Author Topic: To doula or not to doula?  (Read 10060 times)

elaine amj

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Re: To doula or not to doula?
« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2016, 01:23:49 PM »
OP - From what you say, you might be best not to doula.

With Baby #1 - I wanted as natural a birth as possible. DH is a nurse and had actually worked L&D at one point in his career. He attended birthing classes with me (those breathing techniques are a hoot!). I thought I would be fine with both DH and my mom. When I was actually in labor, it was certainly interesting. My DH was helpful (he did the breathing exercises we has learned together with me) but after some hours, my mom sent him off to take a nap and took over. She couldn't help giggling at the whole breathing thing and was completely UNhelpful LOL (did you know laughing HURTS during contractions?!). DH later told me he felt overwhelmed by the whole process and neither of us even thought to question any of of the dr's decisions.

I was induced shortly after entering the hospital (I was anxious and unsure and had already been sent home a few hours earlier). I should have been sent home again since I was still in early labor, but since I was there, they gave me pitocin. Some time later, the pain was bad enough I asked for help. They gave me Demerol. That put me to sleep between contractions, but I was awake and in full pain during each contraction. After a bit of that, I gave in and asked for an epidural. I ended up with a tear that took forever to stitch together (to this day I have no idea how many stitches as the dr refused to tell me). I think the pitocin started things on an unnecessary path. They never asked our opinion or anything - just said that they were giving it to me. Neither myself nor my DH were in the frame of mind to question it.  I was never offered any alternative method to assist with labor (the hospital had a birthing ball, jacuzzi tub, etc etc - but DH and I just didn't even consider it).

With Baby #2, I was very close to hiring a doula. But after DH and I had long discussions, he said that he would be my doula. He was much more capable the 2nd time around (he was in the right head space). We were both more prepared and through prayer, very calm about the whole process. I used the birthing ball, ignored the stupid fetal monitor (we would hurry up to get it back in place whenever the nurse stopped in), and it went amazingly well. Also helped by my awesome OB who said stirrups were unnecessary and did perineal massage during the pushing phase (and convinced me to slow down when I was eager to push).

Looking back, it depends on your birthing expectations/desires and how well it aligns with your medical team. And also how prepared your support folks are to be supportive. A doula basically replaces an experienced family member/friend since in our modern world, few women or men attend births other than their own so it's hard to find someone with a lot of first-hand experience who can be calm and advocate for you.
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Gin1984

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Re: To doula or not to doula?
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2016, 01:52:08 PM »
OP - From what you say, you might be best not to doula.

With Baby #1 - I wanted as natural a birth as possible. DH is a nurse and had actually worked L&D at one point in his career. He attended birthing classes with me (those breathing techniques are a hoot!). I thought I would be fine with both DH and my mom. When I was actually in labor, it was certainly interesting. My DH was helpful (he did the breathing exercises we has learned together with me) but after some hours, my mom sent him off to take a nap and took over. She couldn't help giggling at the whole breathing thing and was completely UNhelpful LOL (did you know laughing HURTS during contractions?!). DH later told me he felt overwhelmed by the whole process and neither of us even thought to question any of of the dr's decisions.

I was induced shortly after entering the hospital (I was anxious and unsure and had already been sent home a few hours earlier). I should have been sent home again since I was still in early labor, but since I was there, they gave me pitocin. Some time later, the pain was bad enough I asked for help. They gave me Demerol. That put me to sleep between contractions, but I was awake and in full pain during each contraction. After a bit of that, I gave in and asked for an epidural. I ended up with a tear that took forever to stitch together (to this day I have no idea how many stitches as the dr refused to tell me). I think the pitocin started things on an unnecessary path. They never asked our opinion or anything - just said that they were giving it to me. Neither myself nor my DH were in the frame of mind to question it.  I was never offered any alternative method to assist with labor (the hospital had a birthing ball, jacuzzi tub, etc etc - but DH and I just didn't even consider it).

With Baby #2, I was very close to hiring a doula. But after DH and I had long discussions, he said that he would be my doula. He was much more capable the 2nd time around (he was in the right head space). We were both more prepared and through prayer, very calm about the whole process. I used the birthing ball, ignored the stupid fetal monitor (we would hurry up to get it back in place whenever the nurse stopped in), and it went amazingly well. Also helped by my awesome OB who said stirrups were unnecessary and did perineal massage during the pushing phase (and convinced me to slow down when I was eager to push).

Looking back, it depends on your birthing expectations/desires and how well it aligns with your medical team. And also how prepared your support folks are to be supportive. A doula basically replaces an experienced family member/friend since in our modern world, few women or men attend births other than their own so it's hard to find someone with a lot of first-hand experience who can be calm and advocate for you.
That is not legal in the US as of today.  Medical providers are required by law to give you access to your medical records, which the amount would be present. 
And I am more disturbed by an RN not thinking to challenge a MD than anything else that you wrote to be honest.

SomedayStache

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Re: To doula or not to doula?
« Reply #52 on: March 28, 2016, 02:10:02 PM »
Hmm...I also have no idea how many stitches I got after the birth of my first child.  I think it took about an hour to get stitched up, so probably a lot?

My doctor didn't refuse to tell me, but I didn't think to ask at the time.  Now I am pretty curious - but I doubt that I could find that info.

elaine amj

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Re: To doula or not to doula?
« Reply #53 on: March 28, 2016, 02:21:01 PM »
That is not legal in the US as of today.  Medical providers are required by law to give you access to your medical records, which the amount would be present. 
And I am more disturbed by an RN not thinking to challenge a MD than anything else that you wrote to be honest.

Oh I am sure I could have found out if I had pushed. I was curious and asked when they were stitching me up and was just told, "you don't want to know". I was not in the headspace to push for a definite answer and DH was absorbed in the new baby. I have always been curious, but never to the point of bothering to ask for my medical records - I had stitches - the exact number is not particularly important. It's just one of those things that I was too overwhelmed with L&D to push for more answers and I'm still a little annoyed with myself for that.

As for DH not challenging a MD....well, there you have your wife in labor with your first baby. There's contractions, your wife is in pain, and there is the excitement of your FIRST BABY COMING!!! A MD comes up, does a check, and then proceeds to say we are going to give her pitocin. This much, and this is what it will do, blah blah blah. Both DH and I simply nodded and went back to focusing on the contractions. (note: these are my memories from the haze of L&D)

I asked him about it when I was pregnant with Baby #2 and he said he was a little overwhelmed with everything happening. It's so different when it is happening to someone else vs your own wife. Plus, it's not like I asked him before L&D to concentrate on questioning the dr or anything like that. We had discussed birth plans briefly, but we didn't have extensive discussions nor was it clearly defined as "his job".

Besides, I don't know much about the day to day aspects of my DH's job, but why would a RN automatically question a MD about a routine, common intervention? I would think that a more automatic response in a clinical situation would be "Yes, Doctor". Aren't RNs trained to obey Dr instructions unless they think the Dr has made a mistake? Now I am going to have to ask DH :)
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Gin1984

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Re: To doula or not to doula?
« Reply #54 on: March 28, 2016, 02:24:24 PM »
Hmm...I also have no idea how many stitches I got after the birth of my first child.  I think it took about an hour to get stitched up, so probably a lot?

My doctor didn't refuse to tell me, but I didn't think to ask at the time.  Now I am pretty curious - but I doubt that I could find that info.
I can get medical records back to 2002, so depending on where and when you might be able to.