I attended my second birth as a doula this week. :)
This labor and delivery was different for me than the first one in a few ways. First of all, I was more familiar with the hospital environment. I knew how to read the monitors and I was familiar with more language and standard procedure. I was in a hospital that was unfamiliar to me, but I knew just enough to figure out where things were. I also had a better sense of the sounds and the smells, what an epidural is like, how often the nurse checks blood pressure, why they might use a cathater...
But, even knowing a little bit more than the first time, I wasn't necessarily a lot more comfortable, really, because I didn't feel quite so needed. The first mom I supported didn't have anyone else to share the experience with her. There was always plenty I could say or do to be of help. But this mom had a great support team in her husband and her mother. I tried to make myself helpful by doing little errands and chores, but the laboring mom was getting plenty of encouragement from her family.
Both she and her baby are healthy and happy. It was another great doula experience for me. But it also gave me something to think about, as I continue to try to understand the role of a doula and what I can bring to the birthing room. What can I offer that perhaps family members or friends do not?
Autumn Harvest Stew
2 years ago