When most people see the name Three Birds, they assume it's in reference to my three kids. It is in a sense, but more directly it’s a nod to one of my favorite songs. If you've never heard Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & the Wailers listen to it now. Listen to it even if you have heard it before. Then come back because I'd hate for people to only read the first few sentences of this post.
From a musical point of view, it's a simple song: one chorus, one verse, three chords, repeat. It's a reggae song so the trickiest part is mastering the strumming pattern. From a commercial standpoint, it's one of Bob Marley’s most popular songs. Three Little Birds has been covered seemingly a million times, has been featured in a number of commercials and films, and was even Shane Victorino’s at-bat music during the 2013 Red Sox season.
From a stressed, sleep-deprived, mom-of-newborn-triplets perspective, Three Little Birds became something of a mantra. I repeated every little thing's gonna be alright until I started to believe it. The reality of alright may not have ultimately matched the picture of alright that I had in my head, but I've come to accept that's just part of being a parent. I'm a big planner so I still developed routines for every conceivable action- getting out the door solo with three infants, managing night feeds without having to speak to your significant other, and throwing every plan out the window and just winging it when plans A-Z were no longer cutting it. It's also pretty convenient when your mantra doubles as a lullaby.
As a doula, I have to suppress the urge to start singing this song whenever anyone asks “so what exactly does a doula do?” I don't know if ‘bird in a Bob Marley song’ counts as a valid job description, but I do think it encompasses the role of a postpartum doula pretty perfectly: a calm, positive presence delivering the gentle reminder that everything will be ok. A song's little details and nuances change each time it is performed or covered, much like the day to day specifics of a doula's job- what one family needs in terms of practical and emotional support may be completely different from another family's. Whether it's addressing a particular challenge that you've encountered with your babies, providing emotional support when nothing seems to be working out the way it should, or simply allowing you to get a good night’s sleep, a doula will help you find your version of “alright” in the midst of the three-ring circus that is a multiples pregnancy and postpartum period. And while knowing seven different ways to swaddle a baby, or the early signs of postpartum depression, anxiety, or other perinatal mood disorder is valuable, the most important job a postpartum doula can do is help a mother and family feel calm, confident, and cared for.
So rise up this mornin' and know that regardless of the surprises your day may bring, you’re not alone and everything is going to be alright. This is my message to you-oo-oo.