Six years ago I was due with my second baby, and I knew I wasn't going to be allowed to hold her after she was born. I knew I was going to deliver my baby in a specially designated room for high-risk babies, and that the moment my little angel came into the world she would be whisked away from me and passed through a window into a special little nursery. I knew that I wouldn't be able to hold her for hours and hours, and this was a very difficult reality for me. So I made a decision.
I knew that I needed some control over this less than desirable situation, so I made a firm decision to deliver this baby girl in the most natural and beautiful way I could imagine...completely unmedicated. I recognized that this was going to be more than difficult, so I hired a doula to support Phillip and me during the labor. She was phenomenal and was a tremendous asset to me in being able to birth Grace in the best way possible, considering the circumstances. When Grace was born I was completely overjoyed and elated, and had never felt so powerful and beautiful in my entire life. Remembering the strength and love I developed during those hours of laboring with her was one of the only things that got me through those next tough days when I had to watch my precious little baby travel to hell and back.
My doulas and Phillip helping me stay focused during some intense back labor
This was my first glimpse of my new baby. (Notice my beat-up face? I did a header off a porch the week before!)
Five years later I was due to give birth to my fourth daughter and again decided that I wanted to give birth to her my way. And that meant no medication. So I decided to hire a doula again. This time I hired my dear friend and boss, Rebecca Overson. She was amazing!
Me and Rebecca after Sophie was born
Nearly six years ago I decided that I wanted to someday become a labor doula and give women that same power. I LOVE BIRTH! I love pregnancy, I love labor, and I love birth! I believe that a woman's body is made to give birth. I believe we are meant to do it in the most natural way that her health will allow. (I say this because I think home births are amazing and wonderful and I would have loved to have experienced one, but I have a heart condition which prevented that for me) I strongly believe in unmedicated deliveries with as little medical intervention as possible and a doula can be an integral part of making that happen for a woman. I also believe that every woman needs to make her own, educated decision on the type of labor she wants, and if she chooses to have an epidural then that's ok too. (I did it for two of my deliveries!)
So, nearly six years after making the decision, I have finally done it! This weekend I took an extensive training course and I can now cross "become a labor doula" off my to-do list. I am so excited!!