I wanted to schedule a c-section because pushing a baby out of my body scared me to death. We have all seen the movies where the woman is on the table dripping with sweat. She is screaming and wants to give up. Then finally she makes one last desperate push and the baby is delivered. The woman collapses in exhaustion and lifts her tearful head to catch a glance at her new baby…NOT ME! The thought of choosing my child’s birth date was appealing to me. A c-section just seemed…neater…cleaner. My husband was against it. After weeks of discussion and researching I came across and article on doulas. Basically, a doula is someone who helps the mother throughout her pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. I LOVED the idea of a “pregnancy concierge” as I called it and said to my husband, if you want me to push I’m going to need a doula.
I went to google and found a couple of people in my area. I sent some emails and decided that I would meet with two people. One woman was a mother to six children. She was very earthy and homeopathic. She didn’t believe in drugs (epidurals) and I knew right then and there that we could not have a good relationship. I didn’t even want to meet face to face. The next woman came over to my house and met with me and my husband. Her name was Ursela. Its not often that you meet someone and feel instantly comfortable with them.
I had many issues with my first pregnancy: gestational diabetes, pre-term labor, bed rest (in the hospital), couldn’t sleep, couldn’t get comfortable. Forget taking a class AT the hospital. By the time I got home from work I barely got the key out of the door before falling asleep. Luckily, Ursela was available to answer questions (at all hours of the day or night), give advice and hold private classes for me.
The day that the baby was born Ursela was in the hospital herself. She sent her backup Denise who was AWESOME! Denise was waiting at the hospital fully uniformed with name and title “DOULA”, so that the staff knew that she was MY advocate. When I was having contractions and got sick of my family members talking, Denise picked up on it and asked everyone to keep there voices down. When I needed ice, she was there. When I freaked out after hearing a woman scream a blood curdling plea to God, she explained that the woman was breathing AGAINST the pain and calmed me down. When the epidural was ready for insertion it was Denise who I leaned on and was coached by. When my baby’s heart started decelerating it was my husband who accompanied me into the O.R. for my emergency c-section. But Denise was waiting for me in the recovery room and she stayed with me until the baby’s first feeding.
At home, I was still not getting that whole breastfeeding thing. I called Ursela and she did a lactation consultation and rented a hospital grade pump to me. She continued to call and check up on me. To this day we are friends. Having a doula was the best decision that I made and I suggest it to all of my pregnant friends. I knew that I would have questions that google couldn’t answer for me or that I would forget before my next doctor’s appointment. I knew that nurses would be in and out of the labor room. I knew that my mother would be sitting in the corner doing a Sudoku puzzle while I was laboring. So I trusted my gut. And I am glad that I did.