Since we plan to be the only folks in the delivery room (except the trained professionals), and we have no clue what we're doing, we've decided to hire a birth doula to be by our side when Baby V makes his debut.
The goal is to have a natural childbirth, but it's more important to me that I enjoy the experience and remember it as a positive one instead of a painful one, so I'm not completely against the meds. I'm keeping my options open until I find out how much pain this little booger is going to inflict. I'm hoping that since the pregnancy has been pretty easy so far, that he'll just shoot out when I sneeze. But, I'm preparing for the alternative. Oh Lord, please have mercy on me. Cricket has a pretty large head.
We were really pleased by the ladies we met via Lumina Birth when we attended a recent open house. Even though it's an Open House, it's not one of those come-and-go type things. There's definitely a program, and if you're late, you may miss the video of the water birth. We missed the set-up and walked right in on that--so be prepared. We had the chance to ask questions and meet one-on-one with several labor & post-parttum doulas. Before we committed, we also interviewed several others based on referrals from friends.
Some of them were pushy. And kinda mean. They weren't for us. Others' experience ranged from 3-4 births to hundreds. Some had kids of their own, some didn't. Some were more like sisters, while some were more like moms. I'm glad we met with so many before we made our decision. I think we met with 5 or 6, counting the Open House. The goal was to find someone to coach us through any decisions that need to be made in a judgment-free way. The pressure to change physicians, birthing hospitals, etc was not welcome.
We've decided to go with The Happiest Doula for several reasons. Aside from being personable and knowledgeable, she's working with the nurses at Northside to provide continuing education on more natural childbirth methods. The hospital is a baby factory, and we've had concerns that some of our wishes may be lost in the commotion of herding the pregnant cattle. So the fact that she has established relationships with the nursing staff is a HUGE plus. Also, she lives pretty close to us, which we feel is important since we plan to do as much laboring at home as possible. Some of the others we met live in Athens or North Gwinnett, so that's scary. We're really excited to get to know her better and have her along our side over these final weeks.
If you're in the "market" for a doula and would like to know who else we interviewed, I'm happy to share privately. There are some I'd definitely recommend, others I don't know much about, and others I'd steer you away from!