The moment my husband, Erik, and I found out that we were expecting, we knew that we wanted an all natural childbirth. One of our first steps in making that a reality was trying to find a doula. Not knowing exactly where to turn, we went to the one website that everyone turns to when looking for a recommendation: Yelp. We came across someone who seemed promising and so we scheduled an interview at our home. I was six weeks pregnant.
The outcome of that interview?
Me thinking that maybe I didn’t need a doula after all. I mean, seriously… Do I really want to be completely naked (or almost completely naked) around someone I don’t really know? Is this person actually going to know what to say to keep me calm and centered? How am I going to be able to communicate with this person when I am 8 cm dilated and my eyes are rolled into the back of my head?
So for the next six months, I was pretty confident that I wasn’t going to hire someone. Erik would be my doula. Moula? Man-doula? My whatever you want to call it!
But then we began our online birthing class.
I will talk more about it in an upcoming blog post, but this is what we used. Anyhow, one of the biggest takeaways from the course was that we needed a professional doula. Everyone in the video kept saying that your birthing partner would be there for you. But then who would be there for your birthing partner? That was the doula’s job.
So we picked up our search, but this time turned to doulamatch.net. If you don’t know, this is THE website to find a doula. Simply put in the search engine the type of doula you are looking for (birth or postpartum), your due date, and zip code. DoulaMatch then shows you available doulas in your area. That is how we found Jen.
From the moment I met her, I knew that she was meant to be my doula. Jen is the definition of calm and serenity.
Eventually, I will write all about my birth story. But needless to say, I wouldn’t have been able to get through my labor without Jen. She was there for me every single moment and gave Erik the opportunity to rest too. She never once pushed me or made me do something that I didn’t want to do, but she did help me remain calm and therefore true to my intentions.
And I think that is the biggest reason why you NEED a doula. When you are in the middle of labor, you forget why you chose your specific birth plan. You have nurses coming in and out of your room that don’t know you or what you want (even if you type it up for them!).
So, yes, it’s great to have the labor support. And yes, it’s great to have someone there for your birthing partner, but when you are in the heat of labor, you will have a million different voices/thoughts/worries inside your head. It’s good to have another voice in there as well. Jen was that voice, and I am so grateful she was there.
How about you? How did a doula make a difference in your birth?
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