Several readers have asked how the Professor feels about hiring a doula. Specifically, does he feel threatened by another person being involved with the labor. I have heard several men express the fear that having a doula might in some way “replace” them. These guys are adamant that they want to remain an active part in their wife’s experience.
I applaud these men for wanting to stand by their lady’s side and I encourage them to be there, be present and be positive throughout the entire event. Y’all are amazing and your wives are lucky women.
But in all seriousness, nothing can prepare a man for what their wife is going to experience. And I don’t mean the pain and yelling of labor. I mean the spiritual and emotional connection your wife has to this baby and the birthing process. Personally, I have feelings and urges about my baby and his or her birth that I just cannot put into words. Because of this, I feel there is no way for me to completely prepare my husband for what to expect or how to assist. Sure we’ll do the Hypno Babies training, but that will only give us the dance steps. It won’t give us the rhythm. Does that make sense?
We have tried to talk about what I need him to do during labor and the conversation rarely gets much further then, “I’ll need you to make sure I have my canteen with in arms reach and that there is toast ready and waiting… I don’t care if you have to pre-toast the bread and bring it in the hospital bag, I know I’ll need toast.” Otherwise, I don’t know what I’ll need.
Still, though, the Professor wants to be involved. He wants to help and he knows that asking me what he can do while I’m in the midst of a wave will only result in an annoyed wife. He is also acutely aware of how important this birth experience is for me – this is going to be our only child so there is no opportunity for a do-over. It took about five seconds of discussion to decide we needed a third-party present the entire time to assist and keep us on beat. So we hired a doula. Not only is the evidence supporting a doula during childbirth amazing (a reduced cesarean rate? Yes please!) but the idea of having someone in the room the entire time who is acutely attuned to the needs of me, baby and husband is incredibly comforting.
And the Professor agrees. In preparation for this post, I asked how he felt about having a doula and he looked at me like I had two heads, “Uh, I can’t imagine not having a doula. I want someone in there at all times who has a vagina and understands what the hell is going on.” Well said, Professor, well said!