“You want to hire a what?” I replied to my wife.
“A Doula.” She clarified.
“Like a Ma ‘Doula’ oblongata? (Water boy reference)” I jokingly retorted.
“Now you’re being silly.” She said with a look of disapproval.

Okay so I can’t say I really understood her request at the time. Being a guy, and not a particularly informed guy on all of the intricacies of being pregnant, I can say I only vaguely understood the dynamics of her request.

She had mentioned something about Doulas before, but I thought it was just another one of “those things” my wife had read about during the course of her latest pregnancy.

You know how it is.

Mention you are pregnant, or that your significant other is pregnant, and everyone has an opinion on the most important thing you can do for your baby, or yourself during your pregnancy.

Advice comes in all forms; everything from scientific fact, to a surefire old wives tale, to down right horror stories that happened to someone’s
sister/cousin/family member somewhere.  With all of this unsolicited advice one could simply go crazy trying to follow everything ever said about the proper birthing of children.

“Okay, I apologize.  What is a Doula?” I inquired.
“Well, They are someone you can ask questions to regarding your pregnancy in general. They are there to support you through the kind of pregnancy you’ve chosen.  They will act as an intermediary between you and the doctor so you don’t have to feel rushed or bullied.” She explained.
“So what you’re saying is they are a Mother-in-law for hire.”

I said almost instantly regretting my untimely wit.
“Well,” she said pensively, “Kind of”.

I had only mentioned this because we had recently moved to Kentucky from Utah only 7 months prior.  My mother had travelled down to Utah to be this
kind of support for us at the hospital for our previous 3 children, and I thought it would be an advantage to have her there for this one as well.
You know seeing how we were now so close.

I honestly couldn’t understand why we needed to hire someone to guide us through a process we’ve already been through 3 times before.

“Here is why this is important to Me. “ she began
1.      The Doulas can travel to us in less than an hour if needed. Your mom is 6 hours away.  Should I go into labor, I know my support will be here on
2.      Doulas have experienced hundreds of births.  They’ve seen everyway babies can be born. They are trained to support multiple birthing
techniques, from lamaz to Hypnobabies and several others.
3.      If something unexpected happens, like the baby decides to come late, doctors are trained to follow a prescribed action like c-section. Doulas are trained in other techniques that may encourage movement from the baby
before needing to resort to expensive surgery.
4.      And most importantly, and I mean no offence to you, they offer an emotional support that you simply don’t understand.  They’ve been through
childbirth before and understand how emotionally taxing the process can be.
5.      Unlike mother-in-law, they’ve received certified training, in labor support.  I know you’re mom had 8 children herself, but that was nearly 30 years ago.  Things have changed and the Doulas are ready with the latest health knowledge and techniques

So as I’ve mentioned before I’m not an informed guy when it comes to Childbirth.  I mean I listen to my wife, I validate her concerns, and support her decisions, so even though I know I don’t understand; I know this is important to her.  Reluctantly I agree.

Meeting the Doulas of Kentuckiana

So after a quick phone call, Janette scheduled our initial consultation with the Doulas of Kentuckiana.  To my surprise they offered to meet us at our home.  This was my first indicator these ladies were the real deal.
This was a confirmation to me they cared to meet us in our space, they got to know everyone in our family, and really personalized the experience to

A different set of Doulas we had interviewed wanted to meet us at their office.  They made no effort to know our family and the whole experience
seemed somewhat impersonal.

Jesse and Brittany were super professional and gave us the time we needed to ask our questions and explore our potential solutions.  They shared
their knowledge of what our options were and took into consideration Janette’s previous experiences and feelings.   They stayed until everything was asked and answered and it didn’t take a lengthy discussion after they left to decide to hire them.

The Birth

Leading up to the due date we weren’t sure which way we were having this baby.  Janette wanted to do a VBAC but our situation was tricky because we
had already done 3 cesareans.  It’s difficult to find anyone who wants to deal with that.
The Doulas of Kentuckiana supported our decision to do a trial of labor.
Although Janette and I made the decision previously that if our baby boy hadn’t come 4 days after the due date, we were going to deliver again via c-section.  No-one probed or coaxed us to do it this way.  This was Janette’s plan and our Doulas supported us.

The day came and we found ourselves at the hospital prepping for surgery. Brittany was on call that day and she met us at the hospital according to our plan.  To our surprise the Doctors at the University Hospital asked us
if we wanted to continue the Trial of Labor for a while longer, they gave us our options and the pros and cons and allowed us to make a decision.

Under normal circumstances we had some tough decisions to make.  This was a weird variable from the plan we had set. We had come in to have a
C-section but because of the clear instructions the Doulas of Kentuckiana set in our birth plan, the hospital wanted to verify we were okay with
proceeding.  After some checking and deliberating with Brittany Janette decided she was okay with the C-section.

After the delivery Brittany stayed with us till Mom and Baby were together, calm, and settled.

That’s when I understood.

A Doula is more than a hired mother-in-law.  They’re more than just a sideline cheerleader.  They are a professional support, an informed and
experienced advocate, and luckily, in our case, new friends we can turn to with questions.  They have been a support to Janette in ways I never could
during the first months of postpartum.

Janette is my best friend, closest companion, and the love of my life. She’s supermom to my children, and the mother ship to our newest arrival.
I’m grateful to know I was able to give her the support she wanted, during a time I couldn’t understand why.  I just knew it was important to her, so it was important to me.  Hiring the Doulas was a major piece of the puzzle, which allowed us to tuck this experience away as one of the most
beautiful of our lives.

Christopher d'Argy is a Mentor, Blogger, & Father of Four with a passion
for sharing the things he loves. Technology, Talent, and Personal stories
are amongst some of his favorite things to share.