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Love. Create. Celebrate. : My Doula Experience

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Doula Experience

I figured I should write down a few of my thoughts from my experience hiring a birthing doula before I forget everything. Ellie was only born three weeks ago but I already feel like the labour and delivery are a distant memory.

An even more distant memory is the internal debate I had about whether or not to hire a doula (you can read my thoughts on that in this blog post). Obviously we decided we would hire one, and if we can afford it, we probably will again for future babies. 

We were very happy with our doula experience. 
We met with her a few times before the birth. Asked questions. Got information. Gained insight. All of which eased my anxiety immensely. 
I thought it was extremely helpful to have her input; however, at this point I assumed that I wouldn't hire a doula again. The second time around I would already have all the information I needed, right? Plus I would have the personal experience of giving birth to draw from. No more unanswered questions the second time around [although I now realize that my second or third birthing experience may be very different from my first!]. So no more need to hire support, right?

And then the labour and delivery came. 
Oh man - that was difficult! (Am I right, mamas?!)
The amount of support that our doula provided for us the day that I went into labour was irreplacable 
(speaking from the perspective of someone without my mama or best friends nearby).
From the early morning, when were called her to confirm that I was showing early signs of labour (I trusted a person much more than I trusted google!), to the middle of the night when she took pictures of us after Eleanor had entered the world. 
The support of a third person was exactly what we needed. 

After you read Eleanor's birth story, you know that our labour was somewhat eventful and didn't go exactly the way I had hoped it would ahead of time.
When I was experiencing pain, our doula was there to help relax me and to help my husband know what to do (e.g. massage techniques, encouragement, etc.). When I was making tough decisions, she was there to provide insight and support (e.g. should I get the epidural?). When we were relaxed she was there to keep conversation going and provide relief for my husband (e.g. we chatted about mundane things, she got drinks and ice chips for me, she gave my husband a break to go to the washroom). She paid attention to details such as time between contractions, length of contractions, and my hydration levels so that I could focus on labour, and so that my husband could focus on me. 
And when my husband fainted (not a predictable event!), I was not left alone! She was there to encourage me to keep breathing and keep going, reminding me that he was being cared for. 
Having her support throughout was priceless. 

Now we have a beautiful, happy baby and a family of three!
Having a doula again for our next birth may not be an option financially, but if it is, my husband and I have agreed that we would take that route again. Money well spent! 


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