24 Oct What Happens When Birth Rages?
When we tell others that we are doulas, you can imagine that we get a variety of responses. At our latest public event, we had a combination of responses including:
“Oh! My friend (Blank) told me about you all! She said you were the best thing she got for her birth. I will be calling you when I’m pregnant!”
“A doula? What is that?”
“I wish you had been around when I had my children, my partner and I could have really used the extra professional and educated support.”
“Oh, that’s like a Midwife right for “natural” (what we assume the person meant was unmedicated) births?”
Depending on the person, and where we perceive their interest, we may go on to affirm what they said, use it as an education moment, or just spread the wonderful news that yes, Marquette County does in fact have professional doulas that support ALL choices in birth.
But if I can be honest for a minute, which all of you have come to expect from me anyway, the last one always gets me. It’s a huge stereotype around doulas, that we are only for unmedicated births and judge other birth choices.
Or perhaps some assume we have some complex where we think we can magically appear and some desired birth outcome can happen. That isn’t us either.
I literally tell our clients all the time that we aren’t fairy godmothers, because we aren’t.
We aren’t God or the Easter Bunny either.
What we offer is something much more than empty promises that we can’t control.
We offer ourselves, and our full support no matter what.
We offer something the world, or Facebook, can’t give.
We offer our constant presence and our belief in you and your choices.
For we know that no one else makes better choices for you, than you.
It honestly makes me feel sad that doulas are perceived as someone who would judge.
At Doulas of Marquette, we are happy to support those who desire an unmedicated birth, and we are JUST as happy to support someone who doesn’t know what they want, someone who strongly wants medication, someone who desires a vaginal birth, someone who ends up having a cesarean birth, or someone who is having a planned cesarean birth.
While in the last seven years we have had quite a few women desiring unmedicated births, the reality is, we don’t feel that one birth or one choice is superior to any other.
Let me rephrase that, we KNOW that one kind of birth ISN’T superior to any other.
To us, there’s only one Mother Superior in a birth, and it is you.
It’s your voice, it’s your decisions, it’s the choices that you make, or the things you face that you weren’t expecting and how we as doulas attune to bring you just what you need as you navigate those moments.
Our experience has shown us that birth can only be controlled so much (or not at all in some cases).
Our experience has shown us that while someone can literally have all the “tools” to have their desired birth, they may have a birth that is very different than what they wanted.
Our experience has shown us the importance of remaining neutral in how we deliver our support and education, because we desire that our clients feel zero pressure from us or that we somehow feel that their decisions are wrong, or that “failing” in birth is even an option.
Because in our minds it isn’t.
Call it luck that some people do get the birth they want, the reality is majority of women have one or a ton of things go differently than they desire.
The truth is birth is one of the most vulnerable things a person will do.
So, what happens when sometimes instead of the peaceful waves a person visualizes in their childbirth education class they find themselves in a raging storm?
When it feels like the waves are bigger than they could have imagined?
What if medication was never on the table, and now it is?
What if I told you that pain medication isn’t in fact the devil as some may claim?
What if when someone crosses from a place of discomfort into suffering, they used the comfort measure of pain medication?
Did a doula just say that pain medication is a COMFORT MEASURE?
You better believe it!
Over 100 births in, I’ve seen far too much to know that birth happens in just one way, or that the value in a birth should come down to whether someone had medication or not. Or if a baby was born through a cesarean birth or a vaginal birth.
I’ve seen the power of a woman choosing medication. I’ve seen the power of a woman having an unmedicated birth. I’ve seen the power of a woman birthing her baby by cesarean birth. I’ve seen the power of a woman birthing her baby vaginally.
It’s all the same power, and it’s all pure magic.
I know that when the intense storm comes for someone who is birthing, as a doula helping them find their voice in the waves is what is the most important.
Whether it’s taking a big breath and preparing for the next wave, communicating that their desires have changed and helping them get medication, or heading to the OR to welcome their precious baby, we are by their side until all the waves cease.
And when they do, the only question left lingering is how they were made to feel and most of all, did they feel heard.
Interested in obtaining more information about our services and our pricing? Contact us here.