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Driving Home From a Birth: A Tale of Triumph, Whimsy, and the St. Paul Police

i Nov 16th No Comments by

As a birth doula, the drive home from a birth is meditative: replaying the birth, most often reliving the joy, sometimes a bit of regret. Driving home from Lori and Paul’s birth was pure joy—distracted joy.

Lori had, in her words, rocked her VBAC. It doesn’t get better than that for a doula. It is so rewarding when a birthing mom understands what a birthing rock star she was, how powerful she is, how forever awesome she will be.

Lori got it. She rocked her VBAC.

I was giddy as I drove home from St. John’s Hospital at 4:30 in the morning. Part of me realized that my euphoria was clouding my driving ability.
For those of us who have seen Bridesmaids, you may recall Annie driving home from Lillian’s shower, bemoaning the loss of her best friend to Helen: Annie’s car swerves all over the road as she chants, “Hi, I’m Helen. I’m Lillie’s new best friend, even though I’ve known her for 10 seconds.”

I believe my car was swerving, not because I’d lost a best friend, but because I just saw a woman do an amazing thing—and she gets it! She knows how amazing she is!

Wouldn’t it be funny if I got pulled over?

Whoa! Those are bright lights in my review mirror. Are those red and blue lights too?

I’m getting pulled over.
I actually smiled–did I have a story for the St. Paul Police.
The lights were so bright I covered my face. Would the officer think I was trying to hide my identity? A doula in the witness protection program, perhaps?

As I readied for the “Good morning, ma’am, a little distracted this morning?” I said a prayer, “Please God, please give me a female officer. Oh, while you’re at it, make her in her “childbearing years.”

Bingo.
“Good morning. A little distracted this morning?”
“Yes, officer. I’m a birth doula, and I’ve been up all night at a birth.”
“Is that why you ran that stop sign back there?”
I did?
“I did? Oh, I’m sorry.”
“License and registration, please.”
This is where I used some Doula Magic. Reaching into my bag, I made sure to send some lavender scent Officer Childbearing’s way. Calming to birthing moms. Calming to ticketing police officers.

She returned to my car a few minutes later, saying, “OK. Drive home safely, and get some sleep.”

“Thank you officer. Don’t you want to know how the birth was?”
A voice was saying, “Quit while you’re ahead.” But really, I was on a roll. “Yes. Is everybody OK?”
“Everybody is awesome! A beautiful baby girl.”
“Great, have a nice night.”
“Thank you, officer.”

Photo Credit: Vladimir Kostka

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