Well Rounded Birth Prep

Well Rounded Birth Prep

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dreams of a doula-to-be

Let me clarify. I'm a childbirth educator, not a doula. Yet. My ICEA childbirth educator certification requires that I attend a minimum of two births, so I've found myself in a quasi-unofficial-doula status. I have three pregnant friends due over the next three weeks, all of whom have told me I can attend their births. Two of these moms are delivering at hospitals an hour or more away from here, and I have to procure childcare before leaving for their births, AND these are both 3rd time moms. I fear I may not make it to both! (The other mom is planning a homebirth and lives about 30 minutes away from me.) (P.S. I live in WV and we measure how far things are in how long it takes to drive there. Miles mean nothing in a state full of winding 2-lane roads.)

Last night, I couldn't sleep because I kept dreaming about my friend who is due any second now and was 5 cm dilated at her last checkup. I kept waking up, thinking she was already in labor and I was late to get there, or that I had to shower before leaving and that would set me too far behind and I'd be late. I also forgot to pack my dry erase board for my Well Rounded Birth Prep private, in-home class today, even though I packed everything else I needed for the class, so I was worried that I'd forget it. I was also certain that she would go into labor in the night and that I'd need to pull an all-nighter to doula her birth, change clothes, then go straight to the class I had to teach this morning. None of those worries happened, fortunately.

The only births I've attended thus far have been my own. Yes, I have a vast amount of book knowledge about births, along with a fair amount of personal experience, but do these qualify me to be my friends' doula? Apparently, yes. I worry that I will let them down. I'm a perfectionist, and I want to do my best to support them. I want to fulfill any role they want me to fulfill. If they want me quiet in a corner, I can do that. If they want me applying counterpressure to the Magic Spot on their lower back, I'll be willing to do that, too. Ideas for changing positions? Reminders to take sips of Gatorade? I can do that.

A lot of people have asked me whether I want to be a doula now that I'm a childbirth educator. The idea intrigues me, but for right now, lack of childcare limits my options. I have four children, the oldest of whom is seven. In seven more years, we will have a reliable babysitter (my oldest). I can't be on call as a labor doula for an expecting mother if I can't promise that I can be there.

I'm really excited for my three friends' births, and I hope that I can be a help and a blessing to them. I wonder how I'll feel about doula-ing after I try it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy and excited for you! I'm certain you will beautifully assist birthing women. They will be blessed to have you in their corner.


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