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the wisdom of the lady with the alligator purse

Vivi loves this book, The Lady with the Alligator Purse. Back in my day, I remember the song well (it starts “Miss Lucy had a baby. His name was Tiny Tim. She put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim”). I can’t remember if it was one that we sang on the playground (a la “Miss Mary Mack” and “Down by the Banks”) or if my grandma sang it to me while I played in the bathtub. She sang lots of cute songs to me. Either way, Vivi’s recent fondness for it is bringing back nice memories of being a child. There’s another post about reliving my childhood through my kids in all this rambling, but it’s not why I’m writing about that book today.

The general premise of the silly song is that the baby is hungry, and the only one who figures out is not the doctor or nurse–who want to give him penicillin and castor oil–but the lady with the alligator purse, who gives him pizza. When I’m reading it to Vivi, I’m reminded of a doula’s role during birth. Please don’t mistake what I’m saying to mean that a doctor and nurse won’t know what a mother needs; I trust the medical expertise of physicians, midwives, and other medical personnel. But as a doula, I’m that one person in the room who has a non-medical view of the experience and might be the one who reminds the mom of a position change (pizza!) instead of pitocin (castor oil) to speed up labor.

In other doula-related news, I named my doula business! I’m going with Mama’s Mentor. To be completely honest, my mom and Nate are the ones who named it. Thanks Fam! I was having such a mental block that I was becoming desperate. Here are a few examples of how badly it could have gone:


Kidding! I sincerely hope you think Mama’s Mentor is better than the above horrible choices (really, I had no idea I had it in me to be so creepy). I like it because it affords the potential for growing my business beyond birth doula to other aspects of motherhood, such as postpartum topics like lactation and infant sleep, and perhaps even beyond those to Simplicity Parenting. Who knows?! I’m excited by the possibilities.

I started a website for my business, and I plan to add lots more to it soon. So far it’s just a place where I can answer potential clients’ basic questions and provide my contact information. I’m planning to grab some free business cards from Vista Print with my temporary title, “DONA Trained Doula.” I need a logo too. Any ideas? By ideas, I mean anything not involving Billy Joel throwing a baby in the air or a rode-hard woman on a horse. Maybe Billy Joel throwing a horse? That’s just a thought to get you started, but you are free to branch out to logo images not involving middle-aged male singers and horses.


p.s. Please don’t sue me, Mr. Joel. I love your music.