Story by guest writer, Sarah A.
With my first pregnancy, I didn’t hire a doula or have any other support team aside from my husband. I was pregnant with twins, a first time mom and I was inexperienced in the ways of a hospital birth. So much of the process was out of my control, preeclampsia meant I needed to be induced, I had to have an epidural early on in case of an emergency c-section and I had to deliver in an OR. Birth isn’t something you can predict or control, but with my first birth, I felt so disconnected and left out of the process itself. I also felt my birth preferences were largely ignored and that left me with feelings of sadness and regret about my twins’ birth.
When I became pregnant for the second time with a singleton in 2017, I wanted to take full advantage of the experience and make sure I was as connected and present as possible throughout my pregnancy and baby’s birth. This led me to the decision to hire a doula. I researched several doulas in my area and ended up hiring Lisa Raynor. In addition to attending my birth, Lisa was a strong support to me throughout my pregnancy. She helped me craft a detailed list of birth preferences and was instrumental in communicating them to my medical team and making sure they were followed the day of the birth.
During my pregnancy, she was always available if I needed to talk and helped me tremendously through some scary weeks after a few worrisome ultrasounds.
She reminded me that I had a say-so over my birth and helped me think through my options during stressful moments.
On the day of my son’s birth, Lisa was with me as much or as little as I needed, stepping in during the moments when things got tough and supporting my husband and I through a birth process we had never navigated before.
This time around, I was lucky to have a calm and beautiful birth experience but I also credit my doula with making this possible through her knowledge, experience and caring support. I felt like an active participant in my birth this time around and it truly made all the difference. Having a doula helped me achieve the pregnancy and birth experience I envisioned and heal some of the old wounds of regret from my last birth. Lisa provided such seamless and loving support, she felt like a member of our family and I will forever be grateful to her. I would absolutely recommend hiring a doula for pregnancy and birth to any mama-to-be, first time or otherwise.