Single, But Not Alone.
There are lots of reasons why one may be a single parent.
As someone who has been with their significant other for over 17 years, I'm not qualified to talk on this matter. However, as a doula I have supported clients who were in various circumstances.
There are lots of amazing people out in this world who choose to be single and to be a parent. I supported a client who underwent months of fertility treatments in order to become pregnant. The tears of excitement, disappointment, relief, and joy were shared between us. We discussed childbirth education, her birthing plans and what she can expect in the coming months. Knowing that she could text or call her doula (at any time) for random questions or concerns made her feel at ease.
Who would be present?
Her sister, her mother, and me. Her doula.
The strength she possessed to not only create that beautiful baby girl, but to do it with the power that was within her was an honor to witness. I continued my services into postpartum care, staying the night to help her be able to get rest while she recovered from her cesarean was crucial for her well being. I slept in the nursery and brought the baby to her to nurse, my client never needing to get out of bed for anything! When she was done nursing I returned to take the baby back to her room and soothed her back to sleep. I made her breakfast each morning and chopped up vegetables and boiled eggs for easy to grab snacks. Her home was still, sweet, and just how she wanted it.
Going through a separation or divorce while pregnant (or at any time) must be difficult. Surrounding yourself with people you trust to help care for you and your little one doesn't have to be a weighted task. The unconditional support of a doula can help you navigate this new life situation. Along with newborn care, snacks, and overnight support, a doula will lend a judgment-free ear. I've sat with many a client and held their hands while they sobbed and cursed their way through their life altering event. Doulas are experts on options and they have resources like no other. Lean on your doula, they will help you through this.
I've been referred by a hospital chaplain to provide postpartum support to a mother who delivered twins at 24 weeks, and her husband passing away just two weeks later. Meeting the babies and her in the NICU, I remained by their side for nearly nine months. I went to the monthly pediatrician appointments, the Costco outings and I learned the many exercises from the weekly PT-OT in-home appointments and carried them out with the twins throughout the week. I made food, I did laundry. But the thing that my client valued the most was my initiative to include the twins' dad.
During the anger phase of grief, my client removed the portrait of her husband from the mantle and tossed it in the downstairs guest room. Later, I transformed that space into a downstairs/daytime nursery. I hung the portrait above the changing table. Every time I changed diapers I made it a point to "talk to daddy". We said "hi", waved and told him we missed him.
My client never witnessed me doing this, I just felt in my heart that it was important.
When I arrived one Monday morning for my shift, she was freaking-out excited! One of the twins said their first word.
She said she took him into the downstairs nursery to change him and suddenly he pointed and said it. I shared with her what I had been doing for the past couple of months, she wept in joy. She never thought to include him, and she was so grateful I did.
Being single and pregnant, or single with children can be an empowering time in one's life. Know that with the support of a doula, the choices you make will be lifted up and carried out without judgment.
Give us a buzz, we're here to help.
Charlotte Doulas is a professional doula agency serving families throughout the Metro-Charlotte area. They provide certified: birth doulas, postpartum & newborn doulas, and childbirth educators. Your CLT Doula supports every type of birth and works cohesively with your care provider. Give us a buzz, we're here to help.