It was around this time in January that I started researching birth doula's and talking to other mom's who had had them in the room when they were in labour. I am very much of the whatever is safest mentality, including the use of epidurals and whatnot, so I wanted to make sure that if we went down the doula road, that we would be supported in our convictions and wishes for the remainder of our pregnancy.
Enter Doula Jena.
From our very first meeting, she put literally every single one of my worries at ease. It was reassuring to hear about the births she has attended, and what those experiences have been. It was awesome to have an open forum to ask questions, and get some really amazing answers.
What I found the most reassuring from her was her overall nonjudgmental attitude. I had an epidural with Owen (after 42 days of back labor, I was 4cm when my water broke, and I was DONE. I needed relief and I am happy with my decision) and due to the trauma, stress and PPD, was unable to breastfeed. Hearing from another mom and woman that it was okay meant the world to me. I knew that she was our Doula in that one moment.
My husband and I chatted and were both in full agreement that we wanted a more positive birth experience with this pregnancy. We wanted to feel supported, informed and empowered. I, personally, wanted the reassurance of not being alone (I vividly remember being alone during one point of my first labor, and throwing up all over the floor) and of being supported.
The after baby period is another thing that I took into consideration. Establishing my support circle (friends, family, online mama contacts, the whole kit-and-caboodle) early on was important to me. Being proactive and aware that PPD may happen again was important to me. Expressing this to Jena was important to me, and we have done all of that.
I feel so very confident going into these last 6 or so weeks, and feel as though we have surrounded ourselves with the most positive people, Jena included, and stand an amazing chance at having a fantastic birth experience this go around.
For me, hiring a doula wasn't about having a natural labor, or establishing breastfeeding, or a home birth. It was about being empowered, supported and knowing that I was doing everything I possibly could to set myself up for success.
No matter your reason for choosing to hire a doula (or not), stand by your decision and feel proud of it. What is right for us will not be right for someone else.
Gah! 6 weeks to go!