Doulas Let You Have It Your Way…if possible

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There are many things in life that you only get to experience once and what happens happens. If the experience isn’t what you hoped it would be, you may be bitter, angry, or even feel cheated. So what can you do about it? You can either dwell on it or accept it and learn from it. One of those experiences is the birth of your first child. I must admit I definitely chose the dwell on it option and probably would have continued to do so if I hadn’t become pregnant again quickly afterwards.I, like most first timers, was a little anxious about delivering a baby, but mainly very excited about the wonderful moment of seeing my little one for the first time. A month before I was due, we made a significant move, which of course involved changing doctors, hospitals, etc. As time was limited, I was unable to change doctors after my initial visit with my new doctor that I literally picked out of names from whom our insurance worked with. Once again, I was mainly excited to meet our little girl, so a few weeks with a doctor I didn’t click with was fine.

After a couple weeks, there was a disagreement on when my actually due date was and to my dismay the doctors adjusted it forward by 10 days. This now meant that I was passed my “due” date and they wanted to go ahead and induce me in a few days. Of course, being prego, I cried and refused as I wanted to wait at least till the due date that my previous doctor had thought was more appropriate. So, I agreed for a follow up appt. a few days after July 1st, which was the due date based off early ultrasounds. I had a chat with my little one and let her know I had no intention of being induced, so she had better get ready to come out before the next appt.

She did oblige and I went into labor on July 4th and we heading to the hospital around 6pm. I wasn’t unhappy to learn that neither one of my doctors was available that evening and the on-call doctor would be seeing me instead. So, my assistance at the hospital consisted of my terrified hubby….he wasn’t able to attend the childbirth classes with me….and a nurse that stopped by periodically to tell me not to push or scream….oh and that the doctor would be coming soon. Needless to say, my hubby and I were pretty much alone and not exactly sure what to think, especially since my water never broke and my water bag would protrude out at times. My hubby says that “the image still haunts him”. After a really awful contraction, I told my hubby “something came out”. Silly now that I think about it…but our little one’s head was out and still enclosed in the water bag. So, my already mortified hubby hit the call button to the nurses’ station and I won’t mention what he said. Suddenly people popped out from everywhere and a nurse finished delivering my little girl safely tucked away in the water bag at 11:45pm. From there, it was a blur as doctors finally arrived. It was assessed that I needed surgery to repair some damage and I was whisked away. I saw my daughter briefly as they rolled me down the hallway and then I was alone for the surgery, which was my first and for what felt like an eternity afterward as they monitored my breathing.

When I was finally taken up to my room, I learned that my daughter had been given a bottle and a paci, which wasn’t our plan, but my hubby was pressured about her needing to eat and didn’t understand the implications of those actions at the time. Needless to say, we weren’t successful at breastfeeding at the hospital and after a rough start involving pumping and finger feeding, we eventually began breastfeeding later that month and probably about a month later we were finally solely breastfeeding.

So, I do feel cheated of that moment when you get to examine your child right after they enter the world. I feel awful I wasn’t there for her at the beginning, but it wasn’t necessarily all the hospitals fault. It was mine also. I wasn’t properly prepared and either was my hubby. When scare tactics were used…they worked…we were scared. You better believe we did what the nurses told us to even though we didn’t think a baby had to have that much formula…what did we know. That is fine, I accept decisions we made and I am so blessed with a beautiful, healthy daughter.

Then nine months later, baby #2’s life began and my anxiety returned. I am due in late December…right around Christmas/New Year’s Eve. My thoughts are…not another holiday when my doctor won’t be available…we can’t do this alone again…I’m definitely going to get an epidural this time if I have to go back to that hospital. So, what can I do? I changed doctors to one I feel more comfortable with and we’ve already discussed due date discrepancies. I really don’t have much choice on the hospital because it already is 45 minutes away and my hubby is afraid baby #2 will come out even faster and he doesn’t want to be delivering the baby. Home birth would seem like a good option if I was closer to the hospital. If something happened, I can’t imagine being 45 minutes away. So, we chose to hire a doula.

I can’t tell you how much stress and anxiety has been relieved just knowing that I will have somebody there, for sure, that is on my side. I have regained confidence that I can have this baby the way we had hoped for our first born. I realize that this isn’t a guarantee, but at least now I can dare to hope that it is a possibility. I don’t need to be bitter about our first experience because what an amazing way our daughter entered into the world. She has taught us so much about patience and humbled us to be grateful. I also can’t stress how much my husband is relieved. If I have to have surgery again, he won’t be alone when under pressure from the hospital staff. He will also have someone to calm him down if weird, unexpected things happen. I am very happy that our doula gave me the joy of being prego back. Although, of course, I have a bit of anxiety, I am so happy that like the first it has turned mainly into excitement.

If you are on the fence about whether a doula is right for you, I encourage you to at least explore the option. It is your body, your baby, and your birth….don’t you deserve the chance to do it your way?

For more information on doulas, please visit http://www.shannonmydoula.com/
This is my doula’s website and she has generously offered to answer questions you may have.

Cassie

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Comments

  1. I have hired a doula for my baby’s November arrival and am confident knowing that I will have someone to back up my beliefs on childbirth and initiate ‘alternative’ options as opposed to relying on medicine. I would highly recommend a doula to every pregnant woman!

    Trudy

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