As a doula, I’ve had some great experiences with many couples. Some couples lead very interesting lives, very different from my own. I was expecting to hear from one of my pregnant couples any day, so I checked my email and saw a message from the husband. He wrote, “She is having very strong contractions, and we’re getting ready to go to the hospital”. I replied with a few questions, and suggested they wait until I get there to evaluate the situation. Luckily, they waited for me, and didn’t go to the hospital.
Labor Is A Grey Area
I had the pleasure of taking care of this very professional and career oriented couple. I needed to have the discussion with both of them, that labor is something you don’t have any control over. I could tell this didn’t sit well with the Dad. He even said, “But I’m a control freak. Just tell me when we will go to the hospital.” He was not happy with my explanation that “Labor is not black and white. This is a grey area.”
He finally calmed down, and went about “nesting”. That’s what he called tightening screws, adding pads to the chair legs, squirting WD40 on door hinges, replacing light bulbs: a whole multitude of stuff to busy himself with. I explained to both of them, that although her uterus is contracting, she is not in active labor yet. Then I described what active labor would look like: labor contractions will become stronger, longer, and closer together. Those effective contractions are what would open her cervix, and help her baby descend in labor.
Baby Isn’t Coming Yet! Let’s Go Look At Houses!
He said, “Well if this isn’t happening right now, then we should go look at those houses.” I reminded them that it would be a good distraction for both of them, but had them bring the hospital bag just in case we’d need to go to the hospital while house hunting. The Mom asked me to ride in their car. I was glad I did!
Early Labor In A Tesla
I helped them load things into a brand new jet black Tesla, with super dark windows. SWEET! I tried to open the passenger door, and realized that the handle was “flush” with the door. Only when the driver approaches do the handles come out to open the door. I was excited to ride in it, like a giddy kid. This was a first for me. It was very turbo, and I honestly felt like we were flying. The dashboard looks like a plane cockpit. It’s super quiet, and amazingly fast. I kept peeking at the Mom to get an idea how these contractions were affecting her, and how she was managing while Dad is zooming through traffic. I think he was showing off a bit for me, and I was concerned, but saw her looking at her smart phone checking emails. I decided this is probably the way he drives all the time, and she was used to it.
Labor and A Few $2.5 Million Dollar Homes
We arrived at the first house, in a very exclusive Country Club gated community and to see the first $2.5 million dollar home – another first for me. I’m nosey and I’ve always tried to get into one, but since they only allow “pre-qualified buyers”, that closed the door on me. Luckily, we came across some sweeping curving staircases, so Mom and I got busy doing some stair movements, which began to get Mom’s contractions going to my satisfaction. We proceeded to see 2 more of the same type of home. I loved investigating the “hidden playrooms”, butler’s pantries, and 30 foot ceilings with huge fireplaces. And more granite than I have ever seen in one day. I tried to drink it all in, knowing I probably wouldn’t get to do this again anytime soon.
I was happy to see the Mom’s labor indeed did progress. She became much quieter, less chatty. When she began making some moaning noises, and described rectal pressure – all positive signs of active labor – we decided to make our way into the hospital. The 3 men, her husband, and 2 male realtors all commented on how well she was handling this while looking at potential homes. They even joked we could mark the home as her own by filling the jacuzzi tub and laboring in the water. The realtor joked that they might as well sign on the dotted line when that happens!
I was happy that these men could see that yes, this woman is a super woman, and yes, she was rocking this labor calm as could be.
You’re Getting Closer To Meeting Your Baby
Mom was sure she’d get an epidural. Every time she would look at me and say “I don’t think I can take much more of this”, I’d say, let’s just get through this contraction. It’s one you won’t have to have again, and you’re that much closer to meeting your baby”. That seemed to help her go on without discussing epidurals again. My rule of thumb is, I don’t really hear what she says during the contractions, and if she doesn’t bring it up during a rest, I let it be.
She went on to have an un-medicated easy birth of a beautiful baby girl. “Smooth like butter” is how we, in the doula world, describe the birth. It wasn’t my first “butter birth”, but it’s always amazing to watch. I took a few family photos, and did some breastfeeding education. I packed up my belongings, and started to leave, and was reminded by the Dad that I didn’t have a car. He said “No worries, I’ve ordered an UBER for you”.
This was a first too! He texted me a photo of the driver and car, and said he would be there in 4 minutes. I love this idea! I was driven to my car, and went on my way home.
A crazy day for sure, but it’s one of the reason’s I keep doing this work. It’s exciting, always different, uplifting, fun, tiring, and exhilarating at the same time. I hope I have a whole boatload of more firsts in my career.
A Happy and Satisfied Doula
Donna Hayes is a Registered Nurse, Doula/Monatrice, Lactation Educator, I practice as a Monatrice, and can Doppler monitor baby, and check for cervical change while remaining home during the labor. I utilize a TENS unit during labor to decrease perceived pain. As a postpartum doula, I help to teach new families about what to expect with their newborn. I am able to evaluate breastfeeding, and make recommendations for changes if needed. I help the family transition to the newest family member, by providing physical, emotional and educational support. I help with light chores, cooking, running errands, and other details to help them spend those quality first few days to months to getting to know their baby. Experience with multiples. Contact Donna through San Diego Birth Network
Written by Donna Hayes edited by Liza https://yogajanda.com/