Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of seeing Jenny (for a re-take of the world’s worst local news shoot ever. This time turned out slightly better… and by “slightly better” I mean “hopefully we won’t have to go into the Witness Protection Program after it airs”), and it hit me that this baby is on his way. I mean, it seems like only yesterday that I answered the phone and heard Jenny say, “Remember how I always used to make fun of people with surprise pregnancies?” But sure enough, Jonah will be here before we know it.
Jenny has graciously invited me to be there for his birth. I got chills when I typed that! I am so excited.
I feel like I need a purpose in the delivery room though. Bobby will be taking care of Jenny. Jenny will be, um, strapped to an operating table. The doctors and nurses will be doing their things. Unless they really let me tie Jenny’s tubes (I’m kidding, people), I’m just going to be standing there in the way.
To solve this problem, I have appointed myself Jenny’s doula.
She doesn’t know this yet, but I think it’s a great plan. I don’t exactly know how to be a doula, but I have a couple months yet to figure it all out. I figured I might as well get started on my research, though, so I googled “c-section doula” and came up with a description of what a doula does during the procedure on BirthingGently.com.
Here we go.
The Scheduled Cesarean Section
You may wonder why a Birth Doula would be helpful for a scheduled cesarean section (C-section). Take a moment to consider the relationship you have established with your Birth Doula (Jenny and I go WAY back, this is perfect!). You have built a trustful relationship with your Doula as you have prepared for your birth. Some women feel anxiety over the thought of surgery (Jenny? Anxiety?? Not likely). Your Birth Doula takes time during the prenatal visit and throughout the prenatal period through close phone and email conversation (Yes! We are in constant contact. Not necessarily about birth…) to review and work with you to help reduce your anxiety before your delivery (My advice? Pre-natal Paxil. Getcha some). Our Doulas use a six week relaxation program prior to your delivery date (sounds like a good excuse to go get manis and pedis to me. But I am not shaving Jenny’s legs for her in preparation), this relaxation program helps to reduce stress and anxiety brought about by the upcoming birth (for some mothers this may include working though some birth tramua brought on by a previous birth) (Um yeah, that might be applicable). She can educate you about some aspects of surgical birth and aid in formulating a birth plan (Birth plan: Get some drugs and let the doc grab that baby right out. Voila.). It is very important to review the birth plan with your health care provider in advance so your Birth Doula’s presence during the delivery will be planned for and expected (Jenny and I share the same OB/Gyn and I would like to see the look on her face if I went in her office with Jenny declaring I am now a doula). The final decision and permission for the Birth Doula’s attendance at the delivery is made by the anesthesiologist (I hope she gets Dr. Bob – we bonded during my epidurals, he’ll totally let me in). Birth Doula services provided by Birthing Gently are offered at a reduced fee for scheduled cesarean sections (My services are FREE!). Your Doula will be with you in the pre-op area before the surgery, and once regional anesthesia is placed, she will remain with you in the operating room during the delivery (where’s the part about her tying your tubes?). She has been educated about C-sections and will be able to provide you with details as needed (Something more than “Holy crap, that’s what a fallopian tube looks like??? I can see your uterus!”). Everyone will be busy during the procedure; the surgeon and assistants will be performing the surgery, the nurses will be preparing the room for the baby, and your partner will be with you during the procedure and may go to the warmer to greet your delivered baby (again, no need for a random cousin, which is why I am now a doula). Your Doula will be at your side to help you deal with some of the physical and emotional challenges during surgery (Hmm… I might leave that to Bobby). She can also remind the staff of any special requests you might have (“The tubes! If you forget to tie the tubes, she is going to be pissed.”). If you desire, she can take photographs, particularly after the baby is born (Now THIS I can do. I can even upload them to facebook as we go). Once you are moved into recovery, your Doula will remain with you until you are transferred to the postpartum floor (usually about 2 hours) (But I’m out if you start having bowel trouble, for realz). If you are planning to breastfeed and your baby is with you, your Doula can assist you in getting the baby latched on correctly (I can do that! But since she’s already nursed for a total of like 63 months, I think she’ll probably be good).
This doula stuff? Nothing to it!
If Jenny’s not on board with this, though, I am going to need a back up plan.
Let’s see… if I can’t be a doula, what could I do? Hmm… I’ve got it!
I will VLOG.