Monday, July 25

how i relaxed about this upcoming birth... we hired a doula


I have some pretty strong opinions on this whole birth thing.  Opinions that I may just throw out the window during the actual event... but maybe... and hopefully not.  I have an idea in my head of how I want this to play out.

If I could have it my way I would follow through on my empty threat to sharpie "DO NOT CUT ME" across my stomach on the day of.  Could you imagine the reaction of the hospital staff!  I think that might just be a first.

If I could have it my way I would be allowed to push in a labour and delivery room, rather than an OR surrounded by oh let's say 20 people and bright lights... like a scene from Grey's Anatomy.

If I could have it my way I would be 100% confident that I can have these babies without an epidural and without the help of any narcotics, pitocin... you get my drift.

Unfortunately this experience will be more about hoping to have it a certain way, but being realistic about what is safe and reasonable.

Enter our doula.  In case the whole doula concept is foreign to you.... a doula is a birth companion, someone there to support you, the mother-to-be, while in labour and delivery.  A doula is not a medical expert, but rather someone who is experienced in attending births.

For months we debated whether a doula was a good idea given that we are having twins and that a c-section was a high possibility (although a completely loathed possibility by me).  Then I found a doula that I was not only very comfortable with, but was also realistic about twin births.  I think the most important part of finding a doula is finding someone that you are truly comfortable with and who "gets you" and gets what you want out of this experience.  About a week ago Andrew and I sat down with our doula (and her backup) and spent 2 wonderful hours watching our stress melt away.  For me, I really think it was about gaining a better understanding of how things generally go down, how to know when it really is "go-time" and knowing that my hopes aren't unrealistic.

The nitty gritty...

Some clues to know that it is actually "go-time" and not just "massive amounts of braxton hicks time"... my body will likely decide to clean house (yes that means lots of trips to the washroom), I might also feel like puking, the real contractions will hurt, no more of this easy but uncomfortable hard tummy braxton hicks contractions, I will likely get super indecisive (more so then now... not sure how that's possible).  I might want to eat something but if I do... I need to remember that I will likely be seeing it again in the not so distant future so something like a banana would be good.

Our doula will meet us at the hospital.  When you are having one baby and your pregnancy is low risk you would likely want to hang around at home for as long as possible (well I know I would) and in this case your doula would likely come to your house first.  This is not the case in our situation for several reasons.  One being that we're having identical twins (who share a gestational sac), another being that I was dilated at 26 weeks so when it is "go-time" it likely won't take long to keep on dilating, and another being that quick births run in my family (who knows if that's even possible but we're not taking any chances).

At the hospital they will asses me and make sure I am in fact in labour.  I will then insist on one of the birthing suites with a tub so we can do this as naturally as possible.  They will want to hook me up and continuously monitor the twins.  I will work with (and not be a birth-zilla) the nurses and negotiate that they can monitor me for a solid 10 minutes every hour (assuming Isla & Alice are in fine form).

How exactly do these whole contraction things work... well it really helped me when our doula said to think of them as ocean waves, and to think that I am standing in front of them.  Well last I checked I was no super hero and can in no way stop these waves from coming.  I have two choices, fight them off, every last one of them and exhaust myself, cause myself more pain or try to work with these waves.  There is no magic recipe for how to work with the waves and what works for one person won't be the same for another.  Andrew and my doula are there to help create the best environment for me to be able to work through these waves.  She rhymed off several different methods that woman she has seen have used including meditating within themselves, using yoga like breathing, to actually repeating the word "no" over and over again.

Apparently the first 4 cms are often the worst ... I will try to remember that.

Apparently lots of women do not like to be touched, do not want to be talked to during a contraction.

Apparently I might shake... shake violently... where was this information in our prenatal class... I can only imagine the look of horror on Andrew's face if we hadn't been warned.

Apparently hospital staff (sorry for the generalization) can be quite loud... will barge in and attempt to break the solitude of the room (I assume, unintentionally).  Andrew can help here... act as my protector so to speak.  Quietly request that they let me ride through the latest contraction and then approach me.

Yes there is a burning ring of fire... but it comes and goes so quickly and if I'm not all drugged up I will have a nice flow of endorphins ... which will help.. a little.

An arm up inside isn't as bad as one might imagine... okay yes this is a horrifying image but if the second baby needs a bit of assistance coming down I will live through it.

It isn't like all of this information made me feel all warm and fuzzy.  What it did do was make me aware of how this could all go down.  The unknown was no longer unknown.

Yes Yes I know that things can change and that going in with a plan is dangerous but I feel good about going in with as much knowledge as possible, having a hope about how things will play out.

In the end, something that I will always remember is when she asked us why we made these babies, the answer being that we didn't create them so that I could have the perfect birth scenario, we created them so that they would be our family.  This I will have to remember if things do go south, and if I end up wishing I had really used the sharpie on my tummy.

Breathe by ewarner photo via etsy

8 comments:

  1. YAY!
    I'm writing down to get a doula - once we get to that point!
    I'm so flippin' excited for you! And totally almost posted the same picture as you! I opted for the dandelions and making wishes, for some reason I like ot hold my breathe through these times in my life. Makes the pill easier to swallow - LOL!

    How are you feeling? How is the tummy? You are probably exhausted! How much longer until D-Day? Thinking you might go earlier? I'm so happy that you've held out this long!!!! That deserves a pat on the back! Or lots of spa days after the girls are born!! :)

    HUGS!
    Thinking of you - daily! Can't wait to see the "Introducing" post!!!! YAY!

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  2. Your doula sounds like she has been sent down from heaven. Realistic but with a positive and 'can do' attitude, it's exactly what a mumma needs when she is labouring. I can't wait to hear how 'it all goes down' xxx

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  3. I loved reading this, great tips! We hired a doula as well and it eases my mind to know we have someone sane at our side who knows how we feel. I'm sending you tons of positive labour thoughts for when the time comes!

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  4. You are going to do great and having a Doula will be such an asset. I hope you get fantastic nurses that work well with you, your husband and Doula. It's an exciting adventure that you are well prepared to go on, I just kept thinking that I was made to this and that was helpful.

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  5. Thank you for sharing Ashley. Your doula sounds amazing and you have the best "can do" attitude. I am so excited for you and Andrew. These little girls are so very, very lucky. Sending nothing but love your way!

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  6. @sunnyside up - too funny that you almost posted the same thing! Our 37 week due date (which they consider full term for twins) is August 3rd so it is coming up!!! I am feeling decent, definitely huge and a bit achy but it's all worth it!

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  7. @christine, just bella - yay for another doula hire! I hope you also have a great experience with yours!

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  8. @lady lee - yes I keep telling myself to remember that women do this every day all over the world and it is natural.

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