-Guest post for our Positive Birth Story Series
That was the word that came to mind when I thought about how I wanted my labour and delivery experience to be.
I knew that despite the pain associated with labour and delivery that I still wanted to have it be a positive and supportive environment for me and my baby without any added external stresses.
I also knew that I wanted it to be in a hospital, with doctors, to ensure the safety of me and my infant.
With these two intentions in mind and after much research, I decided that hiring a doula to be at my side prior, during and after birth would be my next step. I’m grateful to have had mine by my side.
A doula is a truly important component in a pregnancy as she provides on-going support through the entire process. As a first time mom I decided that Dr. Google was very frightening at moments and that asking questions of my doula was far better at calming my worries related to my pregnancy on what was “normal”.
Prior to going into labour, I had chosen my husband, mother and the doula to be in the delivery room with me to have as much support as possible. My mom is the strongest person I know and is able to deal with just about anything so I knew I wanted to have her there with me.
However, as my mom entered the delivery room, I knew that I couldn’t have her there. Her eyes were filled with tears and I couldn’t feel calm and focused because all I wanted to do was cry along with her. I had suggested to my mom that she should wait in the waiting room. I was grateful at that moment that I had our doula there to comfort me when my mom couldn’t.
Once my mom left the room, my focus was on delivering my baby. The level of focus required to get me through the contractions as calmly as possible increased as baby made her way into the world. This could not have been done without the emotional support I received from my Doula at every step of the way.
She had continued to talk to me throughout my contractions and helped me breathe when I thought I couldn’t get through some of the more painful ones.
And as baby was making her way into the world, once again my Doula ensured I stayed focused when I grew tired and could not imagine pushing one more time. It was not the words of encouragement from the nurses or the doctors, I completely tuned them out. It was instead, the doula’s voice I heard and my husband’s face that gave me the strength I did not know I had to deliver.
What I didn’t expect to get out of this experience was my voice. Having my wishes heard by the doula and having her there to ensure that these needs and wants were heard by the hospital was so important that I was no longer timid about what I wanted.
I wanted a natural birth and our birth team was there every step of the way to ensure that I got what I wanted. I looked to her experience and expertise when doctors and nurses came in and out of my room with their instructions. She kept me informed on what was medically necessary and what wasn’t. I knew how to make more informed choices, convey my wishes to the medical staff and thus making me more comfortable and calm throughout the experience.
Finally, I had someone who knew how to help my husband keep calm too. In general, he is the strong rock in my life and he was able to be this for me again during my labour. I know that he could not offer that without having the support of our Doula. Having her in the room took a lot of the pressure off of him during times when he felt helpless. She gave us both the strength and reassurance we needed to help me deliver when I didn’t think I had any more strength left. She helped me find it. And for that I am truly grateful.
Written by: A satisfied doula client