When I became pregnant, I thought I had a leg up when it came to birth. I had been studying midwifery for 4 years and knew quite a bit about the physiology of birth and what to expect. A good chunk of my time then was devoted to scouring evidence-based research, plus I was a nanny, so I figured I had the know-how and experience to deal with whatever came my way the next few years. I knew what I wanted out of my birth and how to achieve it (hooray for being informed!) I was so ready.
I tell you what, that woman made my labor glorious. While my partner rested, she was there to give deep-tissue massage on my legs (with aromatherapy lotion!) She handled all the physical work of comforting me so my mom could focus on doing calming, sweet things like brushing my hair and telling me stories. My doula knew just where to push on my back to take the pressure off, and when I told her to squeeze my hand she knew that I meant “as hard as you possibly can, please.”
It’s hard to say how things would have gone if we hadn’t had a doula there. It would have been fine, of course. We would have made it through. But instead of just making it through, we thrived. We had a beautiful, calm, empowered birth, thanks in part to our doula. My partner got to start his new life as “Daddy” fairly rested instead of exhausted. He didn’t have to feel guilty for leaving me to take care of himself, because I had someone else to provide excellent support while he was resting. And even now, she loves talking about that day with me and re-living the beautiful and hard moments. And that’s pretty wonderful.
This blog was original published on February 3, 2016 on the Kind Roots Blog.
The Doulas of Iowa City blog contains guest posts by Doulas of Iowa City member businesses. We are excited to share with you about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and surrounding communities and to help you connect to fabulous local resources.