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This Is How We Doula It! Cesarean Birth

I received your call at 8:23 am, while I was pulling out of my driveway taking my son to preschool. Calmly, you explained that you thought your water had ruptured and you were heading to the hospital. Quickly, we decided that I would meet you there after dropping my son off.

It had been less then 12 hours since we last talked. Last night had not been easy as you realized your goal of delivering your twins naturally, was no longer an option. Yesterday, a routine test turned into an entire day spent at the hospital. Based on these tests, you made the courageous decision to have a cesarean section scheduled in 2 days time.

And while you knew they needed to come this way, it was still an emotional process. We talked for quite a while last night, tears were shed and within one phone call I witnessed your strength, determination and resolve. No truer words than the ones you spoke,

"Becoming a mother means many sacrifices for myself. I must realize that this isn't just my birth but their birth as well."

I was so impressed by your bravery.

And so we had prepared for the babies arrival in 2 days. However, with your water breaking this morning, it appeared that your babies had other plans and decided to pick their own birthday!

After I dropped my son off at his preschool I headed to the hospital and was by your side in about 30 minutes. I could tell that you were a bit overwhelmed and so I talked about your babies as I rubbed your feet, to help calm you. The nurse was placing your IV and it was not easy. I pushed on some pressure points on your feet and you began to relax some. Your smile soon returned as the reality of what was going to happen sank in. Today would be your babies' birthday.

This went on for several hours as you were prepped for surgery. I would rub your feet as different nurses arrived to do this & that. I pushed on specific points on your feet as the doctors came in and spoke about your surgery. You went over your birth plan with the birthing staff and covered exactly what you wanted & needed. Privately we would discuss questions & concerns, and you would address them with so much clarity to the doctors & nurses. I was inspired to see you empowered by your birth.

Your mother had been with us the whole time and while she was also very nervous, she was so excited to meet her grand-babies. Your husband arrived just in time to suit up. Everyone was there, family pictures were taken and your last belly shots too. Then, there was nothing else to do, but go meet your babies.

While you were in surgery, I sat with your mother who had flown half way around the world to be with you today. I could tell that she was nervous and so we talked about your safety and I reassured her that you were in the best of care. I informed her of the process of the surgery, how quick and efficient it would be, and that you had excellent doctors. We talked about your family and how you grew up all over the world. After a while I noticed that your mother had relaxed a bit so I went and checked in with the nurse who let us all know you were doing great & so were the babies. When your mother heard this, she beamed from ear to ear.

Your mother and I waited another 4 hours together before reconnecting with you. All the while your mother gazed at a photo your husband sent of the babies. Such a special moment as she waited in anticipation to meet her new family. When I finally saw you, you reminded me so much of your mother, beaming from ear to ear. Your babies were here and life was in generous transformation…

This is a small fraction of how doulas support cesarean births. We educate, counsel and offer encouragement. We are there when you have questions after leaving your doctor's office, when they didn't really explain protocol in normal, non-medical terms. We are there when you need emotional support, when you are frustrated that you aren't being heard. We are there when tough decisions need to be made and you need clarity and a familiar face. We are there with our professional experience when all the things that would really happen to you weren't explained. We are there to support the process so that you don’t feel like a pin cushion or a medical experiment, rather you are an active participant in your birth. We are there to push away the fear and overwhelm, and direct your focus to the amazing life altering experience of birth. We are also the constant familiar face that will visit you days after your birth & support you during postpartum, breastfeeding and parental adjustment; often more challenging then the birth experience.

I am a hand holder, a back rubber, a foot massager, a smiling face, an encouraging glance, and a confidant. I give my clients my deepest compassion; I am there emotionally and physically, professionally providing them with my care. Even if your birth changes forms; my guidance and my support are unwavering. I am your doula.

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