I recently heard someone explain that, in hindsight, she was happy she didn't hire a doula for her birth. She ended up getting an epidural and was happy not to have another person to worry about disappointing in that moment. My heart hurt a little when she said that.
It's not that I was offended she would assume a doula would express disappointment. It's just that, there are infinite options in birth, there are also infinite opinions. Birth, much like other aspects of life, is heavy with emotions. Good emotions, bad emotions. Proud emotions, crushed emotions. When opinions mix with emotions, the result is a nasty, muddled mess. No one should be made to feel like less of a mother or a woman because she birthed a certain way.
Life can be difficult. We all bring to the birth room the baggage of our history; sexual abuse, physical abuse, shame, self-doubt, fear, fill in the blank. We have to make decisions that are based on what we feel is best for ourselves and our families. If mom and baby are safe and under the care of a competent care provider, who am I to say what is right or wrong for a laboring mother?
I want to reiterate: NO ONE SHOULD MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY FOR YOUR CHOICES IN BIRTH. Not your doctor. Not your midwife. Not your husband or your mother. And definitely not your doula.
Here's the skinny on doulas, we want so badly for you to achieve the birth of your dreams. That is our number one goal. Your care provider's job is to keep you and your baby safe and healthy, our job is to keep you comfortable in labor and satisfied in birth. If your birth doesn't go according to plan and your doula is disappointed in anyone, I can almost 100 percent guarantee you, she is disappointed in nobody but herself.
We want to see you thrive. We want to champion you to be your own best advocate. We want to remind you of your strength when you've forgotten. We want to inform you of your options and allow space for your decision. We want to watch you climb the path you've chosen to the top of your mountain. We want to witness the moment wash over as you meet your brand new baby for the very first time. We want you to look back on your journey and feel proud of your efforts, your accomplishments, your intuition, yourself. We want your birth to set you up for a lifetime of confident, proud motherhood.
That is our desire. Nothing more, nothing less.