When I told my mom we were using a midwife, she responded,
“There’s electricity now, son. You don’t have to give birth in a barn.”
That’s the general consensus among most people. Why not take advantage of cutting edge care and modern medicine? I’ll admit the term midwife has a very dusty connotation. I had an outdated impression of what they do.
Who knew they don’t deliver babies in troughs?
I’ll post about our search for care and my experience with a midwife another time, for now I just want to set up our ‘earthy’ pregnancy. Midwife? Check. Natural childbirth class? Check. Doula? Check. Porn mustache? Wait, what’s a doula, you ask?
A doula is a ‘coach for the coach.’ She’s a calming presence in the delivery room. If and when a quick decision has to be made, she’s objective and educated and has your best interest at heart. She’s also a valuable source of information and support so that hard decisions are more likely to be if than when.
Our doula was also our Bradley instructor, weekly classes over three months that provide couples with all of the tools necessary to have the most natural birth possible. It’s not all breathing exercises and it’s not an attack on modern medicine.
Frankly, it’s a way for someone like me to have all of the information I’m able to absorb before my wife and I had our baby. The Bradley classes helped my wife prepare physically for Roscoe’s big entrance (Google Kegel exercises). And they helped me become more valuable in the room when my wife and child most needed me to be valuable.
Before our first class I made a granola joke, a midwife joke, a Magnum P.I. joke, a hippie joke, a Kumbaya joke and a Lamaze joke. I wondered if we were going to have to share, sit on a mirror and if I was going to have to draw my inner vagina. My wife liked the Magnum P.I. joke, did not want to see my inner vagina and was very patient with me, even though five minutes into the first class I knew I was glad to be there.
My only gripe was that every time she handed out cards with a pregnancy-specific word or phrase, I seemed to always get Episiotomy (don’t Google that).
As we got closer to our due date, we knew that we wanted to hire a doula and that it had to be Jo.
When I told my mom that we had a doula, she asked if it could be passed to the baby. I’m happy to report no, but the baby can be passed to the doula.