"I don't really like babies"
The phrase, "I don't really like babies" often slips out of my mouth during consults. As soon as I say it, I always feel a sense of regret, because then I have to explain exactly what I mean, while sitting across from shocked and questioning faces.
During a person's entire pregnancy, the majority of focus is on the baby. We run lots of tests to make sure that babies are ok, we give ultrasounds to make sure that babies are growing well, we listen to their hearbeats often, people stop asking questions about the pregnant person's well being and only wonder if they know the gender of the person growing inside them, people you haven't seen since you graduated high school ask if you're baby has arrived yet on social media and the worst offense of all, is we say things like: "All that matters is a healthy baby".
For me, when I look around at all of the medical providers standing in a space during a labor (home birth, birth center, or hospital), everyone is there mostly for the baby. The focus is on that tiny person's well being. My role as a doula, is truly the only one, that is totally focused on the birthing person. My goal is to have a fully informed birthing person, who gets to maintain their autonomy, make choices for themselves, and leave their labor feeling empowered, instead of feeling as if they were just the host to the end goal: BABY
So when I say, "I don't really like babies", it's an honest statement. It's why you very rarely see pictures of me holding babies who I helped shepard earthside. I love what I do, because I get to help and protect those in their most vulnerable circumstances. I believe that a mentally strong and healthy parent, who has had a positive experience, is one of the best things that you can give to any new baby, healthy or not.
(I do love toddlers and preschoolers though, so I am not totally heartless!)