Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doula or No Doula?

There was one thing on the fetus' wish list for Christmas: a doula. And lucky for the fetus, Nei Nei and Yai Yai delivered (that would be the grandparents-to-be on my side). No, there wasn't a lady with a bow on her head tucked under the tree, but there was a doula certificate tucked into a stocking.

So, this week Bill and I have interviewed a couple of doulas. Both women were very nice, knowledgeable, and professional... but, now we just aren't sure if we really want a doula or not.

If the birth goes according to plan, we will deliver at the Birthing Inn and will be attended by (one of) my midwives and a birthing assistant (who is also a trained doula). However, the assistant would be a stranger, we don't meet them until the birth (I think it just depends who is on call) and if we have our own doula (in addition to the birthing inn assistant) than it would be another familiar face. But... it would still be kind of redundant to have two doulas at the birth.

If the birth does not go according to plan, as in, I become high risk due to gestational diabetes or blood pressure or deliver super early or... then I would not be able to deliver at the birthing inn. I would have to transfer to a- gasp- hospital. And if that was the case I would totally want a doula. The hospital definitely does not provide one for you. Instead you get a nurse, but come shift change you get a new nurse. There are no shift changes at the birthing inn. The people who start with me are the people who see my through.

The other thing to consider is if I do become high risk it would happen so late in the game that I most likely would not be able to find an available doula. They only book a couple of clients a month. Now is definitely the time to get one... if we are going to get one. 

Everyone who I have talked to that has used a doula had a great experience. I have never heard of anyone regretting getting a doula. I have heard of people who didn't use one for their first, but when (and if) the second comes along they will totally get one. Of course, I also know people who did not use a doula and were just fine with it. Bill and I plan on looking into the Bradley method- it sounds like the dad does the duties of the doula. We are going to borrow a book from some friends, who highly recommend it.

You see my dillemma. Do we get a doula or not? Do we plan for the plan to go smoothly? Or, do we plan for the plan to fall through? Doulas don't come cheap and there are definitely other things we could spend that money on (if Nei Nei and Yai Yai okay it, that is). We could outfit the nursery and then some (hello crib, dresser, changing table, and all that good stuff).

Sigh, I just don't know. Doula or no doula?

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