Friday, February 20, 2009

Granny Adula

I like words and word games but I tend to use just everyday language understood by the average third grader.

I learned a new word in the last few days. It is entirely possible that I am the only person in the western world who never knew the word doula.

  • doula (doo-luh) noun. 1975–80; <>
  • The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

If you are reading this, you quite likely are aware that my first grandchild is due any day now and my son and I will both be attending the birth of this wee precious gem. I, because I am honoured and thrilled to be a support to my daughter-in-law and witness the miracle of life. He, because his mother said so. (He's actually excited too. And once it over with he'll feel just as amazed and honoured as I.)

Jade's very good friend, Crystal, is also due with her first child this weekend. And Crystal, like Jade, does not have a mom so I'm always asking how she's doing and checking that she is getting everything in order.

A couple of months ago I was asking about Crystal's prenatal classes and if Neil (baby's daddy) was attending the birth.

Jade's response was, "Neil will be in the room, but Adula will be the coach."

Never having heard the word doula, I just assumed Adula was an aunt, or foster mom, or neighbour or something and I didn't question further. Hey. How was I to know. In my defense, this didn't even become an English word until the late 70's or 80's so was not in widespread use by 1986 when I gave birth for my final time.

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Words. The most powerful source known to humanity.

I love words. I love to write them. I love to know their meanings. I love to know their origins. But speaking them - not so much.  You can&...