One of the things you should know about me is I'm one hell of a storyteller! My friends and family request my stories by name at this point. "Tell the one about when you were little" "Tell them about the night you almost got arrested" and so on. I'm giving you some background because I want to tell you a story.......
Not so long ago and still in some parts of the world, there were no "doulas". There were only Comadres (literally co-mother in Spanish), Matronas, Midwives, Birth Attendants of all types, genders, races and ages. They were held in the highest esteem by everyone in the community! What a blessing to have a birth attendant move into your neighborhood! They are full of love, information, witchy magic, herbal remedies, stories about joyful births and babies just seemed to fall asleep in their calm arms.
When you needed to call on them, they would show up. To help a baby get earthside or to help a fellow parent hit with the stomach flu and 4 hungry children needing to be fed!
There was no need for "packages" or a long contract with percentages and due dates. How could you possibly price these things accordingly?!? Only a fool!
The community took care of this person because this person took care of the COMMUNITY.
When trees were ripe with fruit, they were left on the doorstep as an offering.
When someone made a particularly delicious pot of stew, sharing a bowl with the birth attendant down the street. There was no set transaction because this was not a transactional person. They were so much more than that. There was a certain intangible faith between both parties proven to be stronger than any contract or payment schedule.
And thats exactly how I want to practice! Is it unrealistic? Maybe? But so is most everything else really. Any money you choose to donate or contribute is being put to use on the 866-LA-BIRTH phone line, website and allowing me to work with clients on the widest spectrum of payment AND paying bills for myself and my family. For too long it's felt like you had to choose between the two as a birthworker but I have faith in my community.
And I'll continue to show up for it.