Zuzu, I think its awesome that the neighbor woman has taken to you. And how wonderful that the community is so giving!
Originally Posted by RosieL
Can you tell me more about how the doula wasn't what you needed? Did the fact that you weren't paying her have anything to do with it? We are meeting with a doula-in-training tomorrow night to see if she's a good fit. Since I don't know what I will need and want during labor, I feel like I'm going in pretty blind. Any advice would be welcome. As a point of notw: I will have DH, two midwives, an a student midwife. The doula would add a six person to the home birth.
No, the fact that I wasn't paying didn't really mean anything. She worked for Healthy Start and wasn't allowed to accept any income for doula-ing, for some reason. I donated $300 to Healthy Start as a "thank you." I was a prosecutor at the time, and I had a case with her husband, who was a cop in town. I figured that since he was easy going, assertive, and a straight-talker, that she would be too. I'm not sure that I really effectively communicated my needs--and my birth was pretty bad.
Things I DID like--she seemed really knowledgeable, got along well with DH, responded quickly to my texts/calls before I went to the hospital at 7:00 a.m. on Friday. She came right away, and brought breakfast for DH. All day Friday she basically just sat there and observed. She helped hold my legs for the three hours that I was pushing with no feeling. She stayed through my c-section at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, then went home and came back to the hospital Sunday a.m. to check on us. They were preparing to airlift DD to a hospital in another city with a NICU, and she was really comforting through that drama.
Things I DIDN'T like--after arriving, she sort of just observed my labor. I was looking for someone to be more actively engaged in helping me manage pain. I had no stomach pain at all--just back labor, so maybe she didn't know what to do with that. DH was also more help than I expected. He held the bucket for me to puke, helped me clean up, got me things I asked for and followed my birth plan as well as he could. So maybe there wasn't that much for her to do. She was zero help as far as offering alternatives to the pain relief offered by the hospital. DH didn't want to see me in pain and ended up encouraging it, which was not what I wanted at all.
Things I will look for this time:
--someone knowledgeable about pain meds, because If I have back labor again I will need meds
--willing to tell me the truth, even if its not what I want to hear
--willing to get in between DH and the nurses and speak up if its something that is going to F me up
--make suggestions for my comfort/pain relief even if I don't ask for them
Just to clarify, the only option other than UC (which I'm not comfortable with) at the time was this hospital. The two midwives in town only attended births at this hospital. They had agreed with each other not to do homebirths and the birth center had closed a year or two earlier. I did end up with my awesome midwife, who came in even though she wasn't supposed to be on call. She had tears in her eyes when she told me it was time for a section, and I feel confident that she did everything she could to get DD out, and that I would have been a transfer turned-even-earlier-c-section if I had attempted to UC.
Originally Posted by Thursday Girl
well In Kate's instance she knows that she can be difficult when in pain, and honestly you will be in pain. I guess for a first time mom it would be hard. I knew what I wanted in labor the first time but I had no clue what labor would be like. I wasn't even sure if I would know when I was in labor! so that's a good question.
I had no idea I was in labor with DD, even though it was on her due date. I thought I was just having back cramps and that I had overdone it that day. I didn't really know what it was until about 4 hours later when the back pain got serious. **shudder** As for how to know what you'll need--it is hard. Basically the characteristics of my midwife that I loved, that's what I should have looked for in a doula. I don't want to be coddled and treated like a sick person, or a big baby. Just tell me what I need to do (or what I can try) to make this easier. And don't talk to me like I'm stupid, I hate that. Just because I'm crying or puking doesn't mean I'm an invalid. That's sort of the attitude I'm looking for....
Courtney, SUCH good news about your lump. And it makes sense, but it is hard not to worry about that sort of thing. If I lived in your area I would definitely love to have you at my birth! You'll make a great doula or midwife.
cskey, doulas around here run $350--$550, from what I can find online and through ICAN. Usually the more experienced ones charge on the higher end of that. That's to be available the week before and the week after your due date, and is usually not refundable if you are lucky enough to have the baby before they arrive. I think they like you to pay half up front and half a month or two before you're due. Another reason I wanted one (and sort of want one again but am undecided) is that I don't have any female support nearby. At least not anyone that I want at my birth--especially my mom.