The Duch-Grocki family is one of those families that just love being with one another. This of course made for a bitter-sweet moment when Ashley's parents hugged her and her husband Andrew, saying their good-byes and well-wishes at the entrance to the labor and delivery wing of the Betty H. Cameron Women and Children's Hospital. I'm sure most mothers would love to be in the room not only when their grandchild is born but to love on and be supportive as their own child experiences the pains and the joys of the miracle of birth. As soon-to-be grandparents wait in the lobby for the news that their grandchild is here you hear stories of their own labor and delivery experiences, the differences in each with each child, and the emotions felt on that day. We live our own unique lives but I have found that having a child, whether by birth or adoption, is that moment when an adult child can genuinely say they relate to their parents. Whether they want to or not. Making the decision to become a parent is a huge decision. Coming home with a newborn is a huge step. And all of the emotions that come with these decisions and these moments are huge emotions. They are decisions, steps, and feelings that every new parent experiences.
Ashley was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night and induced the next morning. With the support of their doula Hali, with Wilmington Coastal Doulas, she and Andrew were able to concentrate on each other and their beautiful son that they had been anticipating for so long. Between the hand holding, shoulder leaning, back rubbing, and affirming words there was more than enough emotional and physical support to go around that labor and delivery floor a hundred times that day. I was astounded at the positivity and the joyfulness of the group of nurses and doctor that were there when their son was born. Seriously guys, Ashley basically had her own cheerleading squad surrounding her during labor. Dr. Chalk's face says it all!!!
I just can't say enough about Wilmington Coastal Doulas. This was my first birth working with a doula so I wasn't sure what to expect. Hali was AMAZING. My job requires a lot of attention. Attention to detail, attention to time, but mostly attention to relationship. I watch interactions looking for those perfect moments that can tell a story or describe a moment in a single frame. I watched as Hali coached Ashley and Andrew through labor and delivery, affirming their decisions, and sometimes just sitting back and allowing them the space they needed to love on one another. When Andrew would run to get cold wash cloths or go update the family, Hali would step in, grab Ashley's hand, and give her all the support she needed until Andrew returned. I love this image above because it supports Wilmington Coastal Doulas' belief that a doula's presence is not always to be doing but often times just being.⠀