I thought I’d write a post about what it’s like to be a Doula in West Virginia, rural WV. Including my work as a student midwife attending homebirths as well, since the experience isn’t all that different.
Today, for example, I’m sitting at my desk. I live on a mountaintop and I have a fantastic view from here. I’m watching rain and clouds and mist roll by in turns with sun; I’m hearing the winds whip around my house and listening to my wind-chimes go a little crazy. I am also obsessively checking my phone, feeling paranoid about the stormy conditions’ potential to knock out my satellite internet which provides me with the ability to use my cell phone in the dead-zone that I call home. I’m on call for a birth with a client who is past her due date; she lives three hours away.
Yup, you read that correctly: three hours.
Two weeks ago I drove two and a half hours for a single prenatal meeting. Then the next week I drove another three and a half for a home visit with a midwife.
Those of you who don’t live in West Virginia, or don’t live rurally, or practice as a doula in a hospital probably think this is insane. Regardless, this is how we live. Doulas, midwives, and birth workers in this mountainous state not only drive what seem unreasonable distances, we also drive them over terribly maintained mountainous roads and bridges that should have been replaced 20 years ago. We drive through floods and snow and hail.
We do all of this because we believe that you deserve the best for your birth.
So back to my desk, where I’m still updating my website and adding facebook posts to my page and catching up on some studying. I’m looking through the window at branches twitching wildly in the wind, and waiting for someone to tell me they’re in labor.