My doula is an awesome woman – just to make sure you don’t get the wrong idea from the post title. When I decided to use a doula I knew exactly what I wanted her to do: Make sure that my partner remained calm and didn’t get on my last tortured nerve during labour. Of course I had everything planned out to the last detail. From the positions that I would and wouldn’t enter, who I wanted in the room and who I didn’t, my pain relief options etc.
My due date came and went so I eventually decided to be induced when I reached 42 weeks. The discomfort (read pain) that I was in at that point started to outweigh the joy I experienced from being pregnant and I didn’t enjoy that fact one bit.
The day kicked off rather surreptitiously: Determined to keep my modesty firmly intact, I even shaved my legs before leaving for the hospital – because you know how hairy legs are the last things a OBGYN wants to look at during a birth.
The day passed with a slow parade of very intimate ‘how do you do’s’ with my cervix, being strapped to the fetal monitor and getting anxious every time the reaading alarmed the nursing staff and I ended upended without so much as a warning. My mobility was restricted some after that as they started monitoring baby’s heart beat more closely.
Allowing myself to cut ahead to midnight where my labour went from ‘this is okay’ to ‘oh my GOD’ with very little warning and I finally called my doula and partner to come in. One of the nurses planted the excellent seed in my mind that no, I didn’t need to go through this so I asked for an epidural. Sure, maybe I wasn’t being very clear at that point. Going ow ow ow ow while winding myself around the side bar of the bed probably didn’t make for the best articulation on my behalf. My doula being the dear that she is of course reminded me at this point that I was very adamant about not wanting to have an epidural unless medically necessary.
Fortunately at his point my little one decided that she had now had enough of being in her cozy womb and was coming out right now.
My new best friend the anesthesiologist arrived then, followed closely by my OBGYN who looked a little worse for the wear. Her mood perked up however after my waters were ruptured and came out green.
I was taken to surgery for a c-section and every second thought after ‘I’m having my baby’ turned to the description I had heard my pastry chef give about trying to relax enough between contractions to allow for the spinal to be performed. And no, this wasn’t fun, but once it was in – wow.
In hindsight the c-section went quickly. The sensation of hands pulling and pushing inside your body is strange, but not as strange as having your baby held next to your head and you can’t hold her. And the wait while you are monitored afterwards, even less fun.
But that magic moment when you are taken back to the ward and that little bundle is given to you and latches on for the very first time is perfect and amazing and truly an experience you never forget.
And this is where I say again, my doula wasn’t necessarily there for me, but she was there all the time, recording something of my life that I would have lost out on completely.
My doula was there for all of us.