It means friends and family knowing birth comes first for me. It means wolfing down Thanksgiving pumpkin pie sitting in a bathroom while watching a woman push outside the door (because I finally got a breather with care providers stepping in after hours of my support). It means spending my own birthday welcoming a new little soul into the world, or missing one of my family member's birthdays entirely. It means keeping my pro CPR license up just in case I am needed to step outside my scope in an emergency to give a breath. It means constantly checking my phone to make sure I didn't miss a call from a client going into labor.
And when I go on call two weeks before a due date, with just 2-3 births a month my life can look like this much of the time. This is what you pay for when you hire a certified birth doula. Experience. Devotion. Just peeling the window back from my professional veneer to get real with you. This is the on-call life. And it's worth all the sacrifice to have the honor of standing by your side.