My story is quite different from most women’s in that I was not really scared of giving birth. My partner and I knew I would give birth naturally and that my body was made to do this. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, and after Bradley Method classes, I started toying with the idea of switching from a planned hospital birth to one at a birthing center.
I was, unfortunately, risked out of that being a possibility. I knew I would need help asserting my desires to a hospital staff. Enter Barefoot Birth.
They came to our house and met with us for the first time to explain everything we needed to know. When my day finally came and I made the call, they were at my house within the hour. I labored at home from 7PM to 9 AM, calling them at an un-Godly hour somewhere in between. Megan was with me from 4:00 am until we left for the hospital, where Charlie met up with us. She followed Anthony and I around the house with my laptop all morning on Contraction Master and kept my times recorded so we knew how I was progressing. When we finally agreed it was time to leave she took care of everything so Anthony could focus on coaching me and I could focus on the long awaited arrival of our little surprise (we waited to find out the sex).
Upon arrival, I knew my odds of “getting along” with the nursing staff were slim. Many hospitals these days seem to scoff at a woman’s ‘attempt’ to have a natural birth. And from the reaction I got from the nurses that day, I knew it was going to be a problem. After too many hours at the hospital, and much to the dismay of the hospital’s staff who were trying to convince me I was “putting my baby in danger”, I left. Charlie and Megan stayed by my side and supported me in my choice to leave an establishment that was trying to scare me into agreeing to things I was against, and a possible C-Section. They guided me, and reminded me of my wishes for a natural birth. After hearing the things the doctors and nurses were saying amongst themselves they prepared me for the possibility of needing to AMA myself in order to succeed in getting the birth that I so longed for.
When we arrived back home they prepared a wonderful, relaxing environment for me to labor in (including an essential oil filled bath…highly recommended). We decided our backup plan would be to return to an alternative hospital when I knew I was ready to push. They continued to support me, keep the environment nurturing and comfortable for me, and explain all questions to my family. The latter of which was not an easy task due to my family being so concerned by the false information they had been fed by the hospital staff. An hour and a half later, my daughter was ready to meet the world. We left for the hospital. Charlie and Megan were right by my side. They followed us there and called ahead to alert the staff. As we arrived, so did Mirielle. And we were overjoyed to meet her.
Having Charlie and Megan as my doulas was an amazing experience. They are so welcoming and knowledgeable. I could never imagine my birth without them. Thank you both so much for all you did. You put up with my family, supported my wishes and were my voice at the hospital when my doctors were not listening to me. I truly value everything you did for me.