Currently I am enrolled in a Doula internship at South Coast Midwifery in Irvine, CA. In this internship I am on a referral sheet for expecting Mothers who will either deliver at the birth center or at home with a birth center Midwife. I was referred to my client two days before she delivered her baby girl. The day she contacted me I suggested a prenatal visit. We got together that day with her partner at their home. They were preparing for a completely natural birth at the birth center using Hypno-birthing techniques. They encouraged a prenatal meeting that was more casual and friendly instead of something more professional. So I adjusted to their wants. I was very excited to hear that they wanted a natural birth and I trusted that they were going to stick with their plan. The mother had been practicing the Hypno-birthing technique a lot during her pregnancy. The couple seemed very prepared with food, supplies, mindset, and keeping a relaxed loving relationship. All three of us vibed really well! I made her a homemade electrolyte tea with chia seeds as an example of what I will bring for her during her labor. We discussed what sort of atmosphere she wanted to experience during her birth and I discussed that I would be happy to set up that environment. The couple really wanted me to share with them how her partner could be as best of a support for her during the labor. I showed them all kinds of positions for them to do together and for the mother to do alone as well. They were both very open and responsive to all my suggestions. I was very excited to see how her labor would turn out in the next couple of days since we all knew she was due very soon!
Two days later she went into active labor in the middle of the night. In the morning they drove straight to the birth center. At 8am they texted me and by 9am I showed up at the birth center. I set up her power crystals and spoke with the father a bit to get caught up on what has been happening with the mother. Everyone was in good spirits, including the mother. I found her in the birthing tub concentrating on her Hypno-birthing sound tracks. Throughout the birth I remained very close to her and kept my hand on her throughout the entire labor. I stroked her head and played with her hair, poured water on her back in the tub, massaged her back, breathed with her every surge, reminded her to stay with the wave of each surge and to release the ending of each surge with a cleansing breath. I had the pleasure of speaking with her extended family in the waiting room and reminded them that she would not like any other guests as she remains focused on her Hypno-birthing. The mother did so well! She kept a slow breathing rhythm the entire labor and even during the pushing phase. The midwife, husband, and I had her get into many different positions and reminded her to eat, drink, and pee. She kept a good balance of everything. She was so easy and pleasant. She was very internal and didn't say much to me but I had to keep reminding myself not to take it personal. After she gave birth she was very talkative once again and apologized to me for not saying much. I told her that was completely natural. Its is better for her to be internal and focused instead of pleasing everyone around her. This was her moment.
All through the her labor and delivery I took photographs of the laboring family. This is one of my favorite things to do as a Doula! I get to capture the beauty I see. I stayed with the mother for 2 hours postpartum to remind her to help the baby breast crawl to the nipple and to take some time with her husband and baby for about a week after the birth. To not lift anything heavier than the baby and to rely on her husband to take care of house hold needs. Exactly one week after my client's labor I got together with her for a postpartum visit. I had her tell me about the challenges she faced during labor and what she enjoyed about her labor experience. I asked if she had plenty of support from her partner and if she was healing well from her perineal tear. She told me her bleeding was really reduced and that her baby was latching well during breast feeding. I was happy to see her in high spirits and that transitioning into parenthood was a positive experience for her and her partner.