So, as you are all aware, I found out I'm pregnant...again.
I went to the doctor for a dating ultrasound earlier this week, and as of today I am 9w4d pregnant.
I've been thinking about something since I found out I was pregnant.
Do I want a doula at the birth of baby number 3?
As a doula myself...I felt obligated. I felt like I would be looked down on as a doula if I did not have a doula at my own birth! When I was pregnant with Ophelia, I was so upset that I wasn't going to have a doula at my birth. I felt like I would be giving myself the best chance to get what I wanted during her birth if I did have a doula...but Brad did not want a doula present. And after a lot of conversation (and possibly a little arguing) we agreed not to have a doula at Ophelia's birth...we agreed to see how her birth went, and then would come back to the situation when I got pregnant again, depending on how we felt her birth went. I was still a little upset over it, but we had talked it out and we came to an agreement, and we both stood by our choice. Which was ultimately fine. I had a fantastic birth with Ophelia...even though not EVERYTHING went exactly 100% how I wanted it to, I was happy with what did happen. And really, the only things I would have changed, would have had nothing to do with a doula in the first place (like the fact that I did not want to stay in the hospital as long as I did).
So now that I'm pregnant and a doula, I've had to figure out what would be best for my family. As a doula, I encourage mamas and their partners to make the best choices for their families and follow their hearts with what they want to do. I encourage mamas and their partners to educate themselves about the birth process and procedures at their hospitals or birth centers.
So how do I feel about having a doula?
Not good. When I imagine having a doula at the birth of baby number three, I get anxious and uneasy. It doesn't make me feel good. After Reilly's birth, with so many people in the room with me as I was pushing her out, a huge number of people in the delivery room made me feel uneasy. Including myself, nurses and my midwife there were at least nine people in the room with me...that was too many. Even with Ophelia's birth....just Brad and I, the OB and some nurses was too much. Ultimately, I would like it to be me, Brad, a midwife and one nurse...tops. I think all the people are completely unnecessary. So why would I want to add a doula to the mix? I'm also not very comfortable with people *in general*. It depends...if I was back home...I would probably have my mom come doula for me...and even then, I still might not. I am one of those people who needs to be really comfortable with the people who are around me when I give birth. And a lot of that does have to do with my first birth...I felt very uncomfortable with at least one person in the room....and it has really bothered me all these years later.
I am also completely confident in my ability (and Brad's as well) to advocate for me. I'm very educated about what I want and need and what is acceptable and what to do in an emergency. I am willing to speak my mind (and Brad is too). We have come up with things to help us and not hurt us.
So, to answer the question posed earlier....do I want a doula at the birth of baby number three? No. I don't. Am I going to? No. I'm not.
I greatly appreciate the women who have allowed me to come into their lives and be present at the births of their children. I encourage mamas to get a doula if they feel like they need the extra support. I want women to be able to have the birth that they want, whether that means natural and intervention free or induction and pain relief. And I want the ability to birth how I want, without being chastised as a professional. I believe the best thing a woman can do for herself is to find a way to be empowered and well educated, as well as confident in her choice as a woman and a mother, and that is exactly what I am doing by not having a doula.
This is something that has honestly been weighing on my mind and my heart a lot. I seriously felt like I would be "black-listed" as a doula (with all those clients and all that pull I have in the community right? Heh.) for NOT having a doula. It caused me a lot of anxiety and I believe that if I did have a doula at the birth of this baby, I would be one of those women who just stopped labor/dilation/whatever because of how mentally uncomfortable I would be.
So I am not going to have a doula for the birth of my third baby....and this is the best choice for me, my husband, and my baby.