My daughter just finished her 5th club volleyball season. From January to July we have a pretty intense schedule with practices, tournaments every other weekend and travel. We spend hours upon hours and miles upon miles in the car, in the gym and on a plane. By the end of the season we are worn out and ready for a long time out! We take a family month in July and then start up with high school volleyball in August, for 4 straight months and then back to club season. If you do the math, we live volleyball 11 months out of every year. VOLLEYBALL RULES!!
I grew up playing club and high school volleyball just like my daughter is playing now, 11 months out of every year and went on to play Division I collegiate volleyball on a full scholarship. I didn’t stop there…I actually tried out for the women’s Olympic volleyball team back in the ’90s. Looking back on my volleyball career, I had a volleyball doula as well, my mother. It really wasn’t real to me how much my mom did for me until, I myself became a mother and now have volleyball player of my own to doula. I seriously doula the volleyball player for 11 months out of each year for the past 5 years just like my mother did for me! I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!
It amazes me how similar it is to doula the volleyball player and doula a birthing mother especially on game days. We travel 2 hours round trip, 2 times a week to get the best coaching at the best club in the nation. (When you want the best birthing environment and birth team you will travel for it.) At this club she prepares for the big event with her team and coaches by stretching, practicing, game planning and nutrition. Very similar to prenatal visits through out pregnancy. In both cases, over several month, preparation is leading up to one big game day event: Volleyball-Girls Junior Nationals; Birthing Mother-The Day She Will Meet Her Baby
Game day! I am on call! I get up an hour earlier, usually 5am, than my daughter to prep her for when it is go time. I fix her breakfast, make sure she has her bag packed, water to drink, snacks for the day, get her moved into the car half asleep and transport to the game day location. We are usually in for an 8 hour day at a noisy, crowded gym at least an hour away, except for the 3 out of state tournaments we have during the season. We have a completely different strategy to accomplish those game days. Back to the local game day…the car ride over, I encourage her to sleep. 10 minutes before arrival at the gym, I wake her and get her to eat so she has energy to push through her play on the court. As we walk into the gym I give her a pep talk, we talk about her game plan and help get her focused in her game zone.
Game ON!! She meets with her team and coaches, warms up, stretches and then the whistles blows to start the game. As her team battles it out on the court, constantly changing positions, I encourage them from the side lines. Once the game is over, I make sure she is hydrated, make sure she eats something for energy, massage her shoulders and back to get her ready for the next game and repeats 2 more times.
“Mom, I’m so tired.” Her notorious statement after her 8 hour game day. She snuggles her head on my shoulder for a comforting hug as I run my fingernails up and down her back. “Mom, that feels so good. I’m hungry.” Load her back in the car, grab nutritious food to replace the energy she has spent and get her home showered and into bed. All to get back up early the next morning and do it all over again.
I truly love taking care of others, whether they are my very own family or a complete stranger. I have a heart of an athlete, love working with other athletes and enjoy helping first time moms bring their very first little into their arms in the comfort of their home or birth center, nothing but natural.
What is your birth game plan? Have you created a strategy to reach your birthing goals? Would you like to have a labor and delivery coach to help coach you through your game plan and tackle your birthing goals? I can give you play options for birth game plan, help you plan a strategy to reach your birthing goals and provide continuous birth labor coaching while keeping you in your birth zone as you bring your baby to your arms.
For the months of September 2017 through February 2018, I am accepting expecting mothers who want to get their game on for an all natural birth in the comfort of their own home or birth center. Give me a whistle or shout out to schedule a recruiting consultation. Let’s huddle up soon to see if we are a good birth team fit.
Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby, Labor On!
Krisha Crosley CD(DONA), BBCD
Serenity Life Doula