|Posted by Stephanie Hayes on January 26, 2013 at 1:45 AM|
By Stephanie Hayes, CD(DONA), Childbirth Educator - January 25, 2013
Thirteen years ago I gave birth to our son ten weeks prematurely. The time seems to have passed so quickly as the memories still seem as clear as if they had just occurred yesterday. Last year I began sharing my birth stories on my website as a means of letting others see beyond the professional doula that I am. While I am a strong proponent of the natural birth process, my experiences have enabled me to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of each birth. It may not always go according to plans and ideals, however, each one should be beautiful to the mother to whom it belongs. When a woman is well supported and respected, even a difficult, high-intervention birth can be viewed as “magical”, as one mom described her birth to me.
My ideals for birth were far from carried out the day I was induced at thirty weeks gestation. Who would want to suffer from seizures, be separated from her baby, or spend countless hours attached to a mechanical pump like a cow? And yet, I look back on the birth of my son with many very fond memories. I credit this in a huge way to the respect and good treatment that I received. Yes, there are things that I would like to do differently if I had the chance, but I am also thankful for expert medical care that was available to my son and me at this critical time. I am also thankful that, despite my need for medical intervention, the doctor was willing to honour my wishes, helping me to avoid an unnecessary cesarean. And I am very thankful for my one natural birth which maintained my confidence even when my body seemed to be failing me.
If I was to go through that experience again, I would certainly appreciate the option of having someone there to provide me with continuous one-on-one physical and emotional support. Having a doula there to reassure me and help ease my discomfort and pain would have been a huge comfort to my husband and me. If there is only one thing expectant parents do to prepare for labour and birth, I would encourage them to ensure that they have planned for more-than-adequate support. This is one of the most important times in your life and certainly worth investing in, perhaps even more than a graduation or a wedding. You will remember it, and you’ll want it to be beautiful!
If you have questions about doula options in the Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Parry Sound areas or how professional labour support would benefit you, please contact Stephanie for more information or to arrange a complimentary consultation.