It seems hard to believe but here we are. 365 days ago I was supposed to teach a weekend prenatal class that was cancelled at the last minute. In the early days of the pandemic women’s birthing rights were thrown out the window. Partners were banned from the hospital. Women were forced to labour unsupported by loved ones and welcome their newborns by themselves. Nurses stepped up, taking over the role of partner and doula. Fortunately hospitals took a breath and realized that it was possible to protect their staff and honour their clients needs at the same time and partners returned, first to the birthing room and then to the recovery room as well. Breastfeeding classes were cancelled and lactation consultants were sent to the bedside for individual support. Zoom became everyone’s new best friend, allowing us to see each other, to teach each other, to continue to support new parents in a new and different way. Different, but still good. A year ago I would encourage partners to massage their pregnant person’s aching back by demonstrating on a willing student – today I stuffed a couple of pillows in a pair of yoga pants and made my own partner. People laugh, but they learn.
Last week I got my first vaccination. I feel lucky, guilty, happy. I feel like I’m jumping the queue. I would have preferred letting my parents go first. I feel fortunate that I have access that other doulas do not have. Perhaps people will feel comfortable letting me hold their babies again soon.
Keep safe, keep washing your hands, keep your distance.
Spring is coming.