Doula Days — It’s A Girl!!
I’m running off an hour and a half of sleep. Guess that’s the life of a doula.
I received a call last night. It was my guy, semi-ecstatically informing me of his sister’s arrival at the hospital. She was in her final moments of pregnancy.
I was — in shock! Not a negative shock, more along the lines of anticipation shock (if possible). It seemed as if this came out of nowhere! Regardless of knowing for the past 9 months that she was with child and one day soon would have to birth this child. That day was today.
As I mentally ‘prepared’ myself to take on the role of doula, thoughts of inadequacy fumbled through my head. Was I beginning to doubt my capability of supporting her? Did I feel intrusive?
Hours passed. I kept myself busy by making jewelry — finishing one piece, beginning another. Sensing my untimely insecurity my guy did what any caring individual would. He gave me a pep talk.
He’s always been a great cheerleader even if it’s somewhat tactless, it was exactly what I needed to get my arse in gear.
I affirmed a few things, packed my bag and locked the door behind me. It was 3am and somehow I was wide awake. Arriving at the hospital 15mins later I speed-walked my way through the entrance, up the escalators and onto an elevator, managing to find the exact floor.
Walking down the corridor to her room seemed an eternity; while everything I learned in the books vanished from my memadex. I knocked and slowly opened the door.
There she layed on the hospital bed — monitors beeping, IVs dripping, florescent track lighting. This is the moment we’d all been waiting for.
We giggled and chatted for a few until I witnessed her first contraction. I cringed with pain. Whew! That was a contraction huh? That really looked —– UNPLEASANT.
The pain subsided and we began giggling and chatting again until BAM! – another contraction. I cringed again. At this moment my Self is saying to my body, “WTF are you here for if you’re just gonna stare??!”.
BAM! – another contraction! I jumped up, got close to her and proceeded to massage and comfort her. Whew. that was ok. …She thanked me.
Eventually, the nervousness diminished, allowing me to provide her the loving support she needed. Hours passed as we watched the clock, the tube and the contractions. Several hours into active labor growing tired (rightfully at 5am, she’d been there since late the evening before) she asked for an epidural.
I cringed… again.
The only epidural I’d witnessed were on video. The whole idea of having something slither down the spine made me nauseous. But I was curious to watch. At that moment I said a prayer for her and baby’s wellbeing.
The nurses propped her in the assumable position and did their work. Her boyfriend and I watched as they pricked her with needles and threaded epidural loveliness (a.k.a. a catheter) into her spine. All done! They taped her up and layed her down.
Whew! (again). That was easy!
Eventually her contractions numbed and she was able to nod off for a bit. She awoke at 5:34 to a ‘broken water’. I double checked the good news and paged the nurse.
From then on out the labor was uphill. She dialated quickly and by 8:30 was pushing. No forceps. No episiotomy. No cesarean. Just plain old intuition! Five pushes later (to put it lightly) — It’s a GIRL!!! Beautiful, bright and alert.
One by one, family started to arrive at the hospital to witness their first grandchild, niece and daughter! Of course, my guy was proud as can be –adding uncle to the roster is a huge feat! (Besides, we get to live vicariously through her until we decide to have our own LOL.)
At the end of the day (or more like the beginning 😉 ) she was nursing her newborn daughter, Chloe, and bonding like mother and child. Her glowing skin was a sight to see as she thanked me for my support. In return I thanked her for her support and gave her the biggest love hug!
Experiencing my first doula job was necessary and quite surreal. Positively, the more I immerse myself in the profession apprehension will dwindle, getting over the ‘hump’ is the key.
I thank you, Jess for letting me be a part of your labor. Your first was my first and my first yours!
Best wishes with Chloe and Daddy =) …and I’ll definitely be over soon for some postpartum fun!
baby and uncle
Consciously Birthing 2009 jessica11eleven [at] yahoo [dot] com
Posted on October 20, 2009, in Childbirth Education, Doula Days -- Chronicles of a Doula and tagged doula, epidural, first time doula job, hospital birth, it's a girl, natural birth. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.