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Cat Barf, Miscarriage Traditions, & Money; A Conversation with Liz Farmer of The Doula Classroom

The title says it all. Today's post is all about a weird and wonderful conversation I had with Liz Farmer over at The Doula Classroom recently. I hope you enjoy watching/listening/reading all about our thoughts on birth doula money issues (the main topic of this video). Transcript below video.

Liz: Hi Amanda.

Amanda: Hey Liz.

L: How are you?

A: Good.

L: Good. What happened with your cat this morning?

A: (Laughing) I knew you were going to ask that. I have a sick cat and as I'm eating breakfast I see my sick cat go throw up on my very new rug. It's not an expensive rug, it's just a very pretty rug. So, I had to make sure that was cleaned up ASAP. Really fun stuff.

L: I understand, I have a cat and he's just the worst. He just throws up all over the place.

A: What is that?!

L: I don't know, dogs don't do it nearly as much so I don't understand.

A: No! My dogs never, ever throw up. That's not a thing. They're messy in other ways (laughs).

L: God...Yeah I'm good, We had our book club this morning and we talked about The Midwife of Hope River, which is such a sweet novel and just really sad because it's kind of like one tragedy after another and made me really think about how much in other cultures and places in the world and times, babies just died like all the time. And women died more often. Not as frequently (as babies) because women, like, adults are just more hearty than kids and babies so...

A: Yeah.

L: But we were talking about how crazy it was that like you had 12 kids and you just knew that a percentage of them was not going to live.

A: Most likely, yeah.

L: Yeah. That was just a reality so...

A: I had this conversation with a client the other day in a childbirth prep session. She was talking about fears she had with her partner and he, you know, his fears were "You won't have a good time", "You won't love me the same way when we have a baby together." But her fear was "I'm going to die" or "My baby is going to die". So, I had to do a lot of softening around that subject but also validating that "Yeah, that's a normal fear when birth is happening, when you're getting close to laboring. It's a pretty normal fear. Yeah."

L: Yeah. I always found that giving them the statistic that in the United States maternal deaths are something like 7 out of 20,000 and that that 7 is typically in a different population than they are because most of my clients were wealthy and that statistic also comes from low income people making up a large percentage of that. But yeah, it's totally real and it's a possibility. Like, I don't know if you've had this happen but there was a maternal death in my doula community the first year I was a doula and it was a hospital birth and it was this awful, horrible thing where we were all like "oh my gosh"...

A: This happens.

L: This happens.

A: I've never experienced maternal loss in my practice but I've supported families who have expected infant loss and recently our team, the doulas on our team, supported a family who had an unexpected loss at birth with zero warning signs, zero indications, zero risk factors, and it really humbles you a bit. Or it humbled me a bit in this work. Even if we do all the right things, even if we plan in all the best ways, and have all the best support and all the best doctors and the best hospitals or midwives or whatever, sometimes things still happen.

L: Yes, that is so true. Life is just never a guarantee, on that note (laughs).

A: (laughs) Good morning!