Asher Dean: A Doula's Beautiful Cesarean Birth (xposted in vbac and birth professionals) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-10-2008, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is my birth story:

Asher Dean

I'm trying to accept the fact that I am a birth professional that has never delivered vaginally. I've logged a helluva lot of hours laboring, but I'm not sure if potential clients will see past the fact that I've never pushed. I suppose if that's the case, then perhaps we are not meant to work together. I've met some amazing midwives that don't have any children though, and so I suppose there's hope.

Please be honest, do you feel that it will affect my ability to get clients? I know I don't have to tell them, but I don't want to feel like I'm holding back either. I will be honest if anyone asks.

Thank you.

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#2 of 10 Old 03-10-2008, 02:20 AM
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I think there's a doula out there for everyone. In my honest opinion, I think that it will send some to another doula, just as being a childless midwife sends some women to other midwives. I think it's very possible to have a full doula schedule as a member of the "all children by cesearian tribe". I do think it's important to try to fully process things - knowing that new stuff comes up at births and surprises you. My mantra is that I am doing my very best each day, and I strive for that. I am a better birth person in 2008 than I was in 2006, but I don't feel ashamed of my performance in 2006.

One thing I would suggest, when you are about to interview your first client after Asher is to have a loving person go though some role play with you to come up with a script for you that you're comfortable with. They could ask you the tough questions and you could get comfy with them. Similar to going over interview questions with my husband - who was bitter about his old job, we repeated "I'm leaving to explore new opportunities" until he could say it without sarcasm. It only took about 3 days. You need to be able to say "I'll help you have a glorious, wonderful homebirth" without wincing on the inside or the outside.

I'd hire you.
Congratulations, again!

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After 4 m/c, our stillheart.gif is here!

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#3 of 10 Old 03-10-2008, 04:32 AM
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Congrats Dani on ur leapling..So asher is going to celebrate his bday every 4 years
Dont worry about it, apricot gave a good advice . You need to accept urself and ur experience without any regrets.Definitely be honest about urself to ur clients .Personally, I would go based on recommendations of a doula rather than the personal experience of the doula in her childbirth.

Congrats again.

Pari, Student, Job Seeker and mom to K (2006) and A(2011)

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#4 of 10 Old 03-10-2008, 12:14 PM
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Think of how much understanding you will bring to mothers who DO have cesareans like you....
And how often do clients ask you about your personal birthing experiences?? To me this is somewhat irrelevent, in that most women seem more interested in my *work* experience as a doula and I rarely share my personal experience of birth. As doulas, we aim to support the mothers, and sometimes that includes during a cesarean, or after one....

Don't forget how many men work in in obstetrics, who've never done anything close to *push*!!! Women still choose them for care providers!

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#5 of 10 Old 03-11-2008, 02:45 AM
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Some folks prefer an older "grandmotherly" type, some want a young hip chick! Some prefer someone who shares their religious faith, some want someone of the same ethnicity, or first language, some want doulas/mw with children, some don't care, some want women with vbacs...some don't get th point.

I make a point of not "telling" my birth stories to my clients until after they birth, if at all...because I don't feel it is relevant. I do tell them that I have two elementary aged daughters. If they asked "did you use pain meds" or "did you have a home birth" or other questions, I tell them that when I am supporting them it is about their choices! So, realistically, you could just mention how many children you have and leave it at that.

But, I do believe that what is important is a good fit, and that will be different for every client! You can be an excellent doula no matter what your birth history!

Just my thoughts!

Birth doula, doula trainer, ican leader, lamaze childbirth educator, and most importantly, mom of 2 great girls!
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#6 of 10 Old 03-11-2008, 12:37 PM
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First of all, congratulations on your leapbaby! How wonderful!

I know a wonderful doula in my community that has had all of her children by cesarean. It may not be our doula "norm" but it is quickly becoming culturally common. I think it gives her a special gift in helping clients in many ways because she has experienced a side of birth that many of us haven't.

She and I refer clients to each other and have interviewed for the same clients as well. Of those that hired her instead of me, she earned their business b/c she was the right doula for them, I was not. She has earned her success on the merits of her personality, caring, experience and references, not her personal birth history.

A wise doula friend repeats to me when I need to hear it: "We are at the births we are supposed to be at." It's so true. You will return to birth work with a new perspective and lots to offer. Happy babymooning!
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#7 of 10 Old 03-11-2008, 01:37 PM
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I just wanted to say that I read this story when you posted it a few days ago, and I cried. It's beautiful, and it seems like they were so respectful of your wishes and how important this was to you, and upsetting when you realized it wasn't happened. Dream of the day when all providers will be like that, and just think- you get to help make it happen, one woman at a time! I'm sure you'll be able to offer a lot of comfort to women who may be placed in similiar situations as yourself.

Doula mama. Tenley Harper born naturally 11/29/11 + Eli Lucas born unassisted ! 06/02/2014 
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#8 of 10 Old 03-11-2008, 09:48 PM
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Doula Dani,

I know you will worry about it, but don't! I think your experiences will make you an awesome doula. I attended most of my births before I had my VBAC almost 2 years ago. I'm not sure it ever made a difference. And, I think for my clients that have had c-sections, I think the fact that I had been through it was better for them. In fact, I offered to show my scar, & they took me up on it! (I'm not shy!) I was able to cry with them-even if they felt that the c-section was needed, & I was able to share with them what would probably happen because I KNEW. (In fact, one anesthesiologist said I was doing his job!)

Feel free to PM me to talk further!


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#9 of 10 Old 03-13-2008, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys all so much for your feedback. I'm still processing everything, but I'm definitely not going to give up on being a birth professional. I think the scariest thing to think about now, is how I want to manage my next pregnancy and labor. Perhaps I shouldn't think about it just yet since everything is so fresh.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-13-2008, 10:02 PM
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I just wanted to chime in with my support. This will only be an issue for those clients who want a doula who did everything they want/plan to do (and luckily, I don't think this is the typical client).

A good response, and something to think about yourself is, really, it won't matter, because this is not about YOU, it is about the woman you are supporting. You don't bring your baggage, expectations, hopes for the birth, etc., that are personal and unique to you, with you when you support a woman. You are there to support her unique labor and birth.

If a potential client asked or said something to you about the fact that you haven't had a vaginal birth, it can be very satisfying for the person to hear you say, "Actually, my own experience doesn't matter here -- this is your experience, and I am here to support you during your unique experienc of labor and birth." It helpe to point out by not holding her to your own yardstick, she has more freedom to create and participate in her own experience.

Another aspect to point out -- we educate ourselves. We try to learn all we can and empower ourselves with knowledge. We make informed decisions, we do all we can, but there still aren't things we can control. The pelvis, the power, and the passenger have to work together. If you take the steps beforehand of educationg yourself, planning, and preparing, you can truly have the peace that your body or your baby knew things needed to be different. And that, my darling, has nothing to do with failing and everything to do with having a successful experience. (((((hugs))))))

It is normal to feel sad, regret, loss of the experience. The body knows how to protect herself and her young, and I firmly believe that. Sharing and teaching that principle, I think, can help not only open eyes, but it can also help heal.
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