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:
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.
- 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
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.