Life in the on-call lane: it's not for everyone, it's not for the faint of heart, but at My San Diego Placenta, it's our lives and it's what allows us to serve YOU fully. Wanna glimpse into life on-call as a birth worker? Then this post is for you.
Realizing I chose a career that would require me to be on-call didn't faze me at the onset. I thought, "how hard can this be? Stick close to my phone and when someone calls, answer it and go help them!" Yep, that's the gist of it. However, in practice it's an entire lifestyle adjustment and I had to learn like everyone who came before me, by living it.
Being on-call for birth means that you are committing to being available to a woman during her most probable birthing time. This can be as early as 36 weeks gestation but more typically begins at 37/38 weeks and can last as late as 42 weeks (and sometimes beyond). Essentially we are talking about at least a month blocked off for one client. We do typically take more than one client a month, and we tend to let them overlap too. Overlap?! Are you crazy?! This is why: we can take 5 women all due on the very same day and the likelihood of any of them sharing the same birthing date is very slim; birth is unpredictable! These babies decide when they want to come and some come quickly and some come slowly and some come early and some come late. We learned early on that we have no control of the process and the best practice to date has been exercising flexibility and openness.
Flexibility means that at any moment we could have to stop what we are doing and attend to a woman birthing, or pick up her placenta to begin processing it. It means we don't travel far from home. It means if we want to vacation or travel we plan it 6-12 months ahead of time. Flexibility means we run the risk of having to cancel or reschedule everything in life: appointments, meetings, parties, even sleep! It means everything has a backup plan: some family outings we need to take 2 cars in case Mom has to take off; some leadership commitments need a backup person in place in case you gotta miss; some tough-to-miss appointments need to be rescheduled- dentist, DMV, parent-teacher conferences; some wonderful things like kids recitals and family holidays are interrupted too.
Most people capture this reality and say, "No way!" And we get it, it's certainly not easy. We have to make a lot of contingencies and allowances and have amazing, loving and understanding people in our lives to make it work. (Thank you humble husband!! Thank you loving family!! Thank you reliable childcare!!) But the real reason it's so incredibly worth all this is because of the miracle of birth. One of the last completely untapped mysteries of our lives; The awe inspiring mechanism that decides when a baby is to be born and the flat out jaw-dropping truth of how a baby arrives so expertly from its mother's body. We whole-heartedly support and agree with the natural unfolding of this process, and not everyone you come across in this process will necessarily feel that way.
By being on-call we are honoring your journey from maiden to mother, honoring your baby's perfect timing and honoring the process of birth however it may unfold. You deserve the support and care of everyone around you, ready to serve when this magical time comes and that's important to us! You baby deserves the respect and love to be ushered into the world in this way too. So with all that you get from your doula or placenta encapsulation specialist that is tangible, we hope that you have comfort knowing these intangible beliefs that make our service so unique and our time caring for you more meaningful.
Tiffany Alblinger is a mom, doula and placenta encapsulation specialist who has long been writing informative articles on women's health surrounding the childbirth year. She serves all of San Diego, but provides the most rapid placenta encapsulation service to the Encinitas, Carlsbad, Poway and Solana Beach areas. Contact her about placenta encapsulation today!