As a doula, I have the awesome opportunity of attending A LOT of births. Each one is unique, and every couple who hired me has had their own reason for wanting a doula.
- Some want a 100 percent completely natural birth.
- Some want the reassurance that they are going to be “in the know” at all times, even when their nurse is out of the room.
- There’s always the couple who hires me because they don’t have confidence in the daddy who might have a queasy tummy at the sight of blood, pain, and needles!
- And, I’ve had plenty of expectant women who want a doula, but still want the option of having an epidural.
With so many different reasons behind why a family might invite me into this precious time in their life, my first question within our “prenatal visit” is always, “Why? Why did you choose to hire a doula?” Their answer shapes the rest of our conversation. If they want to go natural, our talking points will veer that direction. The couple who just wants to be sure they are totally cared for, a conversation catered to their needs. And so on.
One of my recent clients hired me to assist with their third baby. I had the privilege of being their doula with baby #2, so our prenatal visit went fairly smoothly, mostly recalling what happened during their previous labor and delivery. My first question to them this time around was pretty direct though. “What are your plans for the boys?” Since one of their boys has health needs, and they don’t have many family members around to help, part of their birth plan was to make sure that I am there, as coach #1, if Scott was unable to get to the hospital in time. His exact words to me were, “Kristi, if time comes and I am not there when she pushes him out… we are okay with that.”
Well… take a look at our text correspondence. I picked up momma at her home and drove her to the hospital. Then…
He’s an hour away. That’s OK. I mean… she’s 6 cm, 4 minutes apart. We’re cool. The contractions are getting close, but she’s handling them like a rock star. She’s getting the epidural, and before long will be comfortable. Easy Peasy.
Whoa! From the arrival to the hospital to baby in her arms – 1 hour and 1 minute. Sure, I know it sounds crazy, but guess what? That’s what we prepared for! Crazy as it sounds, we embraced the moment and at the end of the day, Scott’s words echoed in my head, “Kristi, if time comes and I am not there when she pushes him out… we are okay with that.” Thank God for texting!
So what can we take from this? (Aside from making sure your phone is accessible and your texting fingers are fast!) Ask yourself…
- What are YOUR specific needs?
- Does your birth plan cover the unexpected?
- Do you need a doula or birth partner to make sure all of your needs are met? Ask your OB/GYN or hospital for a recommended list of doulas.
Each birth story is unique. Embrace it!