Why Am I A Doula?
Around this time, six years ago, I was in my OB’s office for one of my regular prenatal visits. Everything with him had been pretty pleasant up to that point. Then, he asked me if I wanted to schedule an induction or if I wanted him to “let” me go to 40 weeks and wait to see what happens. I, of course, told him I wanted to wait, especially because I KNEW my due date was wrong based on the time of conception. His question scared me, made me angry and had me in a state of shock and confusion. We had spoken about how I wanted to give birth and now, it seemed he hadn’t even been listening. I kept thinking, would I even get to birth naturally or would unnecessary interventions be thrust upon me during labor?
I called my birth doula, almost in a panic, when I got home to tell her what happened. I half expected her to be as riled up as I was. I remember the calm in her voice as she spoke to me. I could hear the smile on her face. She simply asked me, “well, what do YOU wanna do?” I told her that of course I wanted to wait as long as she (my baby) would take to come. Then, I remember her little boy singing, “Baby you can do it, take your time, do it right!” 😀
I left his office afraid and within 20 minutes of getting home and speaking to this beautiful, awesome woman, I felt at peace. I felt powerful. I felt like I had this and that it was up to me to make the decision. She was my support when I felt tired, when I felt unsure, when I felt afraid and even when I was angry and having personal issues. Her job was to help me make INFORMED decisions that worked best for me and my baby. Her job was to make sure I was at ease so that I could birth my baby in peace.
I decided at that point that I wanted to help women feel the same. Being a source of education and support during a time where there is SO MUCH information- and most of it, pretty scary- was what I wanted to do. I wanted to advocate for families during one of the most vulnerable times in their life. I wanted to be the shoulder and the cheerleader for women and families when so many things during this time leave them feeling unsure of themselves and their decisions.
I know that not all- not even MOST- OB’s force interventions onto their pregnant clients. But, having an advocate and someone to reassure you that you have a voice if you DO encounter a doctor like this is INVALUABLE.
This is why I do what I do.