Birth Story: I am having a doula


I started my third trimester this week and I’m in a bit of denial. ‘October’ still sounds so far away, but the reality is that this baby could come in September, and it’s already the middle of July! I have said this a few times this week: if someone were to tell me it was the middle of June, I would totally believe them. I have a midwife appointment this week and from now on, I go to appointments every two weeks instead of every four. I have let more time lapse between posts than I have wanted to, but part of it I am blaming on the fact that I still feel it’s June, not July. I’m just not accepting the calendar right now. Stay tuned next week for an update on how my appointment goes.

Cravings this week:

– tomatoes of all kinds; in a salad, thick slices on a sandwich, a big fat one eaten like an apple, grape tomatoes by the handful, even someone with a sunburn looks good to me right now 😉

– cold milk

This post, I want to talk about some of the differences in this birth compared to my birth with Caimen four years ago. It won’t quite be ‘Birth Plan’ stuff, as I plan on sharing my real birth plan with you closer to my due date; this post will be more about how things will inevitably be different, for factors that I cannot change!

This is my second baby, second labour and delivery

Most of you may have heard that second births often go much faster than the first ones. Statistically speaking, labouring moms can expect about half the length of active labour as their first births (or less!). This is not a guarantee, however like most things, practice makes perfect, and the body works very similarly! Second labours tend to be more efficient, faster, more comfortable, and pushing? – well, the babies usually slide right out in just a few pushes…the first baby has ‘paved the way’ for lack of a more visually-appealing way to put it.

This makes me a little nervous, as my active labour with Caimen was 3.5 hours and I pushed for 23 minutes. At my first appointment with my midwife this time around, she said that I may very well have only about an hour of active labour. YIKES! I’m planning a home birth, but not an unassisted one, and DEFINITELY not one at Target or FreshCo.

 I am having a doula this time

For Caimen’s birth, I didn’t even know what a doula was! This time around, I have my wonderful friend, business partner, and doula extraordinaire Natasha Marchand to support me. I was her doula two years ago for her beautiful daughter’s birth, and I think it will be really cool to come full circle and have her as my doula this time (this is, if she can make it in time)! My secondary doula (in case Natasha isn’t able to make it in time) is Bianca Sprague and I can say the exact same wonderful things about her, except that I wasn’t the doula at her daughter’s birth which was almost 6 years ago now.

having a doula

 I AM a doula this time

So much has been learned in my doula career over the past 3.5-4 years! I have been present at tons of births, and have educated myself on so many aspects of the birth world, I can’t even compare my knowledge now to what I knew at Caimen’s birth. A lot of this will come into play before the birth, and a bit during the birth, but when it comes down to it, even doulas need a doula! It’s funny – every pregnant and labouring woman, no matter their background or education, worries as much as any other pregnant or labouring woman! You should see the questions I ask at my midwife appointments! Some are the same questions that I have answered for my clients, yet when it is yourself, it’s such a different experience.

I have Caimen to think about

One of the most worrisome aspects of baby #2 coming along that I see with my clients are the questions around what to do with their first child during the birth. Where will they be? Who will watch them? Will they be okay? I have to do a bit more research on it still, but Ken and I are leaning towards having Caimen present at the birth. It first occurred to me when I was picturing holding the baby for the first time and our first moments together as a family, and I realized that if Caimen wasn’t there, I would really, REALLY miss him at that moment. I want him to share that with Ken and I; I want him to be exposed to a calm and positive birth experience so that he grows up thinking nothing of it! “Yeah, of course my mom gave birth to me and my sister at home. Why wouldn’t she?”. The normalization of birth within my family is very important to me.

I do need to have a back-up plan in case either he is, for some reason, uncomfortable or scared, or I am to preoccupied thinking about him and how he’s doing to concentrate on my labour. That brings me to my next point:

My Mom’s role at the birth

My amazing mom was present at Caimen’s birth, and she was awesome. She made sure the water in my birth tub was the right temperature and that everyone else was comfortable. Best of all, she captured some of my labour and right after Caimen was born on her camera and they are my favourite pictures of all time (see them in my blog post about Caimen’s birth). Although she was a great support, her role will be different this time for two reasons: a) I have Natasha as my doula, and b) I need my mom to be my on-call person for Caimen. I am thinking of having her here to entertain him if need be, or to take him out of the house for the reasons I mentioned in #4 above. She is more than happy to do this and once again, be involved in my birth experience 

These are the things that I don’t have much say in changing, however I am confident that they will only add to my experience this time and make it just as positive as the first time around. I am excited to share my more specific birth plan with you, although it’s not done yet! I’ve got to work on a few things, talk a few things over with Natasha and my midwives, and of course see how the rest of the pregnancy pans out and if there will be any factors that affect decisions that need to be made. Gotta get crackin’ as apparently it’s almost August, and I really don’t have much time left!

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