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Grab your bucket

16 Jul

…Because it’s gonna get sappy up in here.

So much of the time, doulas spend the days and weeks following a birth (especially a difficult birth) going over the fightclub“what if”s and “I should’ve…”s. We doulas are empathetic little beings, that’s part of what makes us great at what we do. So when a mom doesn’t cope with labor well, gets an intervention she didn’t plan on, or just flat out has a shitty fucking birth, a lot of us blame ourselves.

We’ll talk more about doula guilt in a later post, because right now I’m going to talk about the opposite of that. Sometimes… awesome birth, shitty birth, doesn’t matter… a client or former client says something to you that fills you with warm fuzzies, switches on the waterworks and makes you beam with Super Awesome Doula Pride.

That happened to me today. I’m still a relatively new doula, as I’m a couple days away from my first doula baby’s first birthday. The very first birth I attended was a fucking incredible, short, intervention-free hospital birth of an enormous baby boy. I could tell when her courage-wolf-fear-reflex-confidence-choicetransition hit, I could hear the “pushiness” in her birthing sounds, and was a great support to the couple – especially for it being my first birth. It was so easy, so amazing. I was on a birth high for weeks, and felt absolutely invincible.

Then the next 9 or 10 births were hard as fuck. Seriously, I almost quit about eight times. A 24 hour birth. A cesarean. A forceps delivery. Two births in three days. A Christmas Eve morning induction…where the baby wasn’t born until evening on Christmas day. Yep, I’ve had a challenging first full year as a practicing doula.

Today one of my former clients from one of my first births who had a particularly difficult situation and a rough labor e-mailed me. I won’t say what she said, but what she wrote in one sentence was enough to flood my body with the warm fuzzies and my face with tears. I did the ugly cry, y’all.

For a second I felt like the stars aligned, the universe and I were on the same wavelength, and a burning bush affirmed what I often wonder: “Should I even be puppiesInBasketdoing this crazy ass work?” And the answer was, “Yes, yes you should. And dude….stop beating yourself up for things you have no control over, and worry about the shit you CAN change.”

And so I shall begin year two of doulahood at peace with the fact that every mama isn’t going to have a perfect birth… but that the affects we doulas have on these mamas births lasts long after the cord is cut.

So give yourself a high-five (clapping works too), go grab your doula bag, and rock some fucking births.

by P

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Choo Choo

12 Jul

One of the things (and there are many) that fill me with ragey “I’m gonna punch this douche canoe in his motherfuckingthomas-480x320 face” urges is when doctors and nurses ask moms questions while they’re in the middle of contractions.

AND THEN GET ANNOYED WHEN SHE WON’T ANSWER THEM RIGHT AWAY.

Lololololol!

Listen, Nurse Ratched. If you think this woman gives a fuck about pleasing your pompous, entitled, annoying ass self and tell you her pre-pregnancy weight and her mother’s cousin’s uncle’s maiden name while she’s getting LITERALLY (ok maybe not literally) run over a freight train for 60 seconds every 2-3 minutes, you are cordially invited to go to hell.

Didn’t she give you all this information when she pre-registered? Do you KNOW how birth works? Are you familiar with the concept of “labor”? Seriously. Shut the fuck up, go look in her chart, and let her birth her baby in peace.

Asshole.

by P

What the fuck is a doula?

24 Mar

Some dictionary defines “doula” as “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and

physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth”. Yeah, that pretty much nails it. Yay, the end!

But really, hold the fuck up a second. Doulas are the shit. And I’m not just saying that because I am one.

Doulas are so passionate about what they do, that they’ll work their asses off without complaint for what very well could only be a couple bucks an hour. They are there for you 100% even when they have their own shit going on. Most complete extensive training and continuing education to be awesome at what they do. They make it their very serious personal goal to help you have the very best birth outcome possible; one that you’ll look back on happily and proudly. Doulas fucking know their shit, and they do their best to make sure you make healthy decisions that you won’t regret like that time you smoked that…never mind.

From the moment they are hired until after your baby has been born, they are officially your birth bitch. When you call them during dinner with a frantic question (“I just pissed myself at Rite Aid, is that normal?!?”), they pick that goddamn phone and answer you. Because they care that fucking much. Because they LIVE for this kind of shit.

No, really. We do.

This woman you have hired willingly puts herself “on call” for you for what could be an entire month (or more), during which she never strays far from home, has to be able to run out the door fully dressed and smelling decent within 10 minutes flat, and practically begs for 7:30 am Sunday morning telemarketer wake-up calls because she never, ever turns her ringer off.

Not to mention that she has to remain sober at all times. Even though she may have two or three rabid offspring under the age of five and a borderline unhealthy relationship with $6 Target wine.

Your doula will help you write your birth plan and make sure you actually know what the fuck a “saline lock” and “telemetry unit” are before you go in there and make a fool out of yourself (and her). She will help you outline your preferences and wishes for your labor and birth, even if they aren’t choices she would make for herself, without judgement. She’ll also guide you through making the Big Ass Decisions so you don’t fuck up and have your kid’s junk cut off or something stupid.

Your amazing rockstar superhero doula angel will stay with you through your entire labor, even if it’s days long. She will stay by your side while your baby daddy lies there oblivious and snoring and you work hard at bringing his mini-me into the world through your vagina. She will reassure you and build you up and tell you you’re a goddamned birthing goddess when you’re feeling done and nobody else has anything encouraging to say. She will say “yo, hold the fuck on a second” and give you a heads up when Doogie Howser M.D. tries to sneak something into your IV, or grabs his scissors and attempts to go at your vagina all Wolverine-style because it was NOT ON YOUR MOTHERFUCKING BIRTH PLAN.

In the midst of all of this, she will likely end up with at least two (and probably more) of your bodily fluids on her. And that’s okay, because she fucking cares about your birth that much. She cares so much that even though she’s probably super emotionally invested in you, she will hold it the fuck together if things go awry because she knows you need her to.

After your bundle of joy has vacated your womb, your doula will help you breastfeed. Isn’t that so completely badass of her? Even if
it’s the first time and you have no clue what the fuck you are doing, she will not leave until she feels like your baby the whole “sucking on a titty” thing down.

uJKjiAnd if that’s not enough…she will continue to be your bitch via phone for at least a few weeks, and come visit you once or twice to listen to you go on and on about how blissfully awesome not sleeping is AND  hold your brand new Shart-O-Matic 5000 while you go shower the infant feces off of you. You’ll reflect on your birth experience and never once hear the words “you had a healthy baby and that’s all that matters” pass your doula’s lips. We doulas HATE that fucking shit. She will be understanding, empathetic, and she will L-I-S-T-E-N with love and compassion, and without negativity or criticism. She’ll basically be the opposite of that vapid bitch you call your mother-in-law.

And if you’re still not convinced about how fucking cool doulas are…here, have some statistics:

  • 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labor
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin use
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

All by just having a badass doula by your side. Like unicorns, we are  fucking rare and magical creatures.

Knocked up? Get yourself a doula.

Find a doula in your area: www.DoulaMatch.net

by P