Monday, September 10, 2007

Doula Certification

When I was becoming a certified Doula I had to write a short paper on my thoughts about Labor and Delivery. I decided to share my birth stories. I know that on this blog I have sort of shared Teague's, on his birthday, but I am feeling inclined to share the paper that I wrote, it is, enjoy:

On March 18, 2001 I gave birth to my little Piper. Up to May 22, 2003, the birth of my son, it was the most incredible, spiritual, and challenging day of my entire life. I am a little choked up just thinking about it.

I feel like in order to express my feelings about labor and delivery, I need to share Piper and Teague’s birth stories as much as I can. Both labors were VERY short, in fact, TOO short. However they were very different from one another. With Piper: my water broke at 12:45 a.m., I started contracting at 1:15 a.m., but I went from nothing – no pain – nothing, to hard labor. The contractions I was having minutes before Piper was born were on the same pain level as the ones in the beginning.

With Teague, a contraction woke me up at 7:23 a.m. Then they gradually built up, like they were “suppose” to.

I labored in the car to the hospital with Piper. It took about half an hour to get to the hospital, so the majority of my labor was in our 1988 Cadillac Eldora do (YUCK!) It was impossible to get comfortable.

I labored at home in my bedroom with Teague. I had the freedom to do whatever I pleased during my labor. I could get comfortable wherever I felt like I wanted to be.

When I got to the hospital around 2:15 a.m. the nurses wanted to do the routine check in the triage room, but when I had a contraction, they put me in a delivery room. I had a nurse that was not going to support my birth plan, so my husband fired her, and we got a new, very supportive nurse. I was freaking out because I was in so much pain, and My DOULA and my mom and my best friend had not arrived yet.

I enjoyed moving around freely, comfortably and calmly waiting for my midwife, her assistant, my parents, my mother-in-law and best friend to arrive. I didn’t really have a care in the world.

At about 2:30 my DOULA had arrived, boy oh boy was I glad to see her, even though I was in “labor land” I could feel her presence when she arrived, I was suddenly very comforted. Finally at about 2:40, my mom and dad got there. We were all working hard. Even though I was in “labor land, “ I could sense the tension in the air, I could sense that something was not right. Next thing I knew, it was all chaos in the delivery room. Piper’s heart rate had dropped, the nurse had contacted the nursery and a bunch of other staff.. I had the urge to push, so I did, and I pushed her right out. I had done it, I birthed my little Piper, and I did it completely unmedicated, but wait, she wasn’t breathing. I freaked out. Luckily I had my DOULA there to keep me calm and collective through the whole experience. My baby wasn’t handed to me after delivery, I didn’t know why, nobody would tell me anything, The doctor was rubbing her back trying to stimulate her, they took her over to “The French fry warmer,” and administered CPR. I started screaming, “IS SHE DEAD?” My DOULA right by my side held me and cried with me and kept telling me it was all okay, everything was going to be alright. Finally I heard a little cry. The nurse brought her over to me just long enough for me to look at her and kiss her, then took her away again. Nine months later I watched the video of her birth, it took my little Piper nearly three minutes to take her first breath.

People started arriving one by one at my house, before I knew it, my bedroom was full of the people I loved watching me labor as I lay on my bed. My midwife – of course – was the last to arrive at about 8:40, she got everything all situated and helped me labor, she checked me at about 8:55, and I was at a 7. At about 9:00 I said, “Okay, I’m done, get him out of me, I can’t do this anymore!” My mom looked at me and said, “Yes you can!” My midwife helped me breath through a really tough contraction, then I had the undeniable urge to push, so I did, and BOOM, my water broke, and it went everywhere, then I pushed again, and my little Teague came flying out at 9:04 He didn’t cry or anything, he just looked around. My midwife handed him to me and I held him and nursed him. After everything was said and done…I was at home with my little family, so we all just went to bed and slept.

Experiencing two completely different labors was a real eye opener to how different labor is and how each one can be handled. I use to think that if I had Piper at home there is no way she could have survived, but I now know that if my situation would have been handled differently in the hospital, it would have been a better outcome, but thanks to the support of my DOULA, I made it through that very difficult time. My DOULA is an incredible woman. My DOULA was the reason I became a DOULA. She helped make my birth the beautiful birth that it was. I decided that if I could help women have a beautiful birth experience, then that would be the greatest job in the world…and it is.


Corinne said...

Cool post Karlyn. You already know - being a doula is truly my dream job. I couldn't put a value on the support of my midwives through all three (very different and traumatic) births. Someday :)

sara said...

Wow! Two very very different stories! Thank you so much for sharing these. I really admire that you did your doula my opinion it can make such a difference to have a supportive labor team! Here's hoping my first labor is as peaceful and wonderful as your second :)