What do I mean by that?
I mean that your birth is just that. YOUR birth. You will find that I do not have an agenda when it comes to how you have your baby. I don't believe that there is any one perfect way to give birth. I have my own ideal, but what if mine is different from yours? How does that help you? Simply, it doesn't. My job is to explore what you want with you and your partner, and then figure out the way to best support you in that goal.
Birth should be without agenda. There are no little boxes to check off to make sure things go a certain way. You can write a birth plan, and I'll be glad to help you with that, but we must both understand that birth is a fluid process. Things can change, and what you thought about it might change, too. You might decide that you don't need that epidural after all, or you might decide that natural childbirth is for the birds. Guess what? If it works for you, then it's your best birth!
I have heard, since becoming a mother myself, many woman say that they felt dissatisfied with their birth. They felt pressured to do this or that, or to make decisions that they weren't prepared to make. They felt like birth was something that happened to them, instead of something that they did. Instead of feeling satisfied that they brought forth life, they felt discouraged, or even betrayed, because of how things went. It doesn't have to be that way.
A woman in labor is a different creature. She is more malleable, and more apt to take suggestions that she wouldn't otherwise take. She may not remember her ideal birth wishes, and be so lost inside her experiences that she can't find a way to communicate her desires. This is where a doula can come in handy.
My job is NOT to replace your partner. The two of you have a relationship that is far deeper than any doula could have with her client. One of my jobs as your doula is to nudge your partner along the way. I give suggestions as to how they can help you, and assign jobs to give them something to do. Especially in the case of husbands, having a job is important! Birth is unfamiliar territory for most people, so having a guide can be a comfort for both of you.
One of my most important tasks as your doula is to LISTEN to you and HEAR what you say. I will constantly be reassessing how you are handling your labor, and will make suggestions to help you along. I will provide constant support with zero judgement. I will be there for you!
As your doula, I will be working for you. My being there will help you remember your wishes for your ideal birth. I will not be able to talk with the nurses or advocate on your behalf, but I can help you make sure you have all of the information you need to make any decisions that may come up. The best thing I can do for you is to make sure you know you did everything the way you would want, and that when you look back at your birth you feel happy and proud of the job that you did.
We won't check boxes. We'll have your baby, instead.