Guest Post for Judy Douglas: Mary, If I Was Your Doula
On Christmas Eve a few years ago, I had the privilege of guest posting for my dear friend, Judy Douglass. Judy and her sweet husband Steve lead the ministry for Cru. I had the opportunity to get to know Judy thirteen years ago when we moved overseas. My good friend, Angie Bentley, was Judy’s traveling assistant. Judy, Angie and I ended up together at conferences in 5 different countries. I joke that God sent them around the world to encourage me as I was learning to live cross-culturally, but I think it was actually true. A fellow Texan, Judy and I share a love of many things including bluebonnets, pralines, and the Texas Longhorns. Judy is a gifted and seasoned writer and is one of my biggest cheerleaders as I attempt to share my heart via the written word.
Shortly after our wedding, I began devouring books about midwifery and childbirth. By the time the line on the pregnancy test turned blue three years into our marriage, I knew the path I wanted to travel. A spinal tap during high school had left me more terrified of another needle in my back than I was of birthing a baby.
We secured a brilliant midwife and took a childbirth class. We also hired a doula, a woman who serves a pregnant woman and her partner before, during, and after birth with physical and emotional support. Our doula, Heather, helped us transform the sterile hospital room into a sacred space as we greeted our first son. An international move determined that our next two boys were birthed in different places. Thankfully, both were welcomed with the assistance of a doula.
Five years ago, the served became the serving when I was invited to assist at a birth for a dear friend whose husband was set to be deployed. Wholeheartedly embracing her request, I pursued formal training as a doula: classes, more books, papers, and eventually, many more births.
And you, Mary.
You are never far from my mind as I attend women and their husbands in extreme vulnerability. Usually portrayed as meek and mild, you were the traveling teenager who birthed God in a stable. You helicopter momed Jesus into his first miracle. You chose eye contact, not safety, as you watched your son brutally die. There were so many opportunities to segue to the easy. You chose the hardest way. You were instinctively courageous. You always stayed. Bravest one. Mary.
Please follow me to Judy’s Blog to read the rest…