When women were out in the fields dropping babies and then resuming their work five minutes later, I'm sure a doula would never have come to mind. But now, they are becoming more and more popular. I'm a HUGE proponent of the doula.
Why? What does a doula do? I see a doula as a mid-wife for the mother. Her focus is on you - your needs and ensuring that you have as successful a birthing experience as you can. She acts as your advocate with the doctors and nurses so you can focus on getting that baby out and your loved ones can focus on feeding you ice and telling you how great you're doing.
I had never considered using a doula but my friend suggested it. It made total sense for me. I needed the security of knowing that someone would be there at the hospital. I wasn't sure where my sister would be. Mitchell, my birthing class partner, had a little guy of her own and I didn't want to disturb her at 2am if that's when the action got going. So I called Lisa and we met. And I loved her. She took all of my fear of childbirth out with one statement - "It's not like a broken leg. The pain stops once the baby is out." MAGIC.
We mapped out my birth plan. It was simple.
a. Will was to get on me as soon as we out (man - has that not changed).
b. My dad was to cut the cord
c. Under no circumstances were they to show me the plancenta
d. Drugs if I wanted them
I was lucky. I had a very fast labour. And Lisa was amazing. My step-mother was at the hospital when we got there. Lisa noted that wasn't part of the plan and said she would ask her to leave. I burst out laughing and said it was fine. BUT - the key is she would have done it. At 8 cm and in the middle of a two hour contraction I finally yelled for drugs. She ran to get the anesthesiologist. When Will shot out - literally - an hour later, she made sure he was settled on my chest instantly. She got my dad out of his cowering position in the corner and brought him up. He made Will's belly button. The placenta got taken away for testing because Will was so small - so check - gone.
Everything to plan. And I can look back - in all seriousness - really fondly on my birthing experience. It was fast, funny, a little dramatic....but it was smooth. And I'm so blessed. A huge reason for this was my doula. (although the nurses are still convinced that she was my partner...not that there's anything wrong with it!).
So did you doula? Do you wish you did??
*the pic is Lisa introducing me to a wrapped up Will! Amazing how much he looks the same AND how awesome my nails were...what a joke....that's what bedrest will get you!