My last client was also our first monitrice-doula baby since opening the Portland MamaBaby Center on March 1st, 2012. This sweet little girl decided to be born on her due date with that full head of thick black hair weighing 8 lb. 4 oz.
I am so lucky that I was there to witness Audrey’s birth. Her Mama labored so peacefully and calmly, really reaching inward and focusing internally on bringing her down and relaxing to make it easier for her to wriggle her way out. Her Papa physically held them up as Mama slow danced her way through many contractions. The nurse (Sarah) never once mentioned pain meds or epidurals and only provided positive, supportive affirmations, suggestions for position changes, and offering great advice. Her doctor sat on the floor and caught her as she was born into her own Mama’s loving arms and given a chance to transfer all of her blood from her placenta to her body before her cord was clamped and cut. She was allowed to snuggle right into her Mama’s chest where she remained until long after I left. And this doula was happy to keep her Mantra promise that, “Soon I’m going to be leaving you all cuddled up with your sweet baby girl to rest and sleep.”
After every birth, I try to reflect and learn and grow as a human and as a birth worker. The gift I was given from Audrey’s birth was a restored faith that women can and do labor and deliver their babies in hospitals without interventions and medications (just like I did almost 18 years ago!) It’s been a while since I’ve seen a natural hospital birth like this. Dr. Michelle Sang was the attending OB and she came in for the birth, despite being off call (that rarely happens, in my experience, with most obstetrics practices.) She was totally supportive of her client’s natural childbirth, reminding Mama not to fear the intensity and to trust in her body. She was so positive and I could tell that her presence and affirmations were really helping Mama to more effectively push through the intensity. I was also reminded by this birth just how important it is (lucky?) to have the right nurse, the right doula, and the right obstetrician (and ideally, the right partner) by your side if you are pursuing a natural childbirth
I took this photo of Audrey on day 4 when I stopped in to do a little postpartum follow up visit and bring Mama her placenta pills. She looks like she was posed in that position for a perfect little newborn photo, but really she had just figured out how to get her tummy full and fallen asleep contentedly.
Is natural hospital childbirth something you’re planning? Laboring at home for as long as possible is undeniably the first rule of avoiding unnecessary interventions.
Monitrice-Doula care with a midwife is the best of both worlds. Labor at home with a midwife and have your baby at the hospital with your doctor. Give us a call (503) 206-7715 or email to arrange a consultation with our monitrice-doula team.