Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just Not That “Crunchy”

I don’t like pain. I know that seems obvious, but I’m feeling like I may need to defend that point this evening. I’m going to an open house this evening to meet a group of doulas. I want a labor doula primarily because I’m single. A dear friend is planning to come to New York from Europe for the birth, but babies don’t have calendars in utero. What if my daughter decides to make her debut before my friend gets here? I have good friends locally, but they have busy lives and their own families. Can’t expect them to drop everything at any hour and be there for however long it takes. My mother would be there if I wanted, but that would cause more stress.

But back to my point about not liking pain. It is my impression that many women use doulas to help them avoid pain meds and epidurals. I want a doula AND an anesthesiologist. The hospital where I am delivering is rated #1 here for L&D, and is known for their top notch anesthesiologists. Barring serious complications, I believe every woman should have the kind of delivery she wants. I am also built narrow “there.” I cannot count the number of times during my fertility journey that REs apologized to me when they met resistance with the dildocam. It was odd having to reassure them that they weren’t hurting me, and to just get in there and see what my lining and ovaries were doing. One RE, when I warned him in advance, offered to let me insert it myself. (Psychologically easier, but getting the angle right when on the table and in the stirrups, not so easy.) So, I’m thinking it’s not likely that a head and shoulders are just going to slide out easily.

It’s not contradictory to want labor support and pain relief. So why am I feeling that I will have to defend my choices this evening?


Another Dreamer said...

I'm hoping you won't have to.
Because, you certainly shouldn't have to.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should have to. I hope you can find a doula to support your choices.

GeekByMarriage said...

Walk right in there and say, "I'm looking for a support person for my delivery and I will be using pain meds. Who's with me?!"

Kristin said...

I second Ms. Geek. A good doula would not presume to judge you and, if they do, find a different one.

Cassandra said...

That's funny, my impression is less that doulas help the woman avoid pain meds and more that the doulas will advocate to the medical staff that no, she really doesn't want meds even if you think she should have it. Not to convince the woman, but to convince the staff, at a time when the woman is in no position to be arguing with anyone.

If someone is preachy tonight about no meds, you don't want her anyway.

You can use pain meds and also use a doula's skills in easing labor. Because it's not pain-free even with an epidural.

Personally I'd be all about a doula who's also a massage therapist.

Have fun at the open house! I bet there will be organic cookies or something.

Anonymous said...

You absolutely shouldn't have to defend your choices!

I was worried finding a doula who wasn't totally "crunchy" too. I'm on the fence about pain meds. If I can do it naturally, great, but if I can't, I'm not going to set myself up to feel like a giant failure. I ended up finding a great doula who is totally open minded. She says that about half her clients go natural, half have epidurals, and she doesn't care at all which way we go. She told me that the women that go into the process educated and with an open mind are the best off, because birth is unpredictable. You might have an easy, fast labor with no time or need for an epidural, or you may have a long, slow labor and you may need the meds in order to be able to rest and get through it.

Good luck tonight! I hope that you find a doula that is a great match for you.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Hopefully you won't have to defend yourself, but I would expect a bit of resistance. I think asking for support AND medication to help with the pain is a wise and healthy decision. It's just too bad that so many people feel that they have the right to tell us that we shouldn't take advantage of all the pain management options out there. I hope all goes well for you tonight!

decemberbaby said...

A doula's job is to support you in advocating for the kind of birth YOU want. If you hear otherwise tonight, find another doula.

It is, however, well worth getting her to work with you on pain-reduction techniques. You won't get your epidural the second you have a contraction, and sometimes anesthesiologists are delayed by emergencies, etc. So you'll need some "natural" pain relief for a short while, anyway.

Doulas rock. I loved mine. Hope you find one that's a good fit!

Aunt Becky said...

Hm. A doula should support whatever you want. And if she's no good and tries to pressure you? DROP HER LIKE SHE'S HOT.

Also, report back. I considered a doula. Never did get one.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

I agree with ppl. Doulas are there to advocate on your behalf and help give you the birth YOU want. If that's not their goal, they are not for you. Hope it goes well. Let us know.

Michelle said...

you should be able to do whatever is right for you.

Crap...if I ever make that far I was wondering if I could take the epidural home around month 8...just in case...LOL

battynurse said...

I get this post. Cause should I ever end up pregnant I can tell you there is no way in hell I will have natural child birth. Just not interested. And I've always kind of associated in my mind that doulas often are used by the crunchy natural types. That said I think that there are likely plenty of doulas who will support you choices since that is what they are there for. I also think it's a good idea being single and all. It also would possibly be nice to have someone for a week or 2 post partum who could help out if you needed it.

Billy said...

No contradictory at all! Rather the opossite, they are in agreement with each other. Both are ways women use to ease the pain of labour, one more of an emotional, mental help (the doula) the other physical (meds).
And I toatlly agree with what you said about every woman having the delivary of her choice. Your choice of having both a doula and epidural is as good as any other!

Anyway, hope the meeting went well and you found your doula :-).

Jo said...

The doulas I've researched so far are definitely of two types--the ones that are recommended by my OB office are definitely pro-whatever-mama-wants and more about making her comfortable and advocating HER wishes rather than proselytizing their own. Then there are doulas who are more independent,(many have their own web pages I've noticed) and it's a bit more crunchy as you say. I am SO going for the epidural (history of fainting and vasovagal episodes)...and a doula!