Hi ladies...I don't normally post here but I've been lurking since I'm about a month away from delivery and really want to try for a natural birth. A little backstory:
DD was born 9/17/06 and I was completely unprepared for birth it being my first time. I studied Hypnobabies but I just couldn't relax at the hospital. I held out until 6-7 cm when I didn't think I could take anymore pain and got an epi. That led to contrax slowing, so pitocin and then immediately off since DD didn't do well with it. It led to a very long transition that I felt pretty much all of it and over 2 hours of painful pushing. They tried 3x with the epi and it just never really took. Being exhausted, I had to have a vacuum. Basically everything I didn't want happened short of a c sec.
This time around since I know I didn't have good luck with the epi and basically I did it naturally the first time, I figured I would try again for a natural birth. I've read several good books about positions, etc and my hospital and doc are on board with whatever I want to do. They have a squat bar for the bed as well as I can push however I want and they encourage being "vertical" as much as possible. Something my first hospital never mentioned to me and I was stuck on my back for most of the birth. Our hospital is less then 2 miles from our house, so I'm hoping to labor at home as long as possible.
Now to my question. I've met with a doula that I really like but I just can't afford her. She offered a payment plan and that may be the only way I can use her. But I'm just wondering, how critical is a doula if one wants to have a natural birth? Is it possible to do it on your own? My DH isn't really involved with the birth process. He'll be there but not coaching, cutting cords, etc. Which I am fine with.
I just don't know if I can take all of the tips I've learned from the books, knowledge that I have from last time, and sheer will and turn it into a natural birth that I can do on my own or is it that important to have a doula? What is your opinion?
Thanks for reading....sorry so long.
I thought the same thing and if I wasn't planning a home birth and was planning a hospital one, as much as it would be tough to afford a doula (it still would be for me right now, even though I *really* want one) I'd try my best to work out a payment plan with her. My DH isn't into the whole process either and I doubt he will, he thinks me trying to do Hypnobabies is, not crazy, but I know he didn't want to help with it so I know I'll be doing it on my own, unless I can come up with the funds for a doula.
I think if you have the support of your OB and the hospital it'll help with the interventions not coming up but for the labor support and help with possibly relaxation techniques a doula would be very helpful. Is there any way you could barter with her at all? One of my old teachers/friend is a doula and she suggested that to me when I started looking for doulas. Since I'm early on in my pregnancy still I'm not down to the wire with choosing.
Sorry for the long response, but if you think it would help out, if you don't have any close friends/family who would be available for you a payment plan sounds like the best bet.
We can't really afford it either, but my DH is also not comfortable with being "hands on" as a coach, so we did hire a doula. I am really glad I will have her there, especially since our hospital still has an H1N1 ban on kids on the maternity floor, so if it happens when we can't get anyone to care for our DD, I will be totally alone at the hospital---yikes!
Thanks for the replies! I really do like the doula I met with and she's already cut her cost in 1/2 by cutting out some pre and post visits...so I hate to ask her to barter any more. She's been very nice so far. I'm thinking I should just go ahead and hire her. Since DH isn't really wanting to be involved (and he's already encouraging drugs since he hates to see me in pain), I think I may well need someone else there to help. I feel weird though having someone be there just for me and just so I can have the birth experience I want. It seems a bit selfish when my family has other needs. I guess I'm still on the fence.
My first birth was a lot like your first birth, except my epi worked and I couldn't feel to push and that is why they used the vacuum...
just had DS2 naturally with the help of a student doula. I now would never ever go back to not having one. she. was. awesome. She rubbed by back and legs, she reminded me to eat and drink, she came to our house and knew when it was time to leave for the birth center, she called the m/w's and spoke with them when I couldn't. She gave me encouragement to breathe and relax when I was about to panic.
But best of all, my DH could just be my DH and there was no pressure on him to coach. my DH means very well and even read the books with me and did some practice, he even was asking the week before the birth why I wanted to bother with a doula...but in reality he just kind of bumbles around when I am in labor. I don't know if he panics or just doesn't know how strong and firm I need someone to be, or what, but after DS1's birth i was so mad at him for not 'coaching' me better and after DS2's we could just be happy that the doula took care of it.
I would try to work out something with this doula, or perhaps find a student if you can.
I am planning a home-birth and will also have a doula. DH won't physically be able to be with me, and I hope she will offer me encouragement and different ideas at different stages in the game. I want her to be the calm one looking from the outside because I know I will be wrapped up in the moment. I also don't feel confident that I will be able to remember all of the information I have gained in such an intense time. Plus, I think it will be great to have someone there who is all about ME ME ME lol!! I won't have to worry about offending her or impressing her, or saying the right things... I won't have to worry about her at all because she is there for me
Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006
Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12
I would TOTALLY recommend trying to find an way to have a Doula attend your birth!
I used to be a doula (I attended 20+ homebirths, never a hospital birth) and still found it terribly difficult (read:impossible) to advocate for myself while in labor/in a hospital. Like, impossible, personally. My DH is an amazing labor support and totally on board and we still hired a doula for our upcoming home birth
I know what you mean about feeling selfish. I would just encourage you to remember that you are making an investment in and for your family ~ the better of a birth you have the quicker your recovery will be, the happier and more at peace you will be, and I believe that it could really help you and your husband as well ~ It frees him of pressure to support you if you guys know in advance that it might not be one of his strengths, and that way he can pitch in with whatever he can offer without there being any resentment or whatnot there, you know?
Last edited by Potter75; 05-20-2010 at 06:43 AM.