Tuesday, November 9, 2010



Remember the doula with poor judgment who tried to refriend me on FB the other day? I just got a generic email from her, as follows:


As You know, each labor and birth is as unique as the individuals involved. Different situations require different techniques. While I hope that my presence was as helpful as you anticipated, I know that I learn from each birth I attend. Please take a moment to share your thoughts and feelings about your birth. I would love to have a detailed account of your perspective of the birth, but short answers are fine too (In fact, shorter answers are preferred to putting the questionnaire aside until "you have more time!"). Thank you for taking the time to help me be the best doula I can be!

I know that some of you gave birth a long time ago, but if you would take a few moments to fill out my evaluation I would really appreciate it.

Link : [removed]

In Health,


It then had a link to some automated survey or something.

I responded with this:


It feels beyond insensitive for you to include us in a generic email request such as this. Please remove us from your list.


I'd say I'm letting her off softly. Is it just me, or do I have every right to be totally offended by her cluelessness? Even if she were "the perfect" doula and our baby had died, don't you think it would be odd for me to want to fill out a survey about our birth?


Angela said...

The way your doula is handling this situation is entirely wrong and misguided. Maybe she has never had a loss before? I think you have every right to be upset and offended. I don't know if I would've been able to keep myself to two sentences.

sarah said...

Thanks, Angela.

She responded with a pretty defensive email, which has also made me angry. I am torn up enough as it is, I don't feel like I should have to take care of her through this. I don't think she's had a loss before, I'm pretty certain we were her first. But to make me feel bad for not wanting contact or because I was offended to be included in her "annual evaluations" just further upsets me....and I'm torn between fighting back and letting loose on her and just ignoring her completely. Right now, I think ignoring is the path I'll choose - I know that a lot of my anger at her is misdirected, though I also think some of it is not - I was annoyed by her behavior even before we knew we had Otis was going to die, but her cluelessness since then has made matters even worse.

brianna said...


I am so sorry. You would think she would have a better way of handling this than she does. I would actually use this opportunity to fill out her stupid survey and be honest with what you think of the way she handled the situation.

Of course, I don't have to deal with her and so it is easy for me to say that you shouldn't let this go. It is pathetic how she has handled this situation and sadly, if she doesn't learn better skills, when she is confronted by another loss she will treat the next set of grieving parents in the same way. But it is not your responsibility to educate her. It sounds like she probably would not hear a word you said anyway.

Maddie said...

OMFG doesn't really even begin to sum this up. Your response was very kind given the situation. And for her to continue to be defensive just shows a total lack of understanding of the situation.

I'd probably just ignore her - sadly I've learnt that either people seem to get it or they don't. And if they don't you can't explain it to them. And the people how 'get it' that haven't had a loss themselves are few and far between. I have friends that have said insensitive things and if I want to keep them in my life I just don't get into discussions about my loss or loss in general with them. Though this case is far beyond the casual comment made without thinking from someone who really should know better.

Huge huge hugs.

Maddie x

zubeldia said...

oh, wow, Sarah, insensitive doesn't cover it. What a douche. And, really, to respond in a way that is defensive is beyond reasonable.

I'd likely ignore her because it doesn't seem as though she has the capacity for serious self-reflection.

Oh, sarahlu, I am so sad that you have to deal with this sort of thing. Just another unfairness, my friend.

Sending you so much love.

æ said...

oh my fucking fuck.

why don't you send ME her phone number? argh sarah, what a fucking idiot. ..!..[**]..!..

Anonymous said...

Ho-ly fuck.
Are you serious!?
I do not know how you have the restraint to let it go but I admire you for it.
I would let loose with a metric fuck ton of seething anger. Bitter- very bitter.

I think what gets me the most is that this woman has a responsibility to give a shit about your feelings- it kind of goes with the job description of being a birth doula! Oh I just want to smack her! What an ass!

Sorry for my rant- you know I am always thinking of you and Otis....

Anonymous said...

Ash you and I are birds of a feather.....

æ said...

hilarious @cullensblessings--I was thinking the same thing when I read your comment. In fact I toned my comment (way) down, because I was thinking "well, I don't know the other BLMs that well, and I wouldn't want to offend..."

Glad to be pissed off for Sarah, with you. Sarah it reminded me of when you offered to drive down to my mother's house and "pay her a visit." The offer's open.

love you

Missy said...

w-o-w. I made the mistake of opening a card from our doctor awhile back, needless to say any mail will be returned to sender. Do they really not know? I should have introduced myself. I'm Missy and I'm going to stalk your blog if that's okay.

kate said...

I am outraged. Absolutely livid. That woman is clueless, insensitive and in the wrong profession. I want to shake her and scream in her face.... HOW DARE YOU!!!!!! How dare she treat you so callously? Bloody form letter!!


sarah said...

Women, thank you (!!!) for sharing my rage and helping me to realize that I have every right to be as angry as I am. I forwarded her response to Janelle (my BFF for those who don't know) and she was just as outraged at her reply as I was (as was my husband, who she cc-ed).

I have crafted lots of responses to her in my head over the last several hours, and may or may not end up sending one. Brianna, you bring up a good point, that for future clients of hers that may find themselves in my shoes, it might be good for me to give her a crash course in BLM etiquette. Along with a lot of choice words.

On that note, may I just say that the use of the word FUCK in all its incarnations here also really made me love you all even more. (And douche, too, Zubie, thanks for throwing that one in.)

Missy, stalk away. Glad to have you here, but fuck (see, there, I love that word), fuck, I'm sorry you find yourself here and I'm sorry we're sharing this journey.

Again, thanks for sharing the rage, all of you. We've got a good army at the ready, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm honored to have you in my (virtual) corner.

Merry said...

Urgh :(

I had a doula with Freddie and she was wonderful and adorable and even though Freddie died, I would not choose to have her out of my life. It was her first 'pro' birth and she helped so much and when it went wrong, she did everything. Had it not been for the fact that she was pregnant (and then had a boy), we'd be regular friends now.

I did fill in her questionnaire because she got everything right and I know Freddie changed her doula-ing future but I had to force her to take her fee and she has been brilliant since.

It isn't bloody rocket science to be sensitive in these circumstances.

How horrible of your not to get it :( I'm so sorry :(

Hope's Mama said...

You did so well to restrain yourself here. I'd probably send an email and fill out the survey, even if she still doesn't "get it". One day, some of your words might get that through that thick head of hers.

Sarah said...

What an absolute idiot that woman is. For fuck's sake! I think you've been very gracious in your restraint -- far more than I would be.

hungry for hunger said...

holy fuck. I already have a strong general distaste for doulas in that they often act like there's something wrong with having trained physicians at the ready and this doesn't help my growing prejudices. tell her to get her patchouli ass away from you already.

Jenn said...

Oh my word, I would be livid, too. She obviously doesn't get it. At all. I think your response was very restrained and not at all inappropriate. Letting her off softly, yes. Goodness I would be so pissed!

hayley said...

what a fucking idiot, and more so for being defensive. it scares me that she could be this insensitive, that's not the right word its too fucking passive, it's cruel to facebook you, and spam you and then not even GET IT. she doesn't get to ask ANYFUCKINGTHING of you!

I am so angry, what possessed her? who the fuck couldn't work out that acting defensive is so deeply inappropriate. she is an absolute moron in the ethics department. and in the human being department too.

love to you.