“I share [my birth story] in the hopes that my experience might bring comfort to the nervous expecting mom who thinks that the only way to birth is the exaggerated depictions of sitcoms and Hollywood movies.”
I've met moms with no birth plan and I've met moms with binders of birth plans. I've met moms with a few simple birth requests and moms that have a few pages worth of birth requests. I've met moms that want to "go with the flow" and moms that urge the hospital staff to not steer away from their birth plans at all. So what is all the fuss about birth plans and should you have one or not? Will the staff read them or not?
I have been asked on more than one occasion, "What if I get an epidural? How will you support us if I choose to get an epidural?" I've also been told, "I don't need a doula, I just want to get an epidural and be done with it.".... A doula should be able to support you physically and emotionally, should offer partner support and educational information and advocacy, no matter the birth plan.
When Sheryl asked me to be her doula... honestly, I can't remember if she asked or if I offered. Either way, I think we both knew it was going to happen. The 13-hour car ride between us didn't even phase me when I committed. Having 2 children of my own already, I was ecstatic to finally welcome that "next generation" to finally add to our friendship line. We've only been talking about our kids growing up together since...
You know that feeling you get when you're rushing to get out of the house in the morning to go to work, you're running late and trying to grab too many bags at once, stumbling over shoes and God knows what else on the floor and fumbling for your keys? That is a pretty close comparison to the feelings I had when I received the call... and really, I pretty much get that feeling every time I receive the call. It's some kind of weird combustion of excitement and wonder of the unknown.
So you've decided to hire a doula! Next, you'll arrange for a consultation aka an interview. This interview is a great opportunity for you (and your partner!) to not only get to know the services the doula offers, but also who the doula is and how well they will work with you through this very special time.