Wednesday, May 10, 2006

our doula decision

We met with doula number three tonight, and we really liked her a lot, too. It was a tough call between number one and number three - much tougher than with number two, whom we definitely didn't want to hire.

I could tell this doula would be such a good presence at a birth. She was warm and nice and non-judgmental. She had an open philosophy that resonated with us - that there is no "best" way to do things, that her role is simply to be there with the couple through thick and thin. She wasn't anti-medical-establishment, and she wasn't against drugs. She was simply in favor of knowing all the options in order to make informed decisions. This was in line with the first doula's approach - and in contrast with the second one. What's more, she also had positive things to say about the hospital where we plan to deliver - which was a good reminder that sometimes it's in the eye of the beholder. Since we felt doula number two had a fairly biased viewpoint, maybe it's wise to take her negative comments with a grain of salt.

She showed us the lavender-scented cotton balls and massage tools she uses to help the woman relax. She talked about the visualization techniques she uses - having the woman think of a dolphin riding a wave. She described how she has couples slow-dance during labor, both to ride the wave of a contraction and to connect. (The motions of slow-dancing are apparently conducive to relaxing the hips.) It all sounded nice. Sometimes, she says, she even has them kiss while they dance because kissing relaxes the face, and a relaxed face means a more relaxed cervix. Steve and I joked that I'd probably sock him if he tried to lay one on me at the wrong time. We all laughed ... it was a relaxed visit that way.

In my gut, though, I knew I still wanted to go with doula number one, and Steve said he felt the same way. She's just a better fit. I can't really describe why; it comes from a visceral level. So, after talking it over, comparing the notes from the two visits and the references, and rechecking our gut reactions ("Are you sure?"), we offered the job to doula number one. I feel sad about not being able to hire the one we met tonight - she was a close second, and maybe she can be the backup - but I am sure we made a good decision. (And I am not always a very decisive person!)


Cynthia said...

Congratulations on making that choice. I liked the first one, too.
The third one did sound nice, but kissing and dancing during delivery sounds a little too new agey. I agree with Steve, I think when the time acutally came, you would have probably popped him in the nose... (smile)

Liz P. said...

Congratulations on finding someone! I think that the first one sounded great. (Definately better than #2 - she sounded really annoying, I wouldn't take her comments too seriously. For someone who is supposed to be calm and encouraging she sure seemed to have stick up her butt.)

Having a doula sounds like a nice help for delivery. You'll have to let me know if it was helpful!

Emilie said...
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Emilie said...

Thanks! Looking back at what I wrote about each one, it's clear my excitement was mostly focused on the first one. I'm glad you agree. ;-)