First off- let’s start with what a doula is.
A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
When I was pregnant with my son, I had first heard of a Doula. I thought that their roll was better suited for home births or for mothers who wouldn’t have a partner present during their birth.
It wasn’t necessary in my opinion and just another expense that I wasn’t willing to dish out so I just stuck with my midwife.
But as I got closer to my deliver date, I grew more anxious and scared. What was I doing? I was going to be giving birth?! How will I know when I’m in labor? Maybe I should hire one.. Nahhh.
For the birth of my son, we hired a photographer- Jen Conway. Jen is also a doula.
My husband notified Jen and we all met up at the birth center when the time came.
When I was put into my birthing suite, I had no idea what I was doing. I felt lost and the fear took over. I needed support.
I remember saying to my husband, “Where’s the midwife?”
My midwife was in the building, but she wasn’t actually there. She watched me through contractions, checked my cervix a couple of times and recommended sterile water injections to ease my back labor… then would go missing for hours.. She didn’t actually help me at all.
Jen, my photographer, on the other hand was my saving grace.
She instructed my husband on what to do for me through my contractions, she fed me honey sticks and water when I was losing energy, she reminded me that this is what my body was meant for and not to give up.
Jen was the one who had me cat/cow breathe through my contractions to ease my back labor. She recommended many different labor positions I would have never imagined.
She was by my side, along with my husband for 19 hours.
She was my shoulder to cry on when I felt defeated, but gave me the strength to make it through.
I was blessed to have chosen Jen and for the gracious doula services she provided me with.
Looking back now- if she wouldn’t have been there, I guarantee I would have given up.
Maybe I expected too much or maybe I was a needy birthing mother.. But had I known the midwife wasn’t going to give me the support I was anticipating, I would have gone a different route.
This is why I will hire a doula for my next birth.