Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All I Can Say Is WOW!

If you read my last post, then you know all about my Doula training workshop that I did last weekend.  It was, quite possibly, one of the most amazing, educational, inspiring, unique, special things I've ever participated in, in my life.  Truly and hands down.  My brain is filled with so much information that I didn't know before, I'm having a hard time sleeping, trying to sort through it all.

While I now know everything from how to use a fetoscope to labor positions to breathing techniques to common (and now I know VERY overused) medical interventions, my biggest take-away is that, as a doula, it will be my quest to help women (and their partners) have their best birth possible, whatever that looks like to them.  To share information they need to be able to make well-informed decisions, regret free.

I really, really tried to not make any of the session personal, which was hard since I was the only woman in the room (out of 17) that made the decision to have an epidural...twice.  I didn't feel judged, but I also really did -- hard to explain.  But, there were others with regrets too...from the woman that dreamed of a home birth that couldn't to the one that needed pitocin to jump start labor when she only wanted things done the natural way.

And, it was a little emotional as well.  I tried to listen objectively as the instructor was talking about how epidurals can cause the baby to move down the birth canal at an awkward angle.  And, how this can cause shoulder dystocia.  My Lulu had this when she was born.  I'm thankful each and every day that my amazing doctor (and my amazing body, by the way) was able to get her out before any permanent damage.   Also, an epidural includes some heavy duty narcotics that are passed through the bloodstream to the baby.  I didn't know.  And, more disturbing, I never asked...even as it was being injected in my spine.  I couldn't hold back my emotions knowing that because I made the decision to ease my pain, I put my beautiful daughter at risk.  I don't know if I would have made different decisions -- hindsight is always easier -- but I wish I knew more then.

I think there is a reason the training is an entire, almost uninterrupted weekend.  It gives women, like me, the opportunity to process and sometimes grieve their own choices in a therapeutic/safe way, so that we can forgive ourselves and move on to helping others.  That is how I feel now. 

As a next step, I'm in the process of signing up for a wonderful organization that offers free doula support to women/families in need.  It is perfect for me, since I can pick and choose my 12 hour shifts. 

I don't know what my future holds in this line of work, but I do know that I will make it my mission to ensure a woman never walks into a delivery again without full knowledge so she can make informed decisions when it comes to her birth.   I don't want anyone to walk away from the magnificent joy and miracle of childbirth with regrets.

I can't wait to see how this new journey unfolds!

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