I forgot to hire a doula.
Mind you, I'm only 13 weeks pregnant and I have some time before I am set to give birth. However, I also know that I should have hired one before I left Arizona. Now, I will have around 2 months to find a doula when I get back.
The reason I forgot to hire one is because I forgot I needed one. Or, even worse, I thought I didn't need one.
I know. bad doula.
It's hard to explain. I know doulas are amazing, and I'm not just tooting my own horn. Ask any woman who has had a doula and she'll tell you that they made a difference in either a small way or in the biggest way possible. They help. It's obvious.
Maybe, for a weird reason or another, I considered myself immune to doulas. I plan to have a lot of people at my birth. I know a ton of women who have never witnessed a birth like the one I am having, and I feel honored to have them there. I also feel more comfortable in groups - and I know I won't have an issue telling people to get the Hell out if I change my mind. I have people there who will give massages and rub my back. They will fill the birth tub and get me water. Take photos and video tape.
I know doulas do emotional too. However, as my husband said, I "know all their mind tricks." I know what they might say and I figured this was a disadvantage. Then it hit me.
I'm scared. I'm scared. I've never had a homebirth. I'm terrified of transfer. I'm terrified that I will change my mind. I fear the unknown and, though I have seen homebirths up close and personal - I have never had one. The only people at my birth who have witnessed a homebirth are my midwives and, God willingly, if she can make it - my friend over at Birth Faith.
So, why was I convincing myself I didn't need a doula? My job is normally to convince women and men that they do need a doula. In spite of my knowledge and even though I "know" what doulas say and I "know" what they do - I need that.
I am probably going to say something like, "I'm scared"
and I need someone to say, "I'm here."
I am probably going to say something like, "It hurts too much"
and I need someone to say, "I know, but it won't hurt forever."
I am probably going to say something like, "I can't do this"
and I need someone to say, "But, you are. And, you can. And, you will."
I then sat there, pouring over names of doulas and thinking, "Damn. I'm picky." Then I questioned - wait. Are most people this picky? Are people this choosy when they opt for me as their doula? Just as I was contemplating this notion, a client of mine back in Arizona, who is pregnant with a 2nd and planning a VBAC delivery, sent me this message on Facebook:
"[my husband] said he feels confident in being my doula since we can't have you. He's kind of funny that way, it's hard for him to connect and feel comfortable with people. That's why his instant comfort with you was very unlike him but quite a blessing.
I wish you could be here too...but I know it will all work out."
First and foremost, bring on the doula guilt! I wish I never had to move because then I would never have to leave my clients. Secondly, wow. My job just felt even more important than the pedestal I thought I was already putting it on. Three - I need that. Of course I need that, and, of course, I have the right to be picky.
So, doulas - did you have doulas? Will you?
Or non-doulas - what did you think about your doula if you had one. If you didn't - did you wish you did?
And, most importantly, how did/how would you choose your doula?