Why I became a doula…

2003 I was in the hospital giving birth to my second daughter. Everything was going smoothly. I went in at 4 cm and was progressing nicely-or so I thought. My OB thought she should move things along by artificially rupturing my membranes.Sure, I thought-anything to have my daughter sooner!

Well, things sure did speed up, just like they were “supposed” to. Then, we realized that every time I had a contraction, Virginia’s heart rate would drop. But, if I laid on my side, she was fine. Of course, I was in bed the ENTIRE go of it.

Fast forward to pushing:

All I remember hearing is “Here’s the head… we have a cord. Prep the OR.”

Me: What?! Why is she saying that? Just let me push one more time, I can get her out.

OB: “Your baby will die unless we do a c-section NOW.”

Me (freaking out hysterically crying).

OB climbs on top of me and holds Virginia inside of me as we are rolling to the OR.

Everything is a blur at this point. Somehow I get a spinal or epidural in the midst of all of the craziness. I just remember 3 things. 1-my arms were strapped down. 2-I couldn’t breathe. 3-the anesthesiologist was the ONLY person in the room who cared about me at this point. He was a lifesaver.  I wish I knew his name.

In the end, Virginia was perfect. She nursed immediately.  I remember nursing her in the hallway waiting for my room.

I on the other hand, was not okay. It was not right what happened. I KNEW something went wrong. My recovery took months and I was not in a good place.

So, I started looking things up on the internet. The medical term was prolapsed umbilical cord. That’s where the cord presents itself either before the baby, or (in our case) along side the baby’s head. And guess what the number one cause of prolapsed cord is? AROM (artificially rupturing of membranes). Breaking the water. I was so furious.

I don’t exactly remember how I came to find that with the help of a doula, I probably would have had a natural birth. All I remember saying is I will NEVER birth in the hospital again. And I knew that I had to take my negative experience and turn it into something positive. I knew it was my purpose to help empower other women to be able to have the knowledge to protect themselves and to make informed decisions regarding their births.

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