Maybe you’ve never heard the term “doula” before. Or, maybe you’ve heard the term “doula,” but didn’t quite understand what a doula is. Maybe you’ve had a doula yourself. Maybe you’re interested in a doula and want to know about the benefits of having doula support. You are not alone! Doulas truly get to do something wonderful. Take a step into the realm of having a doula supporting you through your labor and birth. Enjoy the journey of Cameron and Jamie on their experience with their doula.
It was the weeks leading up to ”d-day” — 38 weeks and 3 days to be exact. Cameron was feeling the heat. The nesting had subsided, and every little onesie was washed and neatly folded in the credenza. Diapers lined the closet wall, and the hospital bag was tucked quietly in the foyer, packed and ready to go. There wasn’t much going on physically. Baby and body were doing everything they needed to do to prepare for their birthing journey. At the last prenatal appointment, Cameron’s midwife shared that at this point it was a waiting game.
And that’s what Cameron planned to do, as comfortable and as stress-free as possible. A friendly and informative conversation with their doula, Marie, that evening, helped to ease Cameron’s anxiety about the impending labor and birth. Taking the recommendation of Marie, Cameron made a cup of tea and curled into bed next to partner Jamie.
Thirty-nine weeks and 7 days gestation
The estimated due date was here! One last sleep and Baby Jones was going to grace the world with his (or her) presence. As Cameron laid down for a quick nap, lower back pressure began. Standing up, the pain began to creep into the lower abdomen. This is it! Grabbing the phone, Cameron began to count the contractions.
She recalled doula Marie going over the timing of contraction patterns at their previous prenatal consult. “5-1-1” Cameron repeated. The contractions came and went and came and went. The yearn for support was getting stronger. Then, A quick call to Jamie to alert on the labor progress.
Time to call the doula!
Doula Marie arrived promptly and comforted Cameron through the irregular contractions. Together they swayed, they exercised breathing rhythms, and they changed positions for comfort as needed. They laughed, told stories, and nourished between the contractions. Then it happened. What only 10% of the population experiences. A fast flow of amniotic fluid began to trickle down Cameron’s leg. Wide-eyed, a look of excitement and nervousness spread across her face. Knowing that water breaking didn’t mean “BABY’S COMING NOOOOOWWW!” because of the relationship that Cameron had developed with Marie, Cameron was able to remain in a serene state. Marie helped clean up and prepare Cameron for the flood of discomforting but working contractions to come.
One by one, contractions came in waves. Together, Cameron and Marie counted and waited and counted and waited some more. Suddenly a pattern formed. 5-1-1… 5-1-1. Marie grabbed Cameron’s hand, smiled and whispered, “Ready?” “Ready,” Cameron whispered back. Marie called the hospital to alert the delivering midwife that the baby was coming. Followed by a call to partner Jamie to meet at the hospital.
Grabbing the packed hospital bag, Cameron and Marie headed out in anticipation to welcome Baby Jones.
“Pineapple…Pineapple…PINEAPPLE!!!!” Cameron screamed to anyone close enough to hear. In the hands and care of the midwife, along with Marie and Jamie by the bedside, Cameron felt fully supported. She also felt unbearable discomfort. An unmedicated birth was in Cameron’s original birthing plan, but the reality of what was being felt by the body had begun to take over her. Exasperated, Cameron said the code word which informed the doula, Marie, that the plans had indeed changed. Reassuring this decision with the midwife, an epidural was administered. Cameron was now able to rest before pushing would commence. Jamie answered work calls and sent out emails, while Cameron relaxed with Marie massaging and feeding ice chips. This was the warm-up before the race, and Cameron wanted to be ready for the marathon.
A stint of pushing presented a healthy baby to Cameron and Jamie. The midwife gave the team a satisfied nod of “well done.” Marie assisted Cameron with getting baby settled into a comfortable position for their first interaction with breastfeeding. Lovingly, Jamie looked on lying next to them in the bed, caressing baby and Cameron. Photos were taken and shared with friends and family exclaiming the exciting news through the lens. A thankful, exhausted glance exchanged from Cameron to Marie. Tending to all of their needs, Marie excused herself from the room. Smiling that she’ll be in touch soon.
Your Professional Doula
Doulas have the opportunity to comfort families through a stressful, joyful, vulnerable and exhausting time in their lives. Families have unique personalities, values and needs. A doula gets to step into the birthing space and help families uncover their voices. They instill strength and reduce fear. Your professional doula works with your provider to provide a comforting and safe space to welcoming your baby. Whether home or hospital, vaginal or cesarean, you’ll feel supported. You’ll feel heard. You’ll feel empowered.
Doulas are birth’s best kept secret!
Written by: Aisha Fanning, Vegas Family Doulas