Recently I met a potential Doula client in her home. She is planning a VBAC, actually a HBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean or Home Birth After Cesarean). She called me a few days later to continue our discussion. After I hung up from speaking to Hope (not real name), for a unusually long time, my mind was racing. More important than “getting the job” was my concern that she felt encouraged. When I found a quiet moment I wrote some of my thoughts and some things I hoped I conveyed.
This is a woman on the hunt! Pregnancy is very much a time of hunting and gathering. She was hunting for answers, hunting for confidence in her hunting and birthing abilities. She has a lot of self doubt. She is looking for a way to guarantee a VBAC. In Birth, as in life, there are no guarantees but with facts and support her chance of success is much higher. I recommended she read the VBAC FACTS webpage and attend the local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) meetings . I also tried to convey to her that SHE CAN DO IT! She can trust her intuition that is telling her she can give birth to her baby vaginally. She can trust her choices! Just as she made many decisions today, she will make many decisions on the day she gives birth. Exactly as she decided to go to Target today and what groceries to buy, what to cook, what to wear, wether to take a phone call or not, she will know what decisions to make in labor.
She will know when to call her midwife, when to make her home ready, when to call in care for her toddler, when to ask for her husbands help, and when to call her doula. She will know when to rest and sleep, and when to set up the birth pool and get in the warm water. She will know when it’s time to push and when it’s time to nurse her new baby. She will know when something needs to change or something is not right. And she will know when it’s time to draw boundaries that protect her and her little ones if needed. How will she know?
TRUST. Trust in God. Trust her bones. Trust her ancient wisdom. Trust in her baby. However you say it, it is trust. Trust with no fear, no judgement, no absolutes, no right, no wrong. Faith. Faith in herself. Faith in her God. Love. As we practice living from a place of love, with loving intention, we gain confidence in our choices. With our confidence grow self love! Love of self draws us into friendships that are also loving and this type of group knows how to give out love to those in need. As a mom in need of wisdom she needs only ask herself what she would do for a friend, what she would recommend to a friend, and then be that friend to herself. Hope is on one part of the path on her journey. I feel grateful to have met this woman. I pray I fed her. God speed little Mama!
I am at a birth right now. Birth takes time, sometimes allowing me time to write. We are watching Lord of The Rings. Old familiar movies are very calming to this laboring mom. On a side note: a bit of a blessing happened to me today. I forgot my phone at home! At first I panicked. As Doula, often on call, I am rarely without my phone. Today I only had only one mom that would call me and I am with her now! What a delightful day it’s been without my phone! A vacation. Nobody is having a baby besides the woman I sit beside now. No other place to be but here. Why does it seem more acceptable, even soothing, to be writing in my journal at a birth, than to be pecking away on my phone. Not to be watching a pot boil, i.e., hoovering over a laboring woman, midwives often are pictured knitting in a rocker. Birth is or should be a low tech event. More face-to-face, more heart-to-heart, more skin-to-skin helps mama’s in childbirth. People would be wise to use technology sparingly, especially her partner and her doula. Soon it was time for me to stop writing and give this woman and her labor all of my attention. Mama worked hard and had her baby in the next few hours.
With loving intentions, Doula Rosie ~ Mazel Tov!