After watching “The Business of Being Born” and reading Birthing From Within, I was very interested in hiring a doula to assist with my birth – particularly one trained in massage, meditation, and aromatherapy. They are supposed to be very helpful to women who desire natural births. I mean, come on. The idea of some “wise healer woman” attending my birth seemed totally appropriate for a person like me! The only thing that was preventing us from seriously searching at the beginning of my pregnancy was the cost. I was aware of at least one Doula on the river, but their website did not list cost. When a price is unlisted I usually assume the worst… We found a doula in Watertown but her fee and payment plan would not have worked with our summer budget either. And let’s face it… the baby is going to be born in the summer so we’ll need every penny we can pinch!
For awhile I gave up on the idea of a doula, but we talked to a few at a recent baby expo in Syracuse. One said she could be more flexible with a payment plan, which was reassuring, but having to count on someone two hours away would stress me out. The point of having a doula is that she is there to help you relax. I feel that I’d constantly look at the clock and wonder where she was. Yet the possibility, and my husband’s encouragement to ask about flexibility, was nice.
My friend Miss Corinne is also pregnant and was able to find a doula! Corinne likes her character and willingness to provide flexible payment plans so she recommended her to me. Not only that, but she’s local! My husband encouraged me to look into it. Why not? Unfortunately, this doula can’t commit to my due date which I completely understand. Life happens and I can’t expect the world to stop turning just for my labor!
And so, I’m letting it go.
Honestly, I’m not terribly beat up about it. I was a bit disappointed at first because it seemed nearly possible, but in the end it feels that the universe was trying to tell me not to worry so much. And my saying that is not to denigrate anyone hiring a doula! I believe in doulas, support all women who want one present, and would love to try that route again if I have another child. The biggest reason I wanted to hire a doula has been because of the reality that my midwife might not be there. She was very honest about that; things happen, people get ill, etc. She has made it equally clear that she doesn’t like missing her patient’s labors but that, sometimes, it happens. Naturally, that worries me – that there won’t be another midwife on call that night and I’ll be stuck with a doctor who just wants to go home and push the drugs on me to get it over with. It’s just that, I guess, I need to find the strength within. I need to have faith in my own resolve and, yes, stubbornness. I need to have faith in my body and in my Kindreds.
And the doula situation is just another reminder that, in addition, I need to be flexible and accept that things don’t always go the way I want or plan. So it’s not that I am now over having a doula; it’s simply that the universe needs me to learn a different lesson this time and I need to be open to that.
I also need to have faith in my husband. Weretoad might not always be the most lovey-dovey person in the world, but he is very supportive and sensitive when it counts. When I had my wisdom teeth out, for example, he cared for me the way I thought only a parent would. He set up timers and brought me my medicine exactly when I needed. He spoke soft reassuring words. He tucked me in. He brought me water and food. He helped me walk when I felt dizzy and nauseous. He replaced bloody gauze for me. He cleaned my drug-induced vomit from our patio. Helped me to the bathroom. You know you’ve found love when your partner helps you through the most embarrassing situations and yet loves you all the same. Weretoad occasionally irritates me when he plays one too many video games or looks at forums for ten minutes after I ask him to rub my feet, but he always delivers, and I know that, in serious situations like childbirth, he will be by my side with those soft reassuring words and strong hands that I love so much. My husband will be my doula, or close enough, this time around*.
And if a situation keeps my midwife away? I’ll have Brighid, the midwife.
* And he totally took a reiki class with me (despite his skepticism) specifically to learn another technique to calm and comfort.