Saturday, July 04, 2009

Meet Molly

This is me with Molly, our doula. She's going to be supporting Jude and I in the labor and delivery process come the big day. The word "doula" comes from ancient Greek meaning "woman of service" but has evolved to now refer to a woman trained and experienced in childbirth. Basically, her job is to "mother the mother". She provides physical, emotional, and informational support to both the mom and dad during labor, delivery and in the immediate postpartum period. Studies show that when doulas are present at birth, women have shorter labors, fewer medical interventions, fewer cesareans, and healthier babies.

Thankfully (depending on how you look at it), because of our measly grad student stipends, we qualify for free doula services through Doulas Care. But I actually know Molly from school- she's a fellow grad student and we even took a class together a couple of years ago. She's just wonderful- warm, funny, and so generous in helping to demystify some of the unknowns coming our way. Another reason why Jude and I are opting to have a doula present is also just as a source of comfort and support, especially since our parents will probably not be with us (my parents are arriving the week after Baby's EED). We think that having a non-medical personnel there who knows us personally and not just as a patient and her partner will really help to ease much of the anxiety, not just for me, but also for Jude. This is as much of a life-changing experience for him as it is for me and whatever we can do to reduce extraneous distress or pressure either one of us might feel will definitely be helpful. While the doctors and nurses are there to respond to the medical aspect of the process, childbirth is also a profoundly emotional and spiritual experience, and we believe that having Molly there will help us appreciate that dimension a little better.

We've heard from friends who've had a doula with them that it's just one of the best decisions they made, especially when it's their first time- information on the procedures to expect, clarification of medical terminology, massages when you need it, running out for ice-chips so that dad can be by mom's side, suggestions for different birthing positions, advice/advocacy when medical personnel suggest non-necessary procedures, that extra encouragement during labor, etc. We've only met with Molly "officially" as our doula twice and she's already been such a wonderful source of comfort and assurance; we're certain that her presence by our sides come some time late August will be more even more invaluable :)


the terrible child said...

keeping you, jude and baby in our prayers! im so excited for all of you!

serene said...

thanks, terri!! we can't wait to see you guys with Baby over Christmas! :)

Kevin said...

This is fascinating, like a doctor on the metaphysical side of things. I hope everything goes smoothly for the both of you, and the baby of course :)