Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthing is a Journey: A Woman Who Serves

From the DONA website:

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

I have been asked to serve a friend on her VBAC journey. She, herself, is a certified doula. She does not need me to give her information or resources about birth or VBAC or labor coping techniques. She has read and researched much more than I have. She has attended many births as a doula and has put many techniques in practical use. So why does she need a doula herself, and why me?


Every woman needs support in her pregnancy and birthing time. Her knowledge, goals and family situation may vary, but every woman needs support. In Amy's case, she has great knowledge and a supportive husband, but she has special circumstances since her first birth was by cesarean with an inverted-T incision. It can be difficult to find the right provider for a VBAC when you have a low, transverse incision, but an inverted T makes it even harder. The importance of creating a birth team, cannot be underestimated.

I am not a certified doula, but I did go to great lengths to birth Eva. I know what it is to wear the scarlet letter that a prior c-section represents to many doctors. I know what it is to believe that I can birth my baby even when it would be more convenient for everyone else involved (other than me and the baby) to submit to a major abdominal surgery. I know the courage it takes to prepare and to believe when most people around you don't understand, or worse yet, don't believe. I know how it feels to do everything you can and then surrender to the process.

So I will serve. I will listen. I will cheer. I will encourage. I will surrender to the process of her birth. I will trust that I will have the right words at the right time, the right touch at the right time and know when to just sit quietly in the corner and do nothing but be present.

I am honored to walk this road with her and for the next 9 months, I will serve in any way I can.


Connie said...

And I know you will do well :) Your friend was wise to choose you! What a wonderful adventure the two of you are starting together.

I had an inverted T incision/emergency surgery with my first, but when I met with my new doctor for my second pregnancy, SHE brought up VBAC and was very positive about it too... until she got my previous surgical records and found there was more damage inside than out and vetoed the idea, but I thought it very good that it was the doctor who brought it up, and was so enthusiastic about it too.

Brenda said...

you are great, and so passionate, definitely you should go for it!!!!

eriedoula said...

Karen, that's wonderful. Nobody needs "certification" for compassion, understanding, empathy, support - all the things and more you'll be able to offer. Doula on!

pennysma said...

what a invaluable experience to share with a friend~~ exciting!