This one’s for the doulas.
You know who you are, you late-night ladies.
You’re the ones who get ready to go home, your families and richly-deserved rest awaiting…but then you hear the meows that made history. Down go your purses, out the window go your dinner plans, plop go your legs and posteriors onto the cold, hard floor.
It’s doula time. And Mamma Bozzie needs you.
Dinner becomes a mountain of Milky Ways and Skittles as you shepherd the screaming new mom through two — no, three — wait, four — oh my stars, five — is that surprise #6?!! — kittens. Long-haired, loud-mouthed Boz is baying to the moon, exhausted by Kitten #3, and the last two get left in their own oook (technical term for placenta et al). If you weren’t there, they’d remain wrapped in oook; if you weren’t there…well, let’s not think about what would have befallen #4 and #5.
You got home ’round midnight. You returned exhausted the next morning…and triumphant.
Six of six survived. Bozzie brightened, head-bonking each of her smidgens with pride and weary wonder. The miracle was alive, and astonishing, and would have been unthinkable without you, doulas.
And you don’t do this doula dance alone. What of the women who doula-ed at home, keeping close to Jasmine on her journey? It isn’t always sunshine and unicorns, this doula devotion, and Jasmine’s midwives had to melt into tears — twice. Although Jasmine’s mothering skills were second to none, the ultra-young, ultra-tiny mamma had only two healthy kittens, and even those were too tiny for our druthers. Thyme and Nettle were lost before their mamma and their doulas could deliver any miracles, leaving this world loved and wept over. But Matcha and Sencha made it, and they make strides daily now — thanks to two devoted doulas, and one meowing mamma.
Kitten season is young, and the doulas are poised for their next call. Huge-hearted, heather-grey Demeter awaits, bulging with babies and biding her time ’til birth. When her wee ones are ready, the doulas will be, too.
This one’s for you, doulas.
You are the heartfelt heroes, midwives of miracles, unsung no longer.
Thank you for birthing bright hope in multiple species.