Tag Archives: birth plans

VBAC the hell up

31 Jul

Over a third of women in the US are meeting their babies for the very first time in a sterile OR, while being stitched up from surgery.csection

Many of these women never asked for surgery. Many of them even planned to have a natural, drug free birth. Some of these women did everything right.

Sometimes cesareans have to happen. Often times, they could have been avoided.

Either way, a good amount of these women will then plan a VBAC, or at least want one. This is a problem for many women.

THIS SHOULD NOT BE A FUCKING PROBLEM!! If a woman chooses to have a VBAC, then why should anyone stand in her way? Who gives anyone that right? Hospitals, Dr’s, midwives, even States just simply “Don’t do VBAC”! VBAC’s are BANNED in places, BANNED!!! WHY???

As a doula, I get a lot of VBAC inquiries. So many women at 28, 29, or 30 weeks, who want a VBAC, are with an unsupportive provider, and want me, the doula, to save the day. I can’t save the day. I wish I could. I wish I could give every woman who wants a VBAC the opportunity to get one, but realistically, I can’t.

36917033Realistically, it really sucks for women who are in this position. It really sucks because not everyone is ok with a home birth, and not all birth centers will take VBAC’s, and there are more unsupportive hospitals and doctors than there are supportive ones. It really sucks that most of these women, wouldn’t even be needing to seek out support for a VBAC, if people had been supportive of them the first time around, and if women weren’t made to fear birth in the US.

I hate that people need to fight for VBAC, they shouldn’t have to!

I am a doula. I want you to have the birth you want. I want you to come out of this birth feeling like a fucking rock star.

It really sucks when that doesn’t happen.

It really sucks when you work so hard for a VBAC and you end up with a repeat cesarean. It really sucks for me, and it really sucks for you. My hope is that my clients still feel like rock stars. My clients are fucking rock stars, regardless of how they birth.

But sometimes they feel like shit, and when my clients feel like shit, so do I.this-is-a-job-for..-crap-im-not-wearing-my-costume

And no medical care provider should get to make the decision that leaves me and my client feeling like shit.

This is the not so glamorous part of being a doula. Sometimes you have to feel like shit. Sometimes you have to walk through a really shitty, frustrating and aggravating birth with a client, and feel like shit because you couldn’t save the day.

I can’t save the day.

I can support you though. I can support you even when you feel like shit. I will still think you’re awesome, and I will still tell you that I am proud of you. I will shove my own shit feelings down, so I can talk to you. I will talk to you and tell you all the things you did right.

I will be your rock when you need me, and I will be there to cry with you. I am here if you need to bitch about your shit doctor who wouldn’t even give you a chance.

tumblr_mddhgj6Az01rqlibwo1_500I am here for you, because I am a doula.

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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

Being empowered is a choice

10 Jul
As a doula, I have a bit of a pet peeve with clients.  It bugs the shit out of me when they ask my advice, and then do the exact opposite or just do what the doctor says.  WHY THE FUCK DID YOU BOTHER HIRING ME?

 

I am a doula.  My job is to lay out all your options, talk you through it, support you in your choices, and tell you when you are not making choices that are going to get you the birth you claim to want.  Take this example. “I want a completely natural birth, but my doctor said I have to have constant monitors, and stay in bed”.  Ok great, so what are you going to do  to get a natural birth?  When LetMeDoMyJobyou picture your labor do you see yourself laying in a hospital bed, strapped to monitors?  Probably not!   I get this ALL THE FUCKING TIME!!  Here it is! If you want a natural birth, you need to find a provider that is supportive of that.  There can’t be a huge list of rules you are expected to follow.  And don’t tell me that you’ll just labor at home and then go in, and think that’s the answer.  It might be, but you know what a better answer is? FINDING A DOCTOR THAT SUPPORTS YOUR CHOICE!  Holy shit, what a fucking concept!!

 

If you want a completely intervention free birth, hire a midwife.  Did you just come up with like 10 reasons why you needed to be in a hospital? Oh, then hire a hospital midwife, but just being in a hospital is going to decrease your chance of an intervention free birth by a huge amount.   Oh, your baby had to go to the NICU last time, so you think it’s safer to be in a hospital. Ok great, then go to a hospital, find a doctor that will support you, and decide what you want to make compromises on, because there WILL be compromises!!!

Do you see where I am going here?  There are a million options, be an informed consumer.  Seriously, it pisses me off when people hire me, tell me they want a natural birth, and then stay with a doctor who dictates how birth is done.  If you want a natural birth, then make choices that support it.  You can still have a doctor, but probably not the doctor that your neighbor who had a cesarean suggested to you.  If you don’t care about a natural birth, you want an epidural, but you don’t want a cesarean, then listen to me about the steps you can take to reach your goal.

 

I am a doula.  I do not make decisions for you.  I do not tell you not to get an epidural, or that you have to have a home birth….but I am going to tell you when your choices and your goals DON”T FUCKING MATCH!!  There is a reason I am telling you this.  It’s not because I am mean, and just want to piss you off….it’s because I have seen it happen, over and over and over again.

 

I don’t want to hear, well my doctor knows me, and she knows I won’t do it if I don’t want to.  You know what? You will, because

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 you’ll be in labor, and because the nurses will come in and tell you it’s time to get an IV, and that because your water broke you need to stay in bed, because it’s against hospital policy to walk with your water broken.  And you know what? You aren’t going to want to fight it, because you are going to be fucking exhausted, and scared that anything you say or do is going to hurt your baby.  When you are in labor, you do not want to fight, you want to just focus on being in labor.

 

Ok, let’s change the direction of this a little bit.  Why did you hire a doula?  Because you want support? Because this is your first baby and your doctor is difficult? Great, now when your doula tells you things, LISTEN TO HER!!!  Don’t write a birth plan and be all excited about it, only to turn around and change your birth plan because your doctor says you “can’t” labor without IV.  Who says? I did it, thousands of other people do it all the fucking time! Why do you need one? You are an individual person, and should be treated as such.

 

So here’s the deal.  Hire a doula, because doulas are fucking awesome.  Hire the right doula, the one how is going to give you what you need.  Hire a great provider who supports your choices.  Make decisions about what you want, what is most important to you, and find a provider who supports YOU.  A great doula can’t work to her full potential if you are willing to give in to all the pressure from rocketsurgery_fullpic_artworkyour unsupportive doctor.  You hire a doula because you want a great birth, I can’t ever guarantee that for you, because you ultimately make the choices, but I can offer suggestions on how to get it.  If you really want it, you’ll make the choices to get there.  If you choose to stay with an unsupportive provider, then you’ll get the birth you signed up for.
by Robin Sparkles

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