This is the story of how Debbie Shelton became a doula/Monitrice, written by Debbie and edited by Liza Janda
For twenty years I was so fortunate to support women through the life-changing event of becoming a mother. I was a labor and delivery nurse and I loved my job! Supporting women never got old for me. But what did get old, was trying to please doctors and hospital administrators while trying to take care of, and support my patients. Over time, I was becoming more and more disillusioned with the way some doctors treated their patients. It was getting increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to advocate for my patients, while following doctor’s orders, and staying within the rules and regulations of hospital policy.
A Torn Tendon Became An Opportunity?
And then an opportunity arose. At the time, I didn’t think a torn tendon in my ankle could be an opportunity! As it turned out, it took 9 months of treatment and healing time, and time off work. During the 9 months, my husband and I discussed my not returning to work. I was tired of the politics, the weekend and holiday shifts, unions, etc. So when the time came, I did not return to the hospital. I did other temporary work while I tried to figure out what was next for me.
Call me Grandma!
Then an important life-event happened. My daughter got pregnant! I was going to be a grandma! She had such a strong belief in the natural process of labor and birth, that she asked me if I would help her have her baby at home. I told her that I could help her stay home until the last minute, but I could not be responsible if something went wrong, as a grandma! So she did have a wonderful, peaceful, labor at home for about 8 hours, and then went to the hospital and had a baby after about an hour. It was an ideal birth.
Filled With Wonder And Awe
My daughter loved her birth experience so much that she shared with others about how wonderful it was. One of her friends told her she should become a doula and so she did! She took the doula training and attended a few births. She was so filled with the wonder, and awe of seeing miraculous new life entering the world, and families transformed before her eyes! She would share the exciting stories of the births she attended, and I would listen, remembering how much I loved the birthing process and helping women become mothers.
A “Super-Doula” Is Born!
And then it dawned on me. I can do that!!! I can take the same doula training, and with my extra skills, become a “Super-Doula”! And so I did! I took the same doula training as my daughter and began attending births with my added L&D skills, and a doula was born! Actually a Monitrice was born, to be accurate. A Monitrice is a labor coach/doula, who is medically licensed as a registered nurse. She provides emotional and physical support, and an objective perspective for a mother going through labor and birth just like a doula. Except a Monitrice can listen to fetal heart tones, and check dilation etc. While nurturing and protecting the woman in labor, she also encourages the woman’s partner to participate in the support at his or her own comfort level.
I’ve Never Looked Back
I have never looked back! It has been so much more rewarding to help a mama with no other pressures or expectations from anyone else, except the new family alone. I love the more natural, holistic approach to childbirth! Our goal is to have a safe, healthy, and positive birth experience. It is so rewarding for everyone involved, mom, partners, babies, and of course, doulas too!
Want to contact Debbie? Click here for her website: www.expectingyourmiracle.com