Four years ago I was introduced to doula services through my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. They both started to train with DONA International to be come certified birth doulas, and started their own doula service, Pickles and Ice Cream Doula Services.
My other sister-in-law, was pregnant at the time and I had the opportunity to capture some birth photos for her. I witnessed a non-medicated and natural birth with the local midwives and my sister-in-law working as a doula. It was an incredible experience, and it was the first time I had ever been at a birth. I loved how everyone there was working together, supporting and encouraging the mom, and welcoming the baby into a happy and peaceful environment. Childbirth seemed so do-able after that.
I had planned to have a home birth with the midwives when I had found out I was pregnant. Around 18 weeks the midwives called saying that my son had multiple heart defects, and after that I basically had to throw my birth plan out the window. I had a C-Section at 38 weeks, as my son developed heart block and his heart rate was at 55bpm and dropping. Though I didn’t have the birth I had imagined, I did have the support of my MIL as my doula (she went to hospital appointments with me and actually slept in my hospital room for a few nights after my son was born), my midwife still came to my house for postpartum visits for several weeks, and the lactation consultant at the children’s hospital was an incredible help with showing me how to breastfeed my son and became a trusted person who I could cry with.
I can’t imagine going through my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum without the support with all these women, and of course, my husband. As my husband and I look to move overseas to a remote people group, becoming a doula will give me skills and tools to help support and provide resources to women during their pregnancies and births.
Between working part-time, taking care of a two-year-old, and managing the home, it might take me a while to finish my doula studies, but I am so excited to begin working as a doula! My dream is to become a certified labor doula and then study to become a lactation consultant, but let’s not get to ahead of ourselves. Here we go!