The birth of Fenya is one I will always remember as a doula. The birthing woman and her partner were strong and committed to questioning the status quo and making choices that felt right for them.
Here’s an excerpt from their birth story which touches on how I helped them as their doula. (You can read their full birth story here):
“At some point shifts changed and a new doctor arrived. He wanted to check my dilation, but it seem the only reason was to determine whether or not they should turn up the oxytocin. I did not want that, nor did I want to interrupt my labour, or to lie on my back for the exam, where the baby’s heart rate would almost certainly drop. So C fended off the doctor and luckily he never came back to resume the battle. He did however say that he wanted to check me when I was in more pain or before I started pushing.
Due to this comment I wondered how much worse it was going to get, but my wonderful doula convinced me that it was not going to get worse, just different. She was right. She was terrific. It was easy to stay on top of the contractions with her reassuring me, and C holding me. I became less and less aware of the things around me as labour progressed. Around 5 hours after getting the IV, I started to feel like pushing. At first I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t want the doctor to come back; our midwife and nurse also noticed, but no one said anything except a brief comment about how one might avoid a vaginal exam if the baby was already on its way when it came time to do one. Once there was no doubt our midwife got ready to do an exam, but she could already see the head starting to crown – no need for an exam anymore! I pushed for about 1 hour before Fenya entered the world, just before midnight. C caught her, and put her on my belly. After the cord stopped pulsing C cut the cord.
Fenya got to stay on my belly for 2 hours, while I got a few repairs. It was so nice to have her skin to skin, and breastfeeding right away. We both fell in love with her on the spot.
I was very happy with the whole experience. C was amazing at protecting me against hospital “guidelines”, so I felt that we were still in control the whole way. I am very proud that I managed to do an induced labour without any pain management (up until the repairs, which I thought was by far the worst part).
I felt very safe and cared for by C and our doula the whole way, and that made it a lot easier. Our midwife was great at navigating around the hospital procedures, and our last nurse was great because she stayed in the background and let us do what we needed to.