I'm a birth junky. I like the physical reality of giving birth -- the role of hormones, the position of the baby, contractions, dilation, pushing positions, impact of care providers and support teams, statistics on cesareans and epidurals, history of birth in America.
I like it all.
It's my drug.
But, my doula work has shifted my feelings on birth. Visiting with families about their pregnancy and birth plans and finally witnessing my first doula baby's birth has given me insight into the very personal nature of bringing a baby earthside.
The physical reality of labor isn't what matters to a woman in labor. I'm glad to know how the motherbaby functions to give birth but what matters to the birthing couple is the feeling of support, respect , informed consent and open lines of communication.
I'm still learning this doula role but with each consultation and with each prenatal appointment, I see constants: the need to understand hospital interventions before the possible need arises and reassurance their decisions will be respected by hospital staff.
The need to not feel a loss of control in the hospital machine, in the laboring woman's body and mind and in the emotions of the partner is paramount to having positive thoughts regarding your birth.
This could just one big fat plug for my doula business, Southern Nurture Birth Services, but it's not. Of course, if you are local I don't mind if you get in touch with me about availability for your due date and setting up a consultation.
But, that's not what this is about. Although more business would be nice. It's about a woman's right to feel in control of the birth of her baby she has been growing for the past 40+ weeks. It's about a woman's right to listen to her intuition and make decisions she feels are right.
This lesson was reinforced even more a few days ago when a friend elected for a repeat cesarean in lieu of her planned VBAC. She got to choose the terms of the surgical birth and she has no regrets. It was a great reminder for me that birth is more the mechanics of pushing a baby out. When Mondria isn't busy with a toddler, a newborn, tandem nursing, changing 2 sets of cloth diapers and doing everything else a mama has to do she is going to share her story on Our Messy Messy Life.