I had a more-than-general knowledge about birth going into my fifth pregnancy. I had endured four pregnancies prior with no complications, and had gotten through the deliveries with some harder than others, but came out on top! Even still, I felt like something was missing, my support was lacking for the type of birth I wanted.
I carried two biological children, and then carried three times as a gestational surrogate for three different families. My first two surrogate deliveries, my birth team consisted of my doctor, some great nurses, and my husband for direct physical support. I didn't know that there was additional support out there-until I met my Doula! Well, she was my friend first, but then became a Doula, and was ready to take clients by the time I was ready to deliver my last surrogate baby!
My Doula helped support me throughout my pregnancy by listening to my fears and doubts about my birth, and coached me through the hard weeks at the end. She helped alleviate those stresses by giving me options to think about, and things to try so that I could successfully achieve my goal of an unmedicated delivery. Between my Doula, my amazing husband, an amazing nurse, and my doctor, I assembled my birth team!
I had spent months prepping my doctor, my Doula, and my husband for all of my preferences. I wanted to make sure my doctor was okay with everything I was wanting. Epidural free-check! Lowest intervention as possible-check! Let me listen to my body and let birth happen-check!! By the time it came for delivery, everyone was prepared, informed, and eager to achieve my goal with me!
I ended up developing a mild case of Preeclampsia at 37 weeks, and immediately called my birth team to let them know that the next day was going to be baby day. My Doula arrived prior to my doctor arriving in the morning, and my husband wasn't far behind. My doctor came in, and in an effort to minimize the need for medical interventions, we decided to break my water to hopefully get things going, and then I hopped in the shower. Contractions continued, and were getting more intense. My birth team knew that using water therapy was an option I would like to try, and were soon filling up the tub with water for me. I was able to rest in the tub for a brief time, but then it was time to push. Without the help of my birth team, I would have delivered the baby in the tub, and my poor nurse would have had hours of paperwork to do. Without my birth team, I would not have been aware of what my body was doing to deliver this baby quickly. Without my birth team, I wouldn't have had the birth I wanted!
While we hope your birth team includes a Doula, and it is something we highly recommend, the importance of the people in your life supporting your wants and wishes for your delivery day is so incredibly important, and the decision of who is on your birth team can have lifelong effects!
I won't ever forget my last pregnancy and delivery, and will always look at the success of delivery day proudly. I couldn't have done it without my birth team!