Thursday, April 4, 2013

From the Diary of a Doula


February 13th I guess there is always a first: I went to a birth at 11 a.m. the other morning, a sweet immigrant couple having their 2nd baby. Their toddler is a little girl and they knew this was a boy. So, I taxi over to St. Paul, help her relax all day, do back massages, hip presses, help her labor in the tub for a few hours – she liked that, walk the halls together, show her how to be on a birth ball, (with gravity helping baby to labor down.) She'd wanted a natural birth, so I was there to support that. Finally it is time to push around 7 p.m. and she started screaming that she wants a C-section RIGHTNOW!!! - though it is too late for that anyway, so I go into ‘take charge’ mode as we doulas call it, and have her open her eyes and look right at me while we breathe together until she gets the urge to push and all of a sudden she has a 9 lb. boy in her arms who comes out, also screaming, and Daddy is kissing Mom, and she looks over at me and says, “Is it really over?” I nod and we are all happy.
            I usually stay for 2 hours postpartum and make sure baby is breastfeeding OK, so David, my husband, picked me up at 9:30 p.m. We got home, I shower and fix my supper, we visit awhile, I check my phone that had been off and out of range anyway, and see that another mom has been calling. So I call her hospital first to see if she's been admitted and sure enough, she went into labor early. Two weeks early, which isn't really too early, but whenever I don't plan for such an eventuality, it usually happens. They had planned a C-section a week before her due date for the next day because of serious problems, thinking she wouldn't go into labor that early, but she did. So we both change back out of our night clothes and I whip out another set of clean clothes and David drives me to the second hospital - not in the suburbs, at least. And I get there in time to go into the operating room with her, help her relax and tell her how well she is doing as they start the anesthesia and let her know what is going on the whole time. They have this surgery down to 30 minutes. Baby cried right away, mom starts crying when she hears baby crying, Daddy kisses Mom, I kiss Mom and tell her how amazing she is and I am mopping up her tears while they are still sewing her up because her arms are still attached to all the IVs and she crying. Her little girl has so much hair it looks like fur! A beautiful little Hispanic doll! ¡Muey bonita! So I go to recovery with them and get baby breastfeeding - only 7 lbs. and she latched on like a pro! I didn't do anything! She was still slurping and sucking when I left 2 hours later. Got home and fell into bed. No one due this coming week. The only bad thing was that I missed the baby shower for one of our doulas yesterday having her first baby soon. I am sure it was quite the grand party. They were bringing in a Henna artist to decorate her belly and do our hands, too. And the food must have been stellar! So, that is a glimpse into my week. Hope yours wasn't quite as exciting and that you managed to get more sleep than I did. I caught up this morning and rolled out of bed at noon.
Stay tuned.... this story is one of many in the upcoming book, Call the Doula!© by Stephanie Sorensen

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