Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Have you given birth to a child already? Did you have the birth you envisioned in your mind? If so how did you do this, if not, what happened where you did not birth as you secretly wanted to?
I would love to know your thoughts about this or your own personal experience. I am a birth doula and I am quite curious as to what ways a woman decides to give birth. I know of my own personal clients' experiences.
I know many of my clients have truly wanted to birth naturally and others have wanted an epidural yet still wanted me as their doula. I have asked the ones who chose the epidural, why they would want a doula when they were not going to "feel" the full experience of labor. One client in particular (early in my practice) shared that she wanted to have my presence with her during her labor and birth of her child even if she ended up having a c-section. I was skeptical to take her on as a client at first, but she convinced me that she wanted me with her. She expressed to me that she had endured such a traumatic childhood with physical/emotional pain, neglect, abuse; and she did not want to have pain during her labor and childbirth. She was still in counseling and quite clear as to what she wanted. Oh, had I known then what I know now. I will say this, she was an example for me on allowing individuals to have their own experience from their choices. I simply accepted her choice and her journey. She did get an epidural and ended up with a c-section. There were no complications with the baby. She dilated to about 3-4 cm and stayed there for many hours (12 or so). When I saw her after the c-section, I had never seen a more happy pleased woman in my life. She kept thanking me and I was not sure for what. As I did not feel I had done a thing for her. It is not always easy being in acceptance of another's journey when you know a natural or non-surgical birth was so possible. This woman showed me that each woman births at her on level of conscious awareness about herself and her experiences. Her perception of childbirth was what it was, even though she had educated herself through childbirth classes, counseling, long detailed sessions with me, she was clear she did not want to experience pain during the labor process. This woman experienced her ideal childbirth experience. I was not in agreement with her about getting an epidural right away, and she knew this, but I accepted her choice long before we got to the hospital. Her childbirth experience was not "about me" but about how I could fully support her where she was. I believe wholeheartedly in natural birth, however, sometimes the most well made plans materialize differently. She, however, got exactly what she wanted and could envision for herself.