I am a pregnancy and labor doula and I have never had a "natural" or un-medicated birth. I know, it's shocking! But I never have. With my first pregnancy, I planned and researched and practiced my breathing. I watched The Business of Being Born with my husband and even switched providers AND hospitals when I learned they would not accommodate my birth plan. But the thing about birth is it is unpredictable and there is no way to truly "plan" a birth. It is unpredictable.
So how can I support women through natural birth having never experienced it? As a doula I am well versed in comfort measures, relaxation technique, position changes, and many other things that make labor less difficult naturally. As a doula I am also incredibly compassionate and invested in your family. I love my job. I love birth. I love my clients and their babies. I want the best experience possible for you and I work very hard to help you achieve what you want. I equip you with knowledge and information and I give you unwavering support during your entire birth experience to help you obtain what you want for you and your baby. But really the biggest reason I am able to support women through natural childbirth is because as a doula, I don't make birth experiences happen and I don't do all the work - you do. My job is to support you and assist you in whatever decisions you make or needs you have. Its the same way a midwife can deliver babies without ever having any of her own.
At the same time, I have experienced what happens when nature has other plans and your birth experience suddenly veers "off course." I know what it is like to have to make difficult decisions in the heat of labor and deal with feeling like a failure. I know what it is like to confront your biggest fear just for a chance of saving your baby while also mourning the loss of a "beautiful birth." But it is here in the midst of these feelings we learn a valuable lesson: all birth can be beautiful. Natural birth, medicated birth, C-section birth, whatever your birth looks like, it can be beautiful. If you equip yourself with the knowledge and information you need while you are pregnant, you become capable of taking full responsibility of yourself and your baby. No one has to or gets to make decisions for you. I promise you, if you put yourself in this position, even something that could be deemed a "traumatic birth" can become the most empowering experience of your life. I never wanted a C-section. It was my worst fear and I always said I would never have one. But I was educated and knowledgeable and I knew that a C-section was the best shot my daughter had so I said no to induction and yes to a c-section. Was it traumatic? Absolutely. But you know what? That is the most empowering thing I have ever done. I was prepared with the knowledge necessary and I made the best choices I could in the circumstances I was dealt. And to top it all off, my decision literally saved my daughter's life and bought us some time to bond and make memories with her.