I’m an American living with my English husband in the UK. My husband unfortunately has no family to rely on or help us because his mom died when he was 17 and his dad passed right before we got married – they were both only children. He has two older brothers but one has lived in the US for many years and the other just got divorced so that eliminates any other females that could possibly help us as well. We are truly and utterly alone here but this is where he wants to be for his soul and his business. Who knows we may move to the US at some point or we may be here forever.
So naturally I felt alone while I was pregnant. It’s hard to meet people when you are older. My best friend Marissa and I met when we were seven. Over the years we had different activities (I played sports, she did dance) different classes (I was in honors, she was in regular) but we did cheerleading together for four years with her mom as the coach and girl scouts with my mom as the troop leader and our mom’s were good friends as well. We had other friends and interests but always remained very close.
In the middle of eighth grade my eleven year old brother died unexpectedly – Marissa and her mom were there. Nine months later, the beginning of our freshman year of high school Marissa’s mom died unexpectedly. We became even closer. She moved away to Florida when we were 16, while I stayed in Pittsburgh where we grew up but we still talked and saw each other during spring breaks. We went on to bury her older brother J.R. two weeks before my finals senior year of college in a complete freak accident. I was there for her – I took my finals early or accepted the grades I already had, packed up all my stuff from my apartment and just disappeared – not saying goodbye to anyone or having the ability to celebrate me graduating that semester with others.
Marissa and I would talk all the time about her mom – saying it’s always better to remember then to forget. We would talk about how difficult it is to meet other girls our age in college and after as adults. You can meet other women that you get along with or have a common interest but they will truly never understand you, your life struggles or where you have come from. We would say that we always feel closer to girls that we grew up with since elementary school who we didn’t really hang out with much, than anyone you meet later in life. There’s a lot to be said for common shared experiences and people really knowing who you are and were, what your family is like and what kind of person you are.
Unfortunately I had to say goodbye for now to Marissa three days after my 33 birthday while I was living in Sydney, Australia. She died in childbirth with her first baby.
Needless to say that my life is and never will be the same again. Marissa was my soul mate. We could find the funny in anything together – we never drank or did drugs claiming we could have more fun on our natural high which was of course lots of laughter and silly dancing. While I was pregnant I would think about Marissa often.
My husband and I took a pre-natal class to prepare for the birth. The first class I walked in and saw our teacher and I immediately felt close to her. She was Marissa if she had lived twenty years longer. The face was similar but it was the hair color and length, bone structure, height and mannerisms that were uncanny. It was like this was a sign. I found out that my teacher was also a doula. I thought about my situation, how scary birth can be with complications and how we had no support system here. So I hired Serena to be my doula to help alleviate some stress from myself and my husband and to just have that extra additional support in case he needed a break or we needed an outsiders opinion.
My birth was complicated – I won’t go into it here because you can read all about it From Drug-free Home-birth to Drugged up Hospital
But I will say that if you want a home-birth, a drug-free birth anywhere, or just need support no matter what hire a doula. It’s comforting to know that you have another woman on your side supporting and empathizing with you. She doesn’t get upset or nervous like your husband, tells you you’re doing a great job and to keep going you can do it, and doesn’t judge. She can massage you the right way, tell you when to sip water or eat food and give you different positions to manage the pain during contractions. She’s there to brush the hair from your face and let you squeeze her hand till you think you’ll break it.
So I 100% recommend a doula as long as you feel completely natural around her and trust her implicitly. Hiring her won’t be a transaction for services – it will be because you have a good vibe and a connection. I was lucky I found mine when I wasn’t even looking for one but you may need to search around and interview a couple. If you choose the right one you’ll have a bond and hopefully a lasting friendship.
Have you used a doula? Are you interested in using one now? Let me know what you think about hiring a doula . . .
#doula #birthingcoach #support #homebirth #drugfree #massage #birth #baby #delivery #newmom #millennialmom