Monday, March 10, 2008

There once was a cowboy from Nantucket...

There once was a Cowboy from Portland.
Blood, needles and gore, he could not stand.
So imagine his chagrin,
When his knocked up wife said to him:
As I see it, you will be in L&D holding my hand.

# # #

I am bit late posting my limerick. Oops. This limerick was inspired by our recent hiring of a doula to assist with Missy's birth.

It may sound like I am picking on my husband at bit. And I am. For as rough and tumble as he is, Cowboy does not do messy, medical stuff well. The guy doesn't watch Grey's or ER, and House - forget it. He doesn't even like to take Gus to the vet.

Although we both know deep down that he would regret not being in the delivery room, he is downright terrified of it.

In fact, part of him would be secretly happy to play out the 1950's father-to-be in the waiting room, handing out bottles of local microbrews that read, "It's a Girl!" instead of cigars (smoking anything but mary jane is so not PC in Portland).

I confided this to my OB during my first pregnancy. Oh how naive of me to be thinking of such things in the first trimester, as I learned the hard way. Anyway, she said you'd be surprised at the number of dads who excuse themselves from the room during the sketchy parts of birth. She suggested hiring a doula, as much for Cowboy if not for myself.

I had never heard of a doula. My informal canvassing for those who have had a doula assist at their births turned up a slew of local friends and acquaintances who have used them with success.

While I was doing my canvassing, turns out Cowboy was doing his. He began offering some of his male friends who are firefighters (and therefore must have been trained to deliver a baby, right?) cases of beer to be our doula.


No way, I told him. Besides you'd probably have to at least buy them a fifth of whiskey to make the offer even remotely attractive. But, I reasoned with him, if we had a real doula helping out, it would free him up to take ocassional jaunts down to the restaurants on NW 23rd if it all became too much and he found himself needing a break. (Conventiently, our hospital is adjacent to one of the hottest restaurant and bar streets in the city).

He spent an afternoon mulling this over and then announced he wanted a doula - and not the firefighter kind. Whew.

So we found one that I think will be a good match for our style. She comes to our house twice before the birth for personal birth classes. If I want, she will come to our house when I am in early labor. She will advise us when to head for the hospital. And will stay there for the entire birth. She then does two more visits to our house to help with breastfeeding and any other post-partum issues immediately following the birth.

Sounds like a party for her.

The point of us hiring a doula is not to abdicate our responsibility in the process, but to create the best odds of having a positive experience. Again, this might be our only chance to have it. I don't want to snap at Cowboy and make an already tense situation worse. I don't expect him to get all mushy and cut the cord and look in the mirror (good Lord, no mirrors, please). I just want him to never regret that he was in the room when his daughter arrives. As much as I don't want him to regret that he wasn't in there because it got too intense.

And if that means he stays "uptown" only and gets the random PBR break, I'm all for it.


Carrie said...

I love the idea of a doula. I had heard of them but really thought they were just for the rich and famous.
My opinion all changed however, when I went to a hypnotist. This was the first attempt at IVF ( I had previously fallen pregnant easily and only after the big miscarriage had any difficulty with falling pregnant, I was trying to ensure the trauma of my 2nd tri m/c wasn't somehow stopping me -mentally- fall pregnant again, I know, sounds nuts)
Anyway, the hypnotist was also a doula, she was amazing! I was quite sceptical at first but I loved her totally by the end. I was so absolutely relaxed and confident in her, I would definitely want her with me. I reckon if anyone could help keep the process as natural and calm it would be her.
Actually, now that I'm writing this I'm realising that this was during the down regs for IVF1, the one where I fell pregnant during the down regs, as in the same week as I saw her. Not to self, go back to her pronto!
Anyway, that was a very long comment to say I think a doula is a fantastic idea regardless of Cowboys medical confidence. If it takes the pressure of this then even more so.
Hope this makes sense :-)

Watson said...


We actually hired a doula and the main reason was to be there to support BeBop through the process. And back when I thought I could have a somewhat natural-ish birth plan (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) I also wanted someone there familiar w/ the medical lingo and to support me in making decisions.

When everything went to hell and we had to schedule the c-section we decided we didn't need her there, and we wanted to save some $$, but I LOVE the idea and have heard great things from friends who had doulas.

Hey did I tell you BeBop always talks of moving to Portland?

Lori said...

I LOVE the limerick!

Unfortunately, I can't add it to the vote bar without deleting all the votes already cast.

But I added it to the post so that people can comment.

I hope you -- and Cowboy -- have a smooth ride.

Kirsten said...

I am a doula (became one after the birth of my first kiddo) and have hired a doula for the birth of my second child (due any minute). Needless to say I think they ROCK. Although my husband is actually great during labor and delivery, I don't want him to have to worry about anything other than enjoying the birth of our baby. And although I have a lot of knowledge, I need to be able to just shut down and labor. Congrats on hiring one! You won't regret it.

Dov said...

I'd like to find a doula for the twins birth, but our move so close to things may make it complicated. Although that may be the exact reason to do it!

And even though I was all bound to be "crunchy granola" for my son's birth ... I still turned down the mirror! I don't really know why, but when they asked I immediately said no. I don't really regret it, but I'm not sure whether I'll feel the same this time.

Love the limerick!

christina(apronstrings) said...

i like the idea of a doula too. k can be bossy and i might drop kick him. that's do good and not easy to do when you're in labor!

it sounds like things are moving right along.


Sticky Bun said...

I would DEFINITELY have hired a doula if a c-section weren't such a real possibility. (And, even though it is, I'm half regretting not looking into one.) I love the idea of having someone who really knows about all of this and who is just there for me. Such a great idea....