Friday, October 16, 2009


Excitappointed is what I feel. My first doula client had her baby (excited!!), but didn't call me (disappointed). It's totally okay, because I knew it was a distinct possibility, and she is a good friend so I knew she would call if she needed me and not if she didn't, and know that it was really just okay that she do what felt right for her in the moment. She actually wound up with a last minute home birth! Which I take partial credit for, since I had leant her books that were home birth friendly and talked positively about midwifery care, which she was interested in investigating when I first found out she was pregnant. She just got to 9 cm before her midwife realized it and when she found out how dilated she was, she didn't want to go to the hospital so they just stayed home! How cool is that? :) Well, I guess not everyone who reads this is as avid a birth junkie as I, so I might have to preface that with: home birth data suggests that home births are as safe or safer than hospital births for low risk women who have had good, supportive prenatal care. There are some distinct benefits to giving birth at home, which my friend is enjoying now.
Beautiful births happen in hospitals, too, and there are some benefits to giving birth in a hospital. I gave birth in the hospital for both my bio babies' births. I am also a big fan of home births, so I am excited that my friend got to have one and is very happy that she had it, despite the last minute change in plans. Last minute changes in plan are difficult for any labouring woman to integrate, and geographical location is a big one! The fact that she feels satisfied is the most important aspect, because birth can be so empowering and beautiful, if the woman feels happy with what happened. It matters less the location and/or interventions and/or method of delivery, and more that women feel a sense of control during the birth, and well supported and valued by everyone. It is her body, after all. She should have the bodily integrity to be the most active participant in all the decisions that need to be made.
I think I'm ranting now.

I went to my friend's house this afternoon to help her out and give her some breastfeeding support. Her baby is SO CUTE! I know I'm entering the right line of work for me, because changing a newborn diaper or gushing over a baby or helping a mom tune in to the cues and instinctual behaviour that are involved in breastfeeding is SO MUCH FUN to me! I loved sitting with her for an hour and just following her lead, answering questions, and trying to tune into the right brained mooshy emotional nonlinear newborn baby brain vibe in the room so that I could teach her what I know in a way she can learn without being overwhelmed with information. Isn't it hard to absorb information when you have a new baby? I am always like, "Could you write that down? I know it's only four tips but I'll never remember it." It has to be delivered in a way that makes sense to the right brain of the new mom (or experienced new mom), and has to be the right information at the right time. I'm gushing on this friend, dudes. She is a natural at mommying, and she had this well supported pregnancy and beautiful wonderful home birth and has not left her bed to go further than her bathroom in two days because she has the help she needs and is taking care of herself like she should (and we all should, and for the most part, do: but it's nice to cut out the bustling hospital and the car ride home, if you can!).
So satisfying.
I'm excitappointed.
But I know for sure I'll be called for this next birth in November/early December, so I'll look forward to that!


Tonya said...

I like your word, "excitappointed" So cute! :-)

Louise and Gary Chapman said...

I'm sadpy for you...that you missed it but that you found what you love!

Jen said...

Awesome. And well said. I'm so glad we share this love of working with birthing/breastfeeding women! I really, really enjoy providing breastfeeding education and support when I can. Just wait till your a midwife. You're going to love that just as much and your going to be excellent at it! Sometimes I feel I'd be content with just being a breastfeeding support person and doula. Midwifery is becoming the icing on the cake.

Rachel Clear said...

This is awesome, Mel, very awesome.

How great to have an unexpected home birth! It usually works the other way around, where people plan for it and then panic and move to the hospital. It alwasy makes my heart leap with happiness when a woman is content with her birth choice and I'm sure she really did get to benefit from having it at home.

I feel your disappointment though. That happened to me and it was tough, because I was NOT expecting it. Way to roll with the punches!

And yes, I bet that babe WAS cute!