Updated: Jul 18, 2019
“Ok, that’s it. I’m going home.”
And I started to leave the room. The door was just 5 feet away, and in my muddled, hazy, pain-focused thoughts I believed that if I could just get through that door it would all go away. The hurt. The confusion. The monotony. As I made my way to the door, my mom laughed and said, “No, I don’t think you’re going anywhere.” And she and a sweet L&D nurse manhandled me into bed and my memories of the next 2 hours are a tangled mess.
It was transition. I was 8 cm dilated after 12 hours of pretty routine (dare I say easy?) labor. But it was getting serious now and I was getting nervous. I was committed to a drug free delivery and so far, so good. I wanted to see how far I could take it. Was I capable of having this baby without any drugs? Could I actually have what they used to call a “natural delivery”?
**Side note** ALL deliveries are natural, you are a natural person giving birth to a natural person. The birthworld PC term you are searching for is “unmedicated”. So there’s that.**
Anyway, back to my mayhem. What if? What if I’d had a doula there to encourage me? What if I’d had a doula that said the words, “You’re doing awesome! You’re so strong! You can do this. You are a warrior and the battle is almost over...” What if she’d been there to help me remember how to breathe, because I kept forgetting and it was really upsetting to me. What if she’d had a tennis ball to press into my sacrum because the back labor was so intense, ALL. THE. TIME. What if she’d have helped me change position, change my focus, change my labor.
Well, let me tell you what. If I’d had a doula, she would have helped with the fear. She would have breathed with me through every surge. She would have reminded me about the cleansing breath that is so satisfying when the contraction is over and the feeling of accomplishment you get from making it through that big one. She definitely would have at least one tennis ball, and she would have put all her body weight into counteracting the hurt of my back labor. She would have suggested I get into a hands and knees position to get the baby’s head off those sensitive nerves. When I started to wail that I couldn’t do it anymore (which I did) she would have been in my face, lovingly calling me back to the present moment, telling me I COULD do it, that I AM doing it, that it’s almost DONE.
My doula would have done all of these things and so much more. This may sound crazy, but she would have reminded me I was having a baby. I know, that seems dumb. But I literally forgot for like an hour that I was having a baby. That having a baby was why I was in that bed, in that room, in that hospital, in that place in time. She would have helped me focus on the purpose of that entire day. My body was bringing forth a precious little boy. My baby.
It’s important for me to say that I had an incredible support team. My husband was truly the epitome of the doting new father, sweet and loving and ever present. And I had my parents, my own personal cheerleaders, so encouraging and kind. But I just have to say that they were all a little bit...terrified. One of the people they loved most in the world, me, was going through the most painfully exhausting thing she had ever been through, and there was nothing they could do about it. They just held on and supported me the best they could. And they were great! And I’m EVER so grateful, I couldn’t have done it without them. (Well, I could, I did once, but I’ll save that for a different post.)
But I know with certainty, if there had been a doula in that room, an expert on birth that we could look to and rely on, it would have been a much easier thing to go through. For me. For them. For us all. Simply put, I would never give birth again without a doula.