Our Doula Kate
We had talked about having a Doula present for the birth of our third child hoping that they would be able to provide support for my partner if I had to spend time with our eldest son during the labour. I say we talked about it ….we talked about it until it was almost too late. I think Rosie was 36 weeks pregnant when we got round to speaking to Kate. Bearing in mind that our first born arrived at 38 weeks I thought we may have missed the opportunity, great procrastinators that we are. Kate reassured us that this should not be a problem and that if we chose her to be our doula she would be able to fit the ante-natal visits in quickly if needed.
The first contact via Skype was great, we just clicked and although we did speak to other doulas I knew that Rosie had already decided on Kate. Kate then visited us at our home for the first of two pre-natal visits. We talked through everything we wanted and Kate was very positive and supportive of what we wanted. Rosie had always wanted to birth our children at home but had so far been denied this. Our firstborn was delivered by forceps in hospital, he was back to back…right way up, wrong way round, and our second was induced, he had a genetic condition and we were under a consultant led pathway from the moment a problem was suspected. Both of these experiences had hardened Rosie’s desire to have minimal contact with hospitals and any medical personnel.
Kate supported us fully from the moment we met. She was happy to deal with any issues that arose with midwives and became an intermediary for us so Rosie would not feel bothered or pressured by them as the pregnancy went past the 40 week mark. I should also mention that our son who is not always too keen on visitors loved Kate and was more than happy to sit with her and show her his favourite games.
When the day came…..Friday the 13th no less, I called Kate at about 6.30pm as Rosie was having contractions about every 2-3 minutes! It seemed like ages before she arrived but I’m sure it was only about 45 minutes. Kate was brilliant, everything we could have hoped for and more. Calm and relaxed, very supportive when needed and able to read Rosie better than anyone I have seen. There was never any pressure or clockwatching like we had with the midwives who attended Rosie during her first labour, just a presence…a warmth for Rosie to feel, a calm yet powerful energy for her to draw on when she needed it.
This was most noticeable when Rosie had been labouring for some time, where I wavered and felt like things were getting away from us. Rosie had been in the same position for some time and things had slowed. I remember Kate speaking calmly, talking Rosie through some affirmations, getting her back and helping her focus again. Suggesting a change in position. All this worked and not much later on our new baby boy arrived, caught by his mum, surrounded by his family. Narrowly avoiding the 13th by being born at twenty past midnight on the 14th.
Kate stayed for a few hours after the birth and helped get us all settled before heading home. She was back later on Saturday to check all was well and to help us with anything we needed. Two more visits followed and by now we were used to Kate popping round to see us and it seemed really strange as she left at the end of the last visit that she wouldn’t be coming round again. She was our rock in the time before our boys birth until she left saying that she would never forget the look of relief on my face when she arrived at our house on that Friday evening.