I was home over the weekend for my sister's engagement party and to help her do wedding stuff. As the Maid of Honor (MOH) and Someone Who Cooks, I got to advise her on her kitchen registry. Registering for gifts is like shopping, only other people will foot the bill. Me likey.
I realised that being the MOH is a lot like being a doula. The bride, like a mom in labor, is a female going through a big and life changing transition. She may yell, cry, scream, and bite. She will act irrationally even though to herself she feels perfectly rational. She may be demanding. She may also be gracious, stronger than she imagined, and willing to roll with the punches, especially if she's got a good MOH at her side. A good MOH will stand by her bride when the parents are freaking out about money, the flower person is freaking out about the heat wilting the arrangements, her irrational friends are demanding special attention, and everyone else thinks she is going nutjob crazy. The MOH agrees to do the bride's bidding, protects the bride's wedding plans, and is the heavy when shit hits the fan during the actual event. The MOH always assures the bride that she is coping beautifully, except when she is not and it is the MOH's job to snap the bride out of her self indulgent mood and get moving.
At first I was completely overwhelmed to be my sister's MOH since I had never been a MOH before--but now that I see the parallels between my job and being the MOH, no problem!
I was at an awesome birth this morning. Second time mom, who in her first birth got an epidural right as she was opening to 10 cm. The epidural played havoc with her baby's heartbeat (decels! panic!--the nurse didn't know she was moving to 2nd stage where decels happen quite frequently as the baby gets smooshed and shoved into the birth canal). She never felt an urge to push or even the pressure sensation most women feel when they have an epidural. So this time she really wanted to give birth sans medication, and really experience the pushing sensations.
Which she did, beautifully, awesomely, despite herself. She just wasn't sure she really could do it, but with a lot of encouragement, belief and support from her whole birth team she dug deep within herself and found a way to do it. I love it when that happens. I mean, witnessing women do that is what I do this job for.
But holy hannah, I am exhausted. I went to work and thankfully my schedule was tightly packed so that I didn't get sufficient downtime to realise how freaking tired I am. I mean, my last treatment was a shiatsu and I swear I almost nodded off when I was working on her back. Seriously, people.
I am looking forward to tomorrow, when I might change out of my pjs sometime in the late afternoon/early evening to go grocery shopping. My menu? Meatloaf with mac and cheese. Hooray for downtime!