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A parent’s story of doula support

We sought out a doula for the birth of our 2nd child in 2012 because our delivery experience with our son was so traumatic and disappointing in 2008. We were nervous about inviting a stranger into the most intimate experience of our lives, but when it was time for the arrival of our baby, Christina knew us- our personalities, our quirks and strengths. She was an advocate for us- a member of our “team” without being an intrusive family member. She could handle all of my non-emergency, labor-speculating texts at all hours of the day and night. She embodies the term “mother’s servant”, and is always extremely respectful of the father’s role.

In 2014, as we prepared for the birth of our 3rd child, we knew we wanted Christina back. She knew us like family, and we trusted her. I am so thankful we asked her to be there for this delivery, because it was very, very difficult. Where my last delivery was quick and focused, my delivery in 2014 was slow, frustrating, complicated, and spirit-crushing. Throughout my endless 12 hours of painful labor, I wanted to quit.

This is something I shared on Facebook after Alexandra was born.
Alexandra’s labor was the most difficult of all three. One of the most memorable moments was early in the morning when I hit a wall- I couldn’t go any further. I wanted an epidural, and wondered if I asked them nicely, if they would please just give me a c section. Christina brought me back from wherever I was, helped me talk to Alexandra and explain that it was time to come out, that she needed to cooperate and come out to meet me. It was the most important conversation I’ve ever had with my uterus. My water broke not long after, and Alli was out within 8 minutes of quiet, controlled pushing. Lots of people have confusion about what a doula does. She does lots of things to support my labor, but the best thing she does is represent a sober version of myself TO myself when I’m not myself.- June 2014

In 2016, we were preparing for the birth of a surprise baby- our last. My husband I both agreed that if it was at all possible to have Christina attend the birth of our 4th child, we wanted her to be there. I’m so glad we did. Having your 4th baby is so different from your 1st or 2nd. You have likely had many variations of deliveries, and your previous experiences can influence your expectations. Christina provided so much support in helping us determine my pre-labor signs, as well as coaching us in how to help our baby get into an optimal birthing position. When it was time for our baby to be born, I needed Christina more than ever. Over the years, our rapport had become so natural, so she knew exactly how/when to support me during my labor, but most importantly, she had helped me develop my voice when asserting myself with the hospital staff. The three of us were a strong team, and this delivery will always be my favorite. Every single detail about my delivery was the way I wanted it to be, and Christina played a critical role in supporting me as I advocated for myself.

The only guarantee about childbirth is: there are no guarantees. Mom and Dad need support not only in labor, but in preparation, in delivery, and in post-partum care. The medical staff has a focused objective, and they are responsible for dozens of other patients. Your doula’s PRIMARY focus is her expectant mother.


Note from itsaBelly ~ To request care or more information from one of our doulas please email us at itsabellypdx@gmail.com, fill out our form, or call 503.493.7390

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