One of the most challenging parts of being a doula is living that “On Call” lifestyle. Often when I commit to an event, I must add the caveat, unless I’m at a birth. The best way to describe preparing to be on call comes from a meme I saw years ago. I have to get my squirrels out of the rave and my ducks in a row. While it has it’s challenges I love being on call because that means your special day is near. I live for that on call life because I get to do what I love and it just fills my cup helping mommas become mommas
Things I avoid
I live on one of the coolest streets in Williamsburg. My neighbors get together with wine and beer at least once a month, if not more in the warmer months. I’m usually the party pooper that goes home early to be in bed at a decent hour and I also don’t partake in more then one glass of wine. It’s not a big deal but it is something I tend to miss. I also will add I am a nutcase about my phone being charged. I have a portable battery and two chargers in my car. I take on call very seriously. My phone will NEVER die when I am on call.
Busch Gardens is very limited unless they have premier parking available. Last year they charged 20$ for upgraded parking so I hardly went when I was on call. This year I may invest in the more expensive pass for myself and keep the kids and hubby at the basic pass. We can also add Water Country USA to this. I don’t go as often because no one wants a doula that smells like a swimming pool at their birth.
Travel and driving around
On call life requires me to be within an hour of my clients place of birth/home. My mother lives in Virginia Beach so she’s still in my designated zone, unless I’m doing a birth at Henrico in Richmond, Virginia. However, when I do go visit I take a separate car from my hubby and kids, in case I have to head out before they are ready to leave.
My trunk is a sight to see while on call. It’s not as crazy as it used to be in Alabama. Virginia hospitals are stocked with birth balls so I don’t bring that around with me as much anymore. I do have an amazing picture of what my trunk used to look like! Here I carry a change of cloths, my bag, comfortable shoes and my C.U.B. I also make sure my tank is full or at least half full. I don’t want to worry about getting gas at 2 in the morning.
What does On Call mean for the client?
As your doula I go on call from 38 weeks until baby comes earth side. This means that I am available at any time of the day or night to answer your questions or leave to be with you. I again keep my phone on me 24/7, because I want to be 100% available to you. Should you go into labor prior to 38 weeks, I am usually still around and I do make myself available starting around 36 weeks if no vacations are planned, I just tend to be a little less neurotic about it. However, if you have preterm labor prior to 36 weeks I usually will have to use my back up doula if she is available which leads me to my next topic, my back up doula.
My back up doula
I have used a few back up doulas in the past but my favorite is Kasie Ballard. She’s a doula of my own heart. We have pretty similar doulaing styles. I also have used Liz Pellitier, she is one of my doula friends here and I think she is an amazing doula. I would never leave you with anyone I wouldn’t chose myself should I need a doula in the future. Kasie was trained with Stillbirthday Doula. She is president of Weighted Angels and also assists mothers who are experiencing a loss. Liz is certified with D.O.N.A. and is also a placenta encapsulator.
I hope I have given a comprehensive look into my on call world. If you have any additional questions please let me know. You can either email me from my contact page or you can post a question as a comment on my blog. Thanks for taking the time to read about The Secret Life of a Williamsburg doula on call.
Attending births at Mary Immaculate, Riverside, Henrico Doctors in Richmond Virginia, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Langley AFB, Sentara Careplex, Williamsburg Sentara, and at home on the Peninsula.