 4 today to be exact and I feel stupid.

If I get worried or upset about something it usually manifests in an upset stomach, a few runs to the bathroom and I’m good but this… This, this little evil boil must be a manifestation of what’s gone on inside of me. This can’t just be me crying over a boil. I refuse to believe that. That’s just ridiculous! (Right?) I mean, I’ve not eaten or done anything but cry and lament. Over. A. Boil…

I don’t like to be vulnerable. Who does? I like to take care of others and love them through things. I’ve not been sick since my 13 year old was around 1 so I’ve not really been in a position to really need care and you know how it is, the caregiver has the toughest time letting others care for them but today, my family showed up in high yet simple fashion.

My husband had something else to do after work and wasn’t going to come home until late tonight. I had an appointment with a sweet client who I was eager to see, I just love my clients, but as the pain of a stupid boil (I just can’t get over this boil doing me like this) grew worse and worse, I called my husband and asked him to come home and rescheduled with my client. For a boil.

He came home and asked me to take a pain killer- which is not me at all. In the meantime, I felt like the hatred of the world was upon me and someone had a knife in me and just twisting it round and round- Seriously, I’d MUCH rather be in labor.

I pleaded with my client to reschedule and felt horrible, like I’m letting her down. I’m sure it’s not even that serious to her but for me it is, so of course some of the tears were because I felt I was letting her down. Yeah, I know, quite pitiful. Then as I cried, I got angry with myself for crying as people I love crossed my mind, people dealing with cancer, death and other serious stuff. I thought to myself, “How must they feel?” And WHY am I crying like this over a BOIL?!?!?!?! I really believe it’s much more than the boil, there’s a LOT going on in my life right now that I won’t bother you with in this post. I think it’s just all coming to a head. (No pun intended)

Anyway, I cried and ranted crazily for a while until my husband flipped out on me a little saying he couldn’t take it. At this point I told him he needed to be patient with me, patient like I am with people- (which is a set up because I’m the most patient person we both know) and just like that he shifted gears. I continued to rant and apologize and cry and go on and on about others facing real illness and here I am “acting a fool” over a boil. This went on with him rubbing my back and listening and just being there for me. Then he told me to take that painkiller and lay down till it took effect. In the meantime I’m in excruciating pain so I asked him to read Psalm 91 to me from my NKJ Bible and he did it and I can’t even describe what I felt (besides pain). I love various versions of the Bible so I asked him to get our daughters and I asked them (apologizing profusely for interrupting their lives) to read the same chapter to me in the Amplified and Message translations. It’s weird how I can be so secure in God’s love for me yet so insecure in knowing that these people in this house must love me at least a little as well, smh. I really felt I was bothering them. In my heart I know they were happy to be there for me but I just kept apologizing like a fool with them looking at me like I was insane. Anyway, my girls read the chapter to me as well and it was wonderful. I won’t even try to describe what I felt and feel because I can’t. Suffice it to say, it was beautiful, immeasurable, and absolutely amazing. (That was my lame attempt at trying) My oldest even read more to me when I asked her if she could read Psalm 23 as I lay there writhing in pain that actually subsided as they read to me. It was then that it dawned on me that they were doula-ing me. They were collectively doula-ing me and it was ok for them to do so. It felt nice being on the other side of it for a change. I thought about what some of my clients have said to me and now I understand more clearly what it is to be doula-ed. I loved how no one told me to stop crying. No one told me to shut up with the rambling or moaning and they read as much as I wanted them to with not even a hint of annoyance that I was taking them from what they were doing or had planned to do. They were exactly what I needed them to be in that moment and I’m so grateful.

So the painkiller has kicked in, tears are dried, (for the moment) and now they’re off doing their own thing, the baby just asked for bread and butter, the middle girl and oldest are cleaning the kitchen (voluntarily, yay me!) and my husband is watching one of his favorite shows. They’re all going on with what they’re doing, not realizing the impact they’ve just made in my life. They don’t have a clue how enormous and vitally important the deposit of love they’ve just given is to me. They have no idea how this one act of kindness towards me will prompt me- and I’m sure God- to shower them with blessings. I’m so blessed.

One thought on “Doula-ing the Doula

  1. Ask and you shall receive. My girls and son-in-law are always there for you. As you often remind me, others can’t read your mind and automatically know what you need. Look at how responsive your family is!!!!!!!!! That is L-O-V-E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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