September 21, 2012

Perspective

I read a lot of blogs, as I'm sure a lot of you do too. Some of my favorite topics to discuss- or, let's be truthful, debate- are pregnancy and birth. There is a lot of joy in these topics, a lot of laughter and a lot of "Are you serious?!", the-human-body-is-insane moments (like a few weeks ago, when my friend Morgan told me she had read that you can get varicose veins in your Queen Victoria! I mean, really?!). A lot of the time, though, there are disagreements and generalizations and a lot of putting-down about the many ways a woman can choose to birth. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine, as you might remember from this post.
{Photo credit}
Right now, I'm in the process of getting my DONA certification to be a birth doula. This involves a lot of reading and preparation, and I am soaking it up like a sponge. Part of the reason I decided to become a doula is because I love being present at a birth and supporting the mother as she's going through her labor journey. I've been to two (not including my son's) births so far and they were awe-inspiring experiences. Another big reason is because I've been in search of that "Eureka!" moment, where I come to the realization of where I'm meant to be, career-wise. I've tossed the idea of being a midwife back and forth in my mind quite a bit (I don't think it could ever get old), but I'm learning that who you work with (or the community of people you work with) is a very important consideration. The truth is, I don't believe that natural, unmedicated birth is the only "right" way to birth. I don't believe that if you had an epidural or a C-section that you've somehow failed. I do believe that a woman should not be rushed or bullied into or away from the birth she feels is right for her, and I do believe a woman should feel safe and as prepared as she can going into her labor- whether this is at home, at a birth center, or in a hospital. Does that first "I don't" mean I'm not meant to be a midwife? I don't know. All I know is I'm taking this one step at a time and doing a lot of self-evaluation along the way.
{Photo credit}
Here's a quote I've been loving this week, from The Littlest:
"more and more i feel like where and how we birth is just another way to divide mothers against mothers. i have many friends who have had c-sections and feel guilty that they never labored, many friends who had their babies in in their living rooms. is one superior to the other? not a chance. both stay up nights on end comforting a sick child, wipe away tears, give every bit of their resources and energy to make their little ones feel like the most important thing in the world."
Have a great weekend!

12 comments:

Chantal said...

I've considered being a doula, but then to me I don't feel qualified because I had a c-section! Horrible, huh?

Veralynn said...

@ Chantal- I know exactly what you mean, but if you really feel like you would be a great doula than you should go for it! That's the conclusion I've come to. There are many doulas out there who've never even had babies but that are fantastic support to laboring mothers, so our own personal experiences don't determine the quality of care we can give.

Sable Weisman said...

You are such a kind, caring, supportive person - I am sure you'll be a wonderful doula!!!!

Jamie said...

I am considering a doula this time but I'm sort of scared of having another random person to listen to.

Veralynn said...

@ Jamie- I would say maybe leave the option open, interview one or two doulas in your area, and see what their philosophies are. If you get the vibe that they will not be a quiet presence who is listening to you and what you need during labor, then you know it's not a good fit. I didn't have a doula when I gave birth to my son and it's something I would do differently if I ever give birth again! -V

Dara said...

I do feel as if I failed by having c-sections. (I've had 3, none by choice, all of which I tried for vaginal births). I feel like my body failed me. Thanks for the quote though, it is true that I'm still a good mom. just maybe not a good birther.

Veralynn said...

@ Dara- I was reading the other day about a doula who delivered her son via C-section after a three-day home birth attempt. In the story, it said she learned to say "he came through a window, instead of the door". I think that's a great way to look at it. I can sympathize with how you feel about your body failing you because I've felt the same way, but I don't believe it's actually possible to fail at birth. We all have different journeys and should try as hard as we can to embrace them for bringing us our beautiful babies! -V

lisacng @ expandng.com said...

It's awesome that you want to be there for moms when I'm sure they need you the most! I agree with you, take it one step at a time. I think because you believe that every woman has a choice, and that "natural" birth isn't the only way to give birth, would make you a great doula because you aren't trying to push your agenda on anyone. Some mothers may go to a doula for an opinion, while she chooses between doc and doula/midwife, and she may feel pressured by the doula! I mean, my doc didn't pressure me at all to choose her. She encouraged me to talk to a doula. But the doula I talked with, definitely did not want me to go to a hospital and kept telling me that I'd lose control over my birth at the hospital. That doula kinda scared me! Anyways, my point is, I like that you are on the mom's side 100% of the time, whether she chooses doula or hospital. Good luck girl!

Ashlee Christopher said...

These are so precious!!
LOve,
YOur new friend
Ash
http://abpetite.blogspot.com/

sugarplums andlollipops said...

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Morgan Jane said...

It's a good thing I know all these random birth facts. They're good conversation starters, no? Also, can we discuss the 'that's the craziest photo I've ever seen' in Ina May's book. Can you guess which one I'm talking about???

Jelli said...

How exciting that you're getting certified. I almost took a course about a year ago, but my baby was tiny then and I couldn't manage to attend all the classes. Enjoy! I'm sure you'll be such a blessing to the birthing mamas.