As I sit here watching the Summer Olympics, I wonder how many of these athletes could benefit from a Doula? These athletes are trained to peak at their most gifted, innate athletic ability during this special opportunity. Looking back on it, I know I would have benefited from a Doula just trying out for the Women’s Olympic Volleyball Team.
Here is my back story leading up to my Olympic tryouts…
I grew up eating, sleeping and practicing sports. In high school, I narrowed it down to just playing volleyball. I played indoor mostly and beach to fill in my off season. According to my dad, I had a box full of 40+ Universities interested in me playing for their collegiate volleyball team. I specifically remember right before my senior year of high school I attended, the #1 ranked team, at the time in the nation, volleyball camp. I got to sit down with the head coach for lunch/recruiting cycle. It felt pretty good being recruited by the top team in the nation!! I narrowed my choices down and decided to stay local in Texas and close to my man. I received a full athletic scholarship, was voted freshman on the year of my conference, received multiple awards to follow over my 4 year college volleyball life and married my high school sweetheart.
Bless my husband, he is my #1 fan, but looking back on my Olympic tryout experience, I really really needed a DOULA!! There is something about that woman to woman support she can provide. I had a serious mental block, nerves got the best of me and my focus was just not there. On top of all this, I didn’t even try out for the position I had the innate ability to perform! I really think a Doula’s support could have helped me overcome these insecurities, fears and made my experience more enjoyable.
My mental block was my height. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall. In the everyday world, I am always told how tall I am. Yes, I am above average for woman these days. In women’s volleyball, a middle blocker’s average height is 6 feet 4 inches!! So yes, in the volleyball world, I am SHORT!! I did have a few things going for me though: I was quick, I could jump really high (like I could touch the basketball hoop high), I had a really fast arm swing to hit and I was an excellent, pretty level headed athlete. I was so worried about being too short that I didn’t have confidence or the self-esteem to go out on the court and take care of business.
A Doula would have helped me tackle my fears, help me work through my mental block and put my mind at ease. A Doula would have given me mental and emotional support I clearly needed at this important time of my life. A Doula would have gotten me water when I needed it, encouraged me through the tryout, rubbed my shoulders to help me relax and keep me focused on the reason I was trying out. A Doula would encouraged me to breathe through it, find my rhythm, tell me I am strong, you got this. I left the tryout feeling frustrated, disappointed at my performance and felt like I shattered my own Olympic dreams. I did bounce back pretty quickly and realized I was extremely happy I tried out. I had weaknesses to improve! I got back on the court, became more focused, worked through my insecurities and played with the utmost confidence to perform at a most optimal level.
A birth Doula provides mental, emotional support to the birthing mother, as well as, physical comfort measures to ease her birth laboring experience. Sometimes in life, we come across challenges that are hard to confront other than having a baby. Having a support person that can provide the same mental and emotional support for a different life changing event in one’s life can be very beneficial.
I have a passion supporting and helping people in everyday life. I carry this passion in my role as a birth Doula to help birthing couples bring their little ones earth side. My goal for each couple I help is to educate, empower and inspire them to achieve their ideal birthing experience. I have been a birth Doula for 3 years, served 20 couples and have really settled in my role of helping first time moms and women who have a heart of an athlete that desire a home or birth center birth experience.
If you are interested in my birth Doula services, please contact me for your FREE meet and greet. I service the DFW, Texas and surrounding areas with availability in November, December 2016 and January, February, March 2017.
Krisha Crosley CD(DONA), BBCD
Serenity Life Doula