I really try to not make the same mistakes twice in my life if they have a huge impact on me and this absolutely coincides with how I want the birth of my second baby to go.
I didn’t know any better with my first birth for a lot of things. Although I wish I could go back and change it, I know it’s simply not possible and the most important thing for me to do is to reflect on my past experience and make sure the next time is as close to what I want as possible.
And, um FYI — if you’re counting down like I am — “next time” is in like, 2 months (where has the time gone?!).
There are many things I’m doing differently for the second go around (see: 6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known When I Was Pregnant with #1), but one of the biggest decisions — in all women’s birth choices — that I’m doing different is having my baby al natural, in my home. No drugs, no pain medication, nothing.
A few people in my close circle think I’m wacko but after my first experience, there is nothing more that I want than to bring my baby into this world unmedicated, completely “all there,” and in the comfort of my peaceful home (more on why I’m having a home birth here).
That being said, I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not a little anxious about it. Even though this is my second baby, I feel like this is my first time going into labor. Actually, it is my first time since I was induced with my first. I have no idea how my body does with labor, I have no idea how labor feels — Basically, I have no idea about anything in the labor and birth department and at times, it makes me sweaty thinking about it.
That reason alone is why I hired a doula.
The older I get, the more I realize and experience how important it is to have a solid support system — in anything I do. With a solid support system, I feel like I can do anything… like give birth unmedicated in my home with my incredible support team: my husband Scott, my midwife Katie, and my doula Christie.
So what is a doula exactly?
A birth doula is a trained, experienced professional who provides physical, emotional and informational support to a woman before, during and after birth.
Although I have full faith in my husband to provide support on all different platforms during labor, I still feel a doula is necessary for us. My doula will be able to show Scott how to help me (this is his first time going through labor, too), to alleviate him so he can take a rest or eat something, and to help me in a way that only a woman who knows the birth process can. Since a midwife’s job is to make sure mom and baby are safe through the end phases of labor and birth, they don’t offer the emotional support a doula can provide. Doulas have been through multiple births and know how to support a laboring mom and her partner which was extremely appealing to me.
When I first met Christie (thanks to a recommendation from Katie), I immediately knew she was “the one.” Her warm energy and confidence in a woman’s ability to birth naturally radiated out of her. The more we talked in that freezing Starbucks, the more I knew that I wanted her at my birth. By the end of our meeting, I experienced a sense of calm in regards to the labor and birth process and felt like I could do anything in the world with Christie by my side.
Christie has also helped me by providing suggestions for my hip pain, helping me find my incredible birth videographer, and giving me emotional support when I was feeling down about the pain I’ve been in and my worries about how it might affect my birth. I can’t even imagine how awesome she’s going to be when it comes time to have this baby.
Birth is an incredibly intimate and unique experience. I’m so incredibly thankful to have found such a wonderful midwife and an amazing doula to be there as a support system when Scott and I welcome our baby girl into the world.
For more information on doulas, their duties, common misconceptions, and more, be sure to check out this post All About Doulas: A Q+A With My Doula Christie