What do ya mean, a Doula???
With this being my third baby, you would think I would be an old pro at delivering a baby! Well, I am- that is, if you are talking about delivering with a stellar epidural, a good amount of pitocin, and being strapped to a monitor on my back for the duration. I am also familiar with the stress the pitocin seemed to cause on the heartrate of my baby, the subsequential threat of a c-section, an internal fetal scalp monitor (ouch!) and ultimately a vaccuum extraction (ie. a really bruised and cone shaped baby scalp). I am reallly good at all of that!
When I was preparing for delivery with my eldest child, my darling son Will, I was determined to go the au natural route. My husband and I attended lamaze together, refused to be induced until I was officially postterm and were very staunchly against the use of an epidural. All that went out the window as my due date came and went and in the end one intervention led to another in Will's birth. All my planning and dreams of how I wanted things to go went out the window in my attempts to have what we all truly desire, a healthy baby. I told myself not to look back with regrets and I still don't. I just wonder what would have happened if I had held out for a few more days. I did the best I could with the knowledge we had, and my wonderfully supportive doctor did as well, so we moved on.
With Natalie, I didn't even try to dream about anything different. I guess I gave up on my ideal. I figured if I thought about it too much and planned for a certain ideal, then things would certainly go the opposite of what I wanted. You know the old saying, "the bread always falls with the butter side down". As a nurse, I always noticed that the people with all the ideals ended up the ones that were disappointed.
Due to some family logistics (ie. travel plans), I went ahead and scheduled an induction before Natalie was even due. Everything went smoothly, quickly and without too much of a hitch. She did have some heart rate decelerations from the strength of the contractions that concerned them and she ended up with a fetal scalp monitor which I really didn't want. I remember thinking, "why did I decide on this induction again?"
You might ask me how I made it to 37 weeks pregnant without thinking about this again? I have thought about it some, but just never established a true plan. I told my mom that I didn't want anyone to make travel plans until I was in labor. Besides that, I just figured I would try to go natural but have an epidural if necessary. Let's be honest. We all know how that plan would have ended up.
Last week, I decided I better have a better birth plan than that! If I want to have options, I need to decide what I really want in order to be ready to advocate for what I really want.
I just finished reading Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake, and boy did it make me think! Seriously, it is such a good book and has opened my eyes to how much I have buried the dream I let go of in my first delivery. So, here I am, at the end of my pregnancy, wishing for a home tub birth! Okay, maybe not that extreme for me. I am an NICU nurse for goodness sake, and think I would be too scared to really try that even though I know it has been a wonderful experience for many people. Truthfully, I don't want to have my toddlers rushing into my bedroom an hour after I give birth asking me to get them some juice or milk! I kind of see the hospital as a vacation from parenting!!
But, I definately want to be surrounded by support for a completely natural birth. No discouragement allowed! All this meaning I would really love to find a doula to help me (and my husband) through the times I know I will inevitably be shouting "just give me an epidural!!!"
Tomorrow, I will be sharing my plans and hopes with my obstetrician, and from what I have heard I expect him to be fully supportive. I also am officially placing phone calls in search of a doula and praying that God leads me to the right person.