Doula or Don’t ya?Posted: December 19, 2012
That was bad, even for me.
So, Herr Husband and I are hiring a doula for my birth. It’s not something I was ready to think about until now, because preemie birth is going to be terrifying no matter what and a doula can do little to change that.
But now that I’m approaching the time of slightly less scary birth, it seems like I might want to think about having a positive birth experience. Now I know plenty of you are snickering into your hands–“Positive birth experience!? Sounds like something only a woman who birthed a 2lb 5oz baby could imagine…”
But what I mean is, I’m afraid of giving birth. Not of the pain (I’ve dilated to a ten before, and I know it’s excruciating). And I know about the ring of fire. But the thing is, none of that compares to the emotional pain of scary pregnancies and extremely sick kids. I’m afraid of not knowing what to do in a normal birth situation. You see, for me, pregnancy has always been about being failed by my body. My last birth went something like:
Hipster Hausfrau: Please don’t let me be in labor, please don’t let me be in labor, please don’t let me be in labor. Ow!
Doctors: You’re not in labor.
Hipster Hausfrau: Please don’t let me be in labor, please don’t let me be in labor, please don’t let me be in labor. Double ow!
Doctors: You’re not in labor.
Hipster Hausfrau: Super OW!
Passing nurse: Your contractions hurt that much? You’re in labor.
Doctors: Oops. Just kidding. We see hair. 8 centimeters.
But a key element here is resistance and denial. And I’m just not sure I can dispel all of that on my own (or with the magical Herr Husband’s amazing help; he’s a great pregnancy and birth partner, but he’s been traumatized, too.) I’ve actually made an analogy between my ability to have a normal birth and people who wait until they’re married to have sex. They spend their whole lives denying themselves sex and telling themselves it’s bad, and then they flip a switch and they’re supposed to enjoy it. But they still have those bad messages floating around in their brains. So they wind up having issues with sex (Sometimes. I’m sure sometimes they’re happy and fulfilled. I think I’ve met like two of these people in my life, so this is based on my psychological interpretation rather than data.)
But anyway, I think I need help shake off the medicalization that has happened to me throughout both pregnancies and my previous birth. I need to think of birth as something natural that I can do. And that’s why I’m enlisting a doula.
Lady Beejer (no relation to the chimpanzee puppet, except that he was purchased at her wedding weekend and was thus named) herself completed doula training and has recommended her doula to me. We met with Julie tonight and really liked her. She’s clearly going to be a very calming and knowledgeable presence during and before delivery. I especially think she’ll bring that natural energy that both Herr Husband and I need in order to shake off our birth-as-medical-terror-show viewfinders.
And then there’s this: