Monday, January 3, 2011

Doula, Check

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The way I envisioned my birth experience before Michael got sick and passed, was that aside from the doctor and nurses Michael would be the only other person with me. He was such a natural caregiver that I knew he would soothe me and encourage me and be all I needed.

But here I am doing this without him, and I've had to come up with a new vision for how I want my birth experience to be.

All I knew was that I wanted my sister to be present, and then a couple of months ago, kind of out of the blue, I had the idea to look into working with a doula. No one I know of has used a doula before, but I thought that for my unique situation it might be a really good thing. The first doula I contacted seemed great, but we were never able to get together. Then she let me know that she is also pregnant, and she's experiencing complications. That meant that she needed to cut back on her work. After all I've been through, I totally understand! Thankfully, she referred me to another doula that she holds in high regard, and we were able to meet today.

I really liked her, and I've asked her to put me on her calendar. Her services include:

  • two prenatal visits
  • assistance creating a birth plan
  • childbirth education, options, and rights
  • 24/7 phone and email support throughout
  • emotional, physical, and informational support throughout labor and birth
  • assistance with initial breastfeeding at the hospital
  • one postpartum visit
She will also make additional visits postpartum for an additional cost. I thought it might be good to have her back in the month before I go back to work to help me with the transition to pumping.

We'll meet up again in March to talk about the birth plan and get to know each other better. In the meantime, my sister and I will attend birth education classes at the hospital.

I doubt I would have chosen a doula if I weren't in my situation, but I think it's going to be the best way for me to do this without Michael.


  1. I think a doula is a wonderful idea! I have heard only great things from my friends who have used doulas.

  2. That's great news. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Sounds like you'll have a great birth. Congrats Joannah!

  3. What a great decision! Did I ever tell you that I'm a doula, too? Instead of the classes at the hospital, which tend to advocate for the hospital (in disguise), I highly recommend a Bradley class instead. You'll get a whole lot more out of it.

    It sounds like you're starting to get to the fun part of being pregnant. How are you feeling?

  4. You know, I re-read your post and have to say I really empathize with you about how you have had to change your vision of how you want your birth to go. I had a vision of how I'd become a mother, too, and had to revise it several times.

    We never know what the future will hold. I'm so glad for the Savior in our lives, the one constant, to only One we can always count on to be there for us No Matter What!

    Have you thought of having Micheal's music playing softly in the birth room at the time Michaela is born? Just set the player to constant repeat so you won't have to think about it.

    BTW, will you email me with your address so I can send you some goodies for the baby? I'm itching like crazy to sew a couple little baby things for you.

  5. Last comment for tonight...

    I just noticed that have Status: None in the Facebook thingy on the right of your blog. How about having commenters offer suggestions instead of none, if that's an option. I think my choice would be "gestating" for now and "breastfeeding" for later.

  6. What a wonderful decision. I had a birth partner AND a doula and would recommend one to ANYONE! Such a wonderful support! That is nice that you can hire a specific one. I had a specific one but now they have a doula group locally (no more birthing for me anyway!)~ not sure I would like the idea of getting the on-call doula! Anyway, GREAT decision and your doula will be fondly remembered for years and years!

  7. Very nice..
    Think that is a great decision..
    Love you girly..
    Hugz...need new pictures..
    You have to be looking super cute..

  8. I am so VERY happy that I had a doula-- it made for a wonderful birth experience, and now that I'm pregnant again, she's coming again (as a midwife in training this time!). She was a wonderful support and advocate and allowed my birth partner (who in your case would be your sister, I'm thinking) to focus on my needs 100% while she ran to find a nurse or advocated on my behalf when I didn't want an IV, etc. So I can only say good things.

    I also echo K on thinking about a birthing class other than the hospital birthing class; they tend to normalize the 'hospital way' of doing things, so if you're not sure if you'd want pic or an epidural, etc. you might consider Bradley classes, or I really enjoyed Hypnobabies. It all depends on what resonates with your particular style. (BTW, have you watched the Business of Being Born? It was a big eye opener for me)

    So glad that you've made this choice, and I hope that your experience is as wonderful as mine was!

  9. I had our first two babies at Los Alamitos Medical Center and loved their birthing class. I didn't feel pressured to do anything I didn't want to do. Just my two cents. I love the idea of having a doula! My good friend here in SLO is a doula, and her stories bring me to tears. Ted was a great support in the room, but when I was in pain, he felt helpless and that's where the doula will SHINE. I haven't talked with you about pain management, but I would just say make sure the doula is "OK" with whatever YOU choose. The worst thing would be a doula trying to tell you what to do and making you feel guilty if you choose a different way. (They are out there- beware!) Your doula is your advocate; she is there to help you as you labor and deliver sweet Michaela, however YOU see fit to do it! You go, girl! (Still think you need a photographer... hint, hint.) :-)

  10. What a super idea, I'm very natural about such things and would love to deliver with a mi.dwife (unless it's a high risk pregnancy then obviously it would need to be a OBGYN but in that case I'd definitely have a doula with me!). A woman supporting a woman is just so beautiful!


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