Months ago I gave up on my hopes of having a doula for this birth, because the only 'affordable' doula I could find was just not really a 'match' for me.
Through a series of funny 'coincidences' I found a doula the other day who is PERFECT for me - and is available on very short notice, since the only mommy/client that she had due this week already had her baby last week. Her next birth isn't due for a few weeks, so I just got very lucky here.
Even better, she is offering me a SIGNIFICANT discount in light of hubby's current deployment, so that I can actually afford to hire her.
I am so RELIEVED to have her coming with me to the hospital, I can't even express it.
I had no idea just how SCARED I was to go into this birth alone, until I suddenly didn't HAVE to do it alone. And now I'm just not scared.
Anxious, yes. Nervous, sure! But scared? HECK NO!
My biggest fear is c-section, mostly because the long recovery would really effect me. I don't do 'holding still' very well, so any amount of confinement to a bed really bothers me. Of course, c-section is highly unlikely in my case, with three healthy and uncomplicated vaginal births already behind me. BUT....I am having labor induced, and I already know from experience that Pitocin contractions hurt WAY more than my natural labor contractions do. What if I can't manage that pain? If I give up and beg for an epidural (which I've never had before) I know that my risk of prolonged labor goes WAY UP at that point. Prolonged labor, of course, is the main thing that could lead to a c-section for me.
Oh, and did I mention that my labor coach can't come with me the night I am being induced? She was my 2nd choice for labor coach, my close friend and neighbor, and I am SO SAD that she can't come. Of course my first choice, my sister, had her baby a week and a half ago (I blogged about this over on the deployment blog, you can check that out here if you missed it) so she is obviously not available. Now my 3rd choice, my husband's younger sister, has been 'promoted' from photographer to COACH. She was already going to be IN the room for the birth, partly because I think she will make a great translator to my hubby, who will hopefully be on the phone with us during the birth. She can talk to him when I am physically unable to, and will give him the play-by-play so he doesn't miss anything. Now, my sister-in-law is AWESOME, and is Godmother to one of my sons already, but has literally never been anywhere NEAR a birth before. She is single, no kids of her own yet, and I don't really know if she will be able to stay calm, much less keep ME calm.
So, yeah, I was pretty scared.
But now I am NOT.
My doula will bring a birth ball for me to sit on so I can move around a little, for comfort AND to keep things moving along (lying flat on your back is one of the most painful and SLOWEST ways to labor!) and I can still stay on the monitors and i.v. and all that junk. She will rub my back if I need it, or will provide 'atmosphere' (lighting, scented spray, etc) to make the hospital setting more comfortable for me. She even helped me write out a birth plan that I can give to the nurses so they know ahead of time what I WANT. Not that I will get everything I want, but Melissa made it that much easier for me to ASK for what I want.
Bring it on, childbirth! Seriously, like ANY TIME NOW. I'm ready!