Thursday, September 10, 2009

I have a sad doula confession..

The sad doula confession:

I haven't always been doula-ish.

Let me explain. A doula could be defined as caring, supportive, knowledgeable and compassionate during a woman's labor process.

There are two people who knew me "way back when" I wasn't a doula at heart. And sadly, I feel that I will never forgive myself for how I "helped them."

The first person that probably didn't benefit from my "help" (pre-doula) is my sister Mishka. With all three of her births she would call me at first contraction. For her that did NOT mean it was really labor. She always had prodromal labor: contractions off and on for several days. But once the pattern stayed, I headed down to Montgomery (an hour away) to help her labor at home before going to the hospital. We would go walking, come home and basically time contractions the entire time. I didn't know how to get her comfortable. In fact, I remember one time with one child, she got "stuck" in her big couch during a contraction and couldn't escape.. she was not happy.. I think I just laughed.. while she was contracting. {sigh}

But the longest fall from grace (lol) was on her last delivery (almost three years ago). To my credit, I did have a three month old when I came down to "help," that I brought with me. But my poor sister, who labors through late at night, decided she wanted to lie down in her bed. NOT A GOOD IDEA FOR SLEEPY SISTER WITH A THREE MONTH OLD. So what happens? My sister is writhing in pain through contractions, by herself, and then gets up and starts hacking in the bathroom all by herself. To which she then come in, HAS TO WAKE ME UP, to tell me it's time to go to the hospital. {bigger sigh}

{shudder} Seriously, this makes me so sad. I occasionally tell her how severely sorry I am and how I wish she would have another baby so that I could redeem myself. LOL. I try to assure her that now I DO NOT resemble anything that I did when I was "helping" her. But I feel it's no use. She may be waiting for that birth story that involves me telling about how a mom had to wake me up to tell me it was time to get to the hospital. {sigh}

The second person that I have huge regrets with is my very good friend, Christina. She never reads my blog, but I am always apologizing to her too. Two years ago she was having her first baby and planning a natural child birth. I was convinced she was crazy, and I had no qualms about telling her exactly that. I said things like, but not limited to:

"Are you saying that you feel more confident that the doctors?"
"Do you feel like you have to prove yourself, or something?"
"Christina, really?? you can find research to prove any point you want to make. That doesn't mean it's right."
"I just think its ridiculous to go through pain when you don't have to."


I wish I could say that was the least of what I did. I was the most skeptical, rude, highly misinformed, ignorant woman you could think of. Not to mention, totally unsupportive and even angry at my friend for even considering doing something so "stupid." {sigh}

To both of these womens' credit, they were very patient with me. They even talk to me to this day. ;-) But i have to say, I have come a long way in the last two years.. since my pregnancy with Eva (who is a year old, btw). I immediately wanted to try a natural child birth.. and to who do I credit? Christina. And who was there at my birth as one of the most supportive, caring, encouraging coaches? my sister, Mishka (and Christina..well and Jen and Laurie and my husband..what can I say.. I am an extrovert).

I even have a "FREE THE MIDWIVES" bumper sticker on my van and am a huge advocate for home birth in Alabama or at least for women to have the option with a legal midwife. And I did get to redeem myself with Christina. Two months ago she gave birth to a baby girl. I was there with her the entire time and was actually able to help, the right way! ;-)

So you could say that I was once a sad case.. but thankfully God opened my eyes to the beauty of His creation and how it works beautifully and I am thankful that He puts very patient people in my life. {sigh}


Christina said...

What a wonderful day to choose to read your blog..............I NEVER read your blog (or anybody's for that matter). You are so sweet. I want all the people to know how wonderful you are in the delivery room. You are AWESOME!!!

Sarah said...

Who's your sister? I'd love to read her prodromal birth stories!

I don't think your confession is sad. To me, it is really encouraging. It makes me remember that I may not be wasting my breath or effort with some people who don't seem to understand my passion. I won't write them off!

Incidentally, my Bradley teacher was like that years ago after her frist birth. She thought her wimpy friend would "fail," and wanted her to! And when she didn't, and didn't have the horrific experience my teacher had had with all the interventions, my teacher became curious. Three of her own natural births and six years of teaching Bradley later, I think she's better for having been the doubting Thomas, and I imagine you are, too. (And I'm sure it is more than satisfying for your friends to see that you've joined them in their craziness. :)

We all do things we look back on and shudder about. God is good to grow us.

Abby Warren said...

We all have to start somewhere. I don't think you have anything to be ashamed of. You just have more information and tools now!

Jen said...

Your passion for natural childbirth is contagious! I'm a case in point. I was right there with you two years ago when it came to ctina's birth, though I may not have been as vocal as you. ;-) But my eyes have been opened too, and now I find myself wanting to be pregnant solely for the experience of having a natural L&D. I know, that's kinda wrong, huh? I've enjoyed watching your transformation into a "birth junkie!!"

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