By: Gloria Miles
I love sitting and listening to the stories of others. I like seeing the way their eyes grow distant as they recount tales from the years past. More than just words spoken, you see how their hands cut the air, sometimes flowing gently, other times stiffly chopping at an invisible threat. You see their lips tense when they get to a part that hurts them; you see their eyes brighten at an amusing anecdote. It's a performance and I the audience.
I love watching strangers stroll by on warm summer evenings, hand in hand. I wonder if they're parents, out on a date, acting as if they are high school sweethearts again. I wonder if they're discussing their children or the show they just watched or even politics. If nothing else, I'm witnessing a sliver of time, a small story in a lifetime.
Perhaps it's the bibliophile side of me, but I love listening to people, because it's the stories of their lives. More than that, it's the awareness that their stories are similar to mine. Or in any case, their stories become intermingled with mine because I am now affected by their stories. I have learned something about myself in hearing them.
These thoughts are the influence and inspiration behind Who Is Richmond Doulas. There's a list of doulas, all complete with headshots and a short bio . In this way, the website will give you a name with a face, even some qualifications. However, I wanted to go beyond that.
Who Is Richmond Doulas will be a series dedicated to all the women who decided to work a life on-call, or who set aside nights or days to help new parents traverse the tender and overwhelming newborn period, women who willingly skip holidays and other events in order to welcome a baby earth-side or help a new mother feed her baby and listen to her birth story.
I'd love for you all to get to know us a little better. Some of us had our babies at home, others at hospitals or birth centers. Some have no children at home and others are pregnant or still nursing. Some of us can sing and knit; others like to play sports and go camping. Our first featured doula will have her story posted Monday. Don't miss out!