Doula Loses Everything in Fire: Help Us Help Her!

chicago doulaWe at The Stir are nothing if not cheerleaders for our fellow moms (and dads), and as such, we're big supporters of doulas -- after all, doula translates to "servant with woman" or "mother of the mother." That's just what they do, too -- mother us. In birthing situations, a doula has nothing to do with your baby and everything to do with just you. Their job is to make your birth comfortable, loving, emotional (in a good way), and to help you have the best birthing outcome ever.

Last weekend, a doula suffered a tragedy. We want to show our thanks for doulas everywhere by helping this one rebuild her life, in time for the holidays. And you can help us.


Rachel Dolan Wickersham of Chicago (aka ChicagoDoula) is a c-section mommy who has supported the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), taught Lamaze, worked as a Childbirth Educator (CBE), trained dozens more doulas, almost single-handedly leads the drive for the Big Push for Midwives in Illinois, and spent the last 15 years of her life dedicated only to helping other women have their optimal birth. 

A little more about her from her blog:

She strives to help women understand the full implications of their choices and help them find their innate power, so their choices are not driven by fear. She understands that there is no single right answer for any given situation. She is willing to support women in whatever choice is right for them. When faced with obstacles, she looks for creative solutions rather than struggling to achieve particular outcomes.

She envisions a world where all women get the support they need across the spectrum of pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenting -- a world where every woman in every community has access to the information and support she wants and needs so that she can be affirmed in her choices. She envisions a world where women are respected, safe, honored, and empowered.

Her house burned to the ground. And we believe a family pet perished in the fire as well. She has spent years supporting and helped push through the Illinois Homebirth Safety Act, and today when it goes up to vote, rather than rallying for the cause she's dedicated herself to, she's having to figure out how she is going to live.

For someone who has given her life over to solely supporting mothers, we decided that our own way of saying thanks to doulas everywhere is to help return the favor of support, and help Rachel rebuild her life, especially at this time of year. There is a donation website set up (and every dollar counts!), but all we're asking you all to do here is simply share and comment.

For every person who leaves a comment here on this post, we'll donate $1 to helping Rachel, up to $1,000 (comments need to be made by December 7, 2010, so she can have a happy holiday!). Share on Facebook, on Twitter, and encourage people to help say thank you to doulas, the Mothers of us Mothers, and help a woman be able to rebuild her life and get back to her life's passion -- helping us.

Edit: For those of you asking how you can donate more yourselves (thank you!), visit this page. Thank you so much for your comments and support. We hope we can help Rachel put the pieces back together, even a little.


Image via ChicagoDoula/Facebook

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