Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doula oblongata...

At this point, I am really hoping to have an all-natural childbirth. There are a lot of little know-it-all-even-though-I've-never-given-birth reasons, but I'll let you google those. My subscription to this idea intensified when I spent like 3 hours last week watching natural childbirth videos on youtube. Sounds scary, right? Well, actually it made me less scared. I saw all these women who I assume are no better or tougher (certainly not cuter) than me delivering their babies. Sure, I could tell they were in major pain, and yes, the videos kind of made me want to throw up (they showed EVERYTHING), but it really did seem just so natural.

And when it comes down to it, I am terrified of having a c-section aka MAJOR ABDOMINAL SURGERY, and science shows that woman who use medical intervention (like pitocin and epidurals) during labor/childbirth have a higher rate for emergency c-sections. So to be clear, I am not being all judgy wudgy about people who use drugs or have c-sections, I am just fearful of both for a lot of selfish reasons.

So with all that in mind, I think I may want to hire a doula. Don't feel bad if you don't know what that is, because I didn't either until like a year ago. Well, it's kind of like a birth coach that helps you manage your pain/contractions (some are also trained in hypnobirthing), and they can also act as a mediator/advocate if unexpected things happen during labor that require you to make a last minute decision. When I first heard about doulas, I kind of likened it to a yoga instructor for childbirth... I also thought they were for weirdos.

I've watched a lot of TLC baby shows lately, and most of the people who plan to have a natural birth are like smelly hippies with dreads and armpit hair... And even THOSE girls halfway through decide they cant handle the pain, and ask for the good stuff. So my main objective in hiring a doula is finding someone to help me get through the pain and keep me from giving in to it and getting drugged.

And then, yesterday, I told my mom about the doula idea. DID. NOT. GO. WELL. In her mind, the doula is going to be chanting in another language and lighting sage around the hospital room. (Keep in mind my mom literally has no idea what a doula is).

I am pretty sure my mom thinks a doula will look like Erykah Badu (not that she knows who that is, either)...

I was more thinking Julianne Moore in "The Kids are Alright"...

You know, like cargo pants and leather bracelets. Plus, I love Julianne Moore. I think in reality, most doulas are just kind of normal and frumpy looking. Bad jeans, sweatshirts, no makeup, but they're certainly not witch doctors. 

My mom thinks that hiring a doula would be "way over the top," and says that she'll be embarrassed if I get one because the doctors and nurses will gossip about me. It's not like I am hiring a hair and makeup team for the birth, or that any IV fluids I get only be mixed with Fiji water. 

What about my husband? Why can't he support me and help me? Because I know how to trick him into doing stuff for me. So if I am crying that I want an epidural, he's going to make sure I get one. Don't get me wrong, Thomas is going to be an ideal birth partner. He is super sweet and comforting, will intervene with the medical staff if needed, plus (like me) he loves gross stuff so I don't think the birth process is going to be more than he can stand to watch. But because he is my husband, and seeing me in pain will be difficult, I feel that it may be hard for him to remain in focused birth-coach mode and that any amount of training we do might go out the window.

None of this is set in stone, and I do agree with my mom that I CAN do it without a doula. But at this point I am considering it. If you have any doula experiences to share or wish you had one, pleeease let me know! And basically, if you are reading this and have given birth to a human baby, let me know about that too. I really like hearing everyone's experiences, and find it comforting to know that no matter what ends up happening in birth that I WILL SURVIVE.


PS - I would like to give a shoutout to my husband for coming up with the title of this post. When I first mentioned the doula idea to him, he just said "doula oblongata?" I laughed. Then he asked me how much a doula costs.

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