This past Friday, co-owner Lindsey Hanna and I had the privilege of being featured on the news on WREG Channel 3's Live at 9 segment. We went on the air with less than two-days' notice to give some expert insight into a viral story about a woman's right to her placenta. Even though Doulas of Memphis doesn't offer placenta encapsulation as a service, we are well-educated on the topic and were able to shed light on what drives women to this practice, the bigger support picture, and how doulas can offer many of the same reported benefits in a more tangible way. Click here to watch!
The news segment went extremely well and we had a great time, but throughout the whole process I couldn't help but relate my experience of being on the news to what it feels like to give birth in a hospital for the first time. My husband makes fun of me for relating so many things to doula work, but I love analogies and can't help myself, so #sorrynotsorry. Here's how being on the news is like giving birth:
Arriving to an unfamiliar place
Even if you've taken a hospital tour or seen the inside of a news station, it's a whole different ballgame when it's YOUR turn. When we checked in at the news station and were buzzed in, we were seated in a waiting area until an employee came to take us back to the set, much like the experience of checking into L&D when you are in labor. When your adrenaline is flowing from the excitement and perhaps a bit of nervousness of what's about to happen, the unfamiliarity is palpable at first. Of course, the staff does everything they can to help you feel welcome and settled, but the transition can be interesting for doulas on the news and birthing families alike.
The big deal/daily grind juxtaposition
One of the things I tell birthing families about giving birth in the hospital is that while giving birth is a big deal to you and something that doesn't happen every year, let alone every day, the hospital staff sees birth every single day. It's their job, and they care about you, are excited for you, and want you to have a great experience. However, keep in mind that they may express it differently than you might expect because for them, your baby's birthday is another day on the job. There's an element of, "What's for lunch?" and that's okay! When we were behind the set and getting ready to go on the news, I was sitting in a red armchair geeking out about the green screen while noticing the staff and all of the humorous touches they made to their space...and also that they were clearly not as excited as we were. I even heard a few of them talking about lunch. ;)
The element of surprise
Both birth and live television are inherently unpredictable. You can prepare and learn about your environment, but there is no script and you can never be 100% sure that what actually happens will line up with your expectations. Even though I had spoken with our interviewer on the phone and had a sense of what we would discuss, we didn't know exactly what they would ask or how we would respond. All we could to was be as prepared as we could and show up with confidence. When we arrived at the studio, there was only one guest chair on the set, which was remedied quickly, and we were amazed at how quietly everyone spoke. Our skilled interviewers made us feel at ease and a part of the conversation. During your hospital experience, your nurses work hard to help you feel at ease, answer any questions you have, and help you adjust to any unexpected changes.
Even though we didn't have a doula to guide us through the process of being on the news, you can have a doula to guide you through your birth! Your Doulas of Memphis birth doula adds an extra layer of support to the caring staff at your birthplace and fills in the gaps by providing a continuous presence that's exclusively for you.
If that sounds fabulous to you, give us a call at (901) 308-4888 or click on over to our contact page!