A Dad Wants a Doula
When I decided to have midwives attend the birth of my first child at the hospital, my partner immediately insisted we also find a doula. At first, I was resistant: I thought that midwives did everything that a doula would do. But my partner M. pointed out that a doula could help us labor at home and best decide when to go to the hospital. Besides, he argued, the birthing stories that we knew involving doulas were generally happier ones than those without doulas.
Well, as things went, we ended up at the hospital right away. Even though I felt well prepared for laboring, I was scared early on by the progress of the contractions.
I remember very clearly when Michelle looked me in the eye and told me not to be afraid, to move towards the contractions rather than shy away from them.
She said it in a way that allowed me to start working with the breathing I had practiced and to find a voice for sounding. Michelle stayed with me the whole time, including during the first stage of labor, when the midwife and nurses were simply stopping by the room to see how things were going. She helped me stay focused and centered through a long and sometimes difficult labor, and she helped M. support me. And in the end, when all the hospital staff were finished, and exhausted, she talked me through my first nursing of my son.