Paula, Professor Pocket and Raising a bilingual baby

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To doula or not to doula… September 3, 2008

Filed under: Personal — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 4:27 am
Tags: , ,

Next week I hit 28 weeks and start my last trimester. The reality that this baby that’s been my constant companion for the last 6 1/2 months will have to make it’s way out somehow really hits home the closer I get to December 1st. I have read, researched and talked to lots of moms who have all shared their own birth stories. I’ve heard all kinds, from “It was the worst experience of my life” to “It’s really not that bad!” Who to believe? I’ve decided not listen to anyone, I’ve stopped reading all the books and stopped researching the internet. As a first timer I have to be able to go into the experience of labor with a completely positive attitude or else I’ll spend my last three months of this pregnancy in complete fear and dread. Not only that, I truly believe that my experience is my own and that it is going to be whatever it’s going to be so why worry about it now.

The last decision I need to make is whether or not to include a doula in my birth. I was initially completely sold on the idea after talking to a couple friends who recently used doulas and had very positive experiences. However, after talking with both my husband and my closest friend Amy, I’m left a bit uncertain. Joe feels like a doula would be taking his role as my partner, coach and support system. Amy has three kids so is definitely a pro. She believes that the birthing experience is a very intimate time between you and your husband and that it’s more special when it’s just the two of you. Given that I’ve never been through this I honestly don’t know what I want or how I’ll feel the day of. Part of me likes the idea of having a doula, someone who has been through the process tons of times and can be there to not only support me but Joe as well. Plus, hospital nurses aren’t really there to give you emotional support, so a doula can be your advocate and cheerleader. However, when I picture the day, I really like the idea of it being just Joe and I in there, a bit lost and overwhelmed, but still figuring it all out together. Although you spend time with the doula prior to the birth, it does seem a bit odd to allow a virtual stranger into the room as you go through one of the most powerful and emotional experiences of your life. So, three months out, I’m still not sure what to do. I don’t have a master birth plan or idea of exactly what I want. But I suppose somehow it will come together and work out! Plus the final result will be something like this, it’s all got to be worth it!

My niece Mia...

My niece Mia...

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3 Responses to “To doula or not to doula…”

  1. I would say go with a doula, or a really great girlfriend who could play the role of a doula. I just did that for my girlfriend’s first birth back in May. She says without me there, she didn’t think she could have experienced the birth she really wanted. She did not feel that I took away from her husband’s role at all, he did what a husband should and I filled in the rest.

    Of course, on the other hand if you are a very personal person and your husband is able to stand behind your plans, even if you say something different (which you will, it is a sign of transition), then do it yourself.

    Me personally, I labor alone with my husband and sometimes the midwife makes it, sometimes she doesn’t. But I have my babies at home now and allow myself to naturally go into a trance that allows me to not be bothered by my surroundings. Not always easy to do in a hospital with constant distractions.

    My first two births were in the hospital though, and the first was quite traumatic despite my birth plan, don’t think anyone even bothered to look at it. The second was pretty good. All natural and not too much intervention. I know if I had a different person supporting/delivering things would have been different. I was lucky to get a midwife on call for the second one, not so lucky the first time.

    After doing it that way the second time, I had enough courage to do the next at home. Now I will never go back to a hospital to deliver unless I have to.

    Good luck in your decision. I hope you have the birth you dream of. Birth is wonderful and life changing.

  2. Nathalie Says:

    That is one cute picture of Mia!

    I didn’t have a doula, but it might have been nice.

    For me, the immediate experience of childbirth was not a bonding moment with my hubby (as much as I love him). Conceiving, yes. Delivery, not so much.

    With Louis’ birth, there were at least 6 other people in and out of the room, with Sophie 3-4 others.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I highly recommend the doula! It was just dh and I for my first birth, and for my second, we tried a doula. If you can find an awesome doula, she will be a godsend to you. It’s like having your own private nurse just to take care of you and dh. Is your nurse too busy to pay any attention to you? No problem! (BTW, I hope you’re not under the same misconception I was -that your doctor is going to coach you through labor, ’cause s/he probably won’t be there till you’re already pushing).

    Back to the topic of doulas. They will be as involved or uninvolved as you want them to be. You can send them to get water for you and dh or just to wait in another room if you want some time to yourselves. If your DH gets hungry or needs to use the loo, your doula can step in and your dh doesn’t have to be worried or hurried. You can send her to the waiting room to give periodic updates to your extended family and not have do be without DH. My DH loved (LOVED!) our doula because he was able to just relax and enjoy the birthing process without having to try and remember a million things about birth and techniques to try. He experienced so much more JOY because he was chilled out instead of being a ball of stress. And he had a lot he could’ve been stressed about because, believe it or not, my second pregnancy was a high-risk delivery (natural childbirth with twins -almost unheard of).

    If you’re going the natural childbirth route, once you get to the end of your “transition phase” of your labor, you won’t care WHO is in the room with you. You will be in your own little world. And once that baby arrives, the pain turns off like a LIGHT SWITCH (it’s AMAZING!). And you’ll be in your own little world with your new little family… everything else… everyone else will fade away.

    Most important thing if you go this route: find a doula you “click” with. If she wouldn’t be fun to have coffee with, she’s not “the one.”


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