With my first child, I had no idea there was such a thing as a doula -- I had never heard the word. With my second, we moved while I was 7 months pregnant, and I had since learned what a doula was; as I was away from home and family, I thought about finding a doula to help me through that birth, but in the end, the fear of the cost left my husband and I on our own again. With my third child, I finally decided I deserved a doula!
And do I ever love her!
Once my contractions began and we headed for the hospital, we called two people: My mom (who was three hours away), and my doula. My doula, Alicia, met us soon after at the hospital. She came ready to serve with her doula bag, her calm demeanor, and her gentle smile. I felt instantly better as she walked into my room, like "now I can do this."
My husband had been with me through two other labors and births -- he wasn't a newbie. But Alicia could intuit what my needs were without even asking. She was so good at helping me, she was almost like a fixture in the room -- the one handing me cold wash clothes to put on my hot belly, the one adjusting the bubbles in the Jacuzzi tub, the one giving the soft physical and verbal encouragement when I hadn't even realized I was struggling.
From my husband I had love and security; from my doula I had nurturing and normalcy. Now I know, if I ever have another baby, I absolutely will have a doula.
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)