You might notice that our birth doula care package (and anyone else's) includes "24/7 on-call support" or something similar. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory, right? You get the gist of what's meant by an in-home prenatal visit, or continuous labor support, or access to a lending library. All the things that go into birth doula care. But on-call care might be a little fuzzier. Are you paying us to sit around and binge watch Breaking Bad until you go into labor? No, not at all (but hey, we wouldn't object!). Here's what it does mean for us to be on-call for you:
At AustinBorn, we count ourselves super duper fortunate because as a team, we share a call rotation for labor support. This means every month, we get a break to fully rest and recuperate. But the week that we're on-call looks like this:
- We go to sleep with our phone every night. No, seriously.
- Our sleep might very well be disrupted not once, but several times throughout the night while a mama is in early labor. That's what we're here for!
- Our entire family/household is on-call while we are. When we're at a birth, someone else has to be responsible for caring for our children, taking pets to the vet, hosting a birthday party solo, and all the other things.
- We don't know how long we'll be gone. Not only can we be called out at any time, because our labor support is continuous (and doesn't stop at the end of our shift) we might be gone for 5 hours or 20.
- We might miss an event or holiday. Babies come when they please so when your doula is on-call, she can't totally commit to plans. Often we'll accept social invitations with the caveat of "I'll be there...unless I'm at a birth." Our friends are used to it :)
- We reschedule appointments. Whether it's prenatal & postpartum visits with clients or our own need for a haircut, everything on the calendar is fluid.
- We don't leave town. Even a seemingly short weekend trip, say to nearby Dallas or Houston, is typically off the table.
- We don't have more than a glass of wine. And we sure do like our wine! ;)
Yes, we live our lives with phone in hand and one foot out the door but when the moment comes and we're on our way to care for you in labor, we couldn't be happier. You're about to meet your baby and this particular moment, this particular birthday for this one baby, will only happen once. For us, it makes the somewhat chaotic and never dull life of being on-call worth every minute.