Mixed feelings about finding a doula (xp)

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krazykat's picture
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Mixed feelings about finding a doula (xp)

I am having the hardest time deciding on a doula. I am 20.5 weeks and I really should make a move if I am planning to have one. The thing is... I AM a doula, I have great doula friends, there is a great doula network here, and I LIKE doulas. So why do I have cold feet?

I keep thinking, who would I feel comfortable dropping my clothes in front of right now? I never really saw myself as a very private person, but I am afraid maybe I am. Maybe that is what has held me up in the past. I will be a VBA2C. I have an incredible OB that I KNOW will not mention c/s unless it is a true medical necessity. He doesn't want me on meds, no induction, and no epidural. I have heard from other patients that when they got to transition and begged for drugs and he knew the birth was eminent that he would say things like, "well, let's think about that for a little bit. we can't drug up the baby right before you have her." I love him. But anyways...

I don't have any real glowing memories of my last doula. My husband was in Afghanistan, and if you remember I went for an HBAC. Labored at home for 48 hours, and then ended up in a transfer and repeat c/s. My MW went with me to the hospital, but not my doula. I remember a few minutes of support from her. She did Reiki and pumped me full of a bunch of homeopathic tablets. There wasn't a lot of physical support, and I can't ask for it after I get past a certain point. I really don't have glowing memories of anyone who was there to be honest.

So here we are... and I can't seem to find that magical answer. Which doula? Do I even want a doula at all?

Any advice or encouragement or direction at all for me?

ETA: I am not judgemental of people who use meds or epis or inductions, but for *ME* it is statistically safer. Risk of uterine rupture increases with induction (for FTMs and vbac moms). Induction can also cause funky things to happen with the baby b/c of the added, and unnatural stress that the uterus and baby are under. Epis slow labor down and with my history that is NOT something I want AT ALL. And pain meds/epis can interfere with the baby's heartrate, can cause them to have decelerations or have complications, and any sign of complication is a contraindication to vbacing (in my mind). So those are my reasons, but I don't judge those who make those informed decisions for themselves Wink

AnnaRO's picture
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Have you thought about maybe just using a close/best friend who may or may not be a doula? And if your DH gets to be there this time, maybe forgo the doula and use him instead?

I don't know if that's worth anything to you. I didn't have a doula at all and won't this time either, but I would love to do a homebirth or BC waterbirth. We don't have an MW's or Birth centers here though and I'd have a hard time leaving my OB who is just awesome!

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If you feel like your doctor is on you side, and aren't feeling 100% like having a doula again is time, then maybe skip it. I guess you really have to think about the reasons you might want a doula. Do you need someone to help support you physically, like offering suggestions for movement and helping to ease discomfort (ie. massage, counter pressure, ect.)? Do you want someone that will offer emotion support for either you, DH, or the kids? Do you want a cheerleader to rally behind you to support your NCB and VBAC in the event that hospital staff suddenly pushes you in a direction you don't want to go? Can any of these 'positions' be filled by family, friends, or even DH instead of a doula. If you feel like you could be supported my other people in all the ways that you want then maybe a doula isn't needed. Its really a hard choice to make and I don't really know the best answer myself.

I can't decide on having one or not either. With my HB last time I choose not to have a doula since I had 2 MWs that were attending and I felt pretty supported by them. Plus I'm a pretty private person and couldn't imagine having any more people attending my birthing time other than the 2 mws and my DH. I also felt that extra people around might cause a hang up for me while trying to VBAC. If I had been delivering at a hospital I think a doula would have been key as the mere presence of my MWs during our transer gave me all the confidence I needed. This time I will likely be delivering in the hospital but I still can't fully commit to the idea of having a doula present. I feel like I can have the type of birth I want as I know now that I can be in charge and speak my mind. But then I wonder if having that extra cheerleader on my team will be important in the heat of the moment and keep me grounded. DH did a great job of that last time but my MW was the one that really connected with me deep down when panic set in for a moment. Its was nice having another woman that had BTDT tell me that I could do it.

Sorry to hijack your post. I totally feel where you are coming from though and obviously can't make up my own mind on the topic. With only like 20 weeks left I totally feel like its crunch time as well so that a connection can be made with that person.

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I too am a doula and have doula friends. I feel horrible not hiring my friends to be my doula but it would be too weird to me. So I have chosen a girl who is new to our network to be my doula this time. It's easier for me to drop it all and get naked with a stranger/someone I'm not close to than it is a close friend. I don't know if this helps you or not.

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Hmm lots of doulas here!

I also will be using a doula for my VBAC and knock on wood everything goes well. I decided to go with a doula because my DH is great, he doesnt know what I am going through and my DS's birth was every medical intervention known to man and while I am happy he is healthy etc, I just KNOW most was not necessary.

I do not want to be at the mercy of the L&D so I need more advocates. I will have a midwife, but she will be there for more of the active labor and not the whole kaboodle and I think I will need the emotional support not to take the epidural or let the hospital bully me into stuff like last time. I haven't considered the nakedness, but I didnt really recall it as an issue last time, so who knows.

Plus my midwife agreed to no IV as long as no issues (not normal hospital policy) and I need my doula (who is also an RN) to help keep the L&D nurses away with their needles Smile

If you think you have enough of a support system to get the birth YOU want, then ditch the doula.

mommyof1.5's picture
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My personal feeling - doulas can be awesome, as I'm sure you are Smile If you aren't comfortable with your resources though, you just have to do whatever you are comfortable with. After having 2 kids, and all of my healthcare providers with the second child were males, my natural tendency for extreme shyness, even with healthcare providers has faded somewhat. I would also remember that your inhibitions will go away in the heat of the moment and you don't end up caring as much about anything, except the best way to get a healthy little one into the world. Like you were saying, if it comes down to it, you want to feel comfortable and supported. If that will be provided by your doctor, who sounds awesome, maybe that's all you need.. Smile

jhj
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I agree with Amanda, in the heat of the moment, alot of the awkwardness of being naked disappears, but I also think that being naked infront of strangers is easier... as weird as that sounds....
I am extremely private, and I remember all of a sudden coming to and realizing that I was showering naked infront of a nurse after my daughter was born and really not caring because I was just so happy to have a healthy baby!!

We won't be having a doula here, but mostly because my partner is awesome and I know that I can depend on him to be there when I need him and to talk to nurses, or support me, etc....

Hope you are able to come to a decision which you are happy with!

Heather