As a Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator in the Tulsa area, I just have to share what drives me in the work I do. I believe that more women need to know about the full spectrum of maternal care when preparing for birth. The baby making business was extremely romanticized when I first became pregnant. I imagined the morning sickness and how it would be a badge of honor and clear up around 12 weeks along. I imagined getting stretch marks and not minding a bit, because I am badass and self confident! I imagined a labor starting at home, an active husband, the rush to the hospital, labor progressing swiftly and having a baby within 12hrs. Because I believed what I saw in the movies. I believed that it was only complicated for a few people, that not many women experienced helplessness at some point in their pregnancy journey.
I. Was. Wrong.
Childbirth wasn't what I thought it would be.
After 9 months of UTIs, kidney stones and reflux, after months of stress between my spouse and me, after a 12 hr labor, and an untold amount of pages sent to my OB, I had our baby girl with a last minute epidural and a resident catching her. (I later learned I had back problems that triggered horrific labor pain and traumatized my memory of our first birth.)
I knew it would be hard. I knew it would all be hard! I wasn't expecting a fairy-tale experience; I just wanted "normal." Where was my glow? I drank 150oz of water a day, why was I on antibiotics for UTIs the whole time? I took my prenatals and never lifted something too heavy, why did I have two discs out of place in my back? I didn't see any of this coming. I didn't have contingency plans because I believed my "idea" of birth equated to a "plan."
Then, I learned it could be different.
When I was 6 months postpartum I learned about a Birth Doula workshop. I read the career description and immediately knew two things: I was born for this, and more women need tailored support during pregnancy and child birth. When I became pregnant with my second child I learned about Your Birth Experience, Missy David's creative approach to childbirth preparation and I was sold! This informative approach is unlike the rest. It gives you the sheers; you do the tailoring. It is genius! You see, something this approach allows you to do is look ahead. It invites you to envision how you want to feel. It creates a stress free opportunity for you to know your birthing options and plan for any [realistic] scenario, creating open discussion and allowing you to breathe easy.
Childbirth Preparation impacts more than the birth itself.
You see, how you prepare for birth does not only affect one day in history. You, and every other mother, will remember each of your birth stories for the rest of your lives. You will remember being active or passive. You will remember your joy or fear. You will remember your first glimpse of your beautiful child and you will remember the work it took to get there. Your journey to motherhood is not only about birth; it's about your story. Whatever comes, how you prepare will directly impact your entire life in big and small ways. The smartest thing you can do is prepare to be whole. When all is said and done, are YOU proud of you? Did you love yourself? Did you feel empowered? Did you feel supported?
Doulas can help empower you for the journey of birth and parenthood.
If you don't feel proud, or don't feel empowered... We are here for you! You are why we study. You are why we go without sleep. You are why we are passionate.
Are you still unsure if you need a Doula? I dare you to sit down with one of us and discuss your options for an hour and see what we bring to the table. YOUR birth experience is a golden opportunity to invest in your journey.
Written by Tab Moura, CYBE, Birth Doula with Tab Moura Birth Services