Thursday March 22nd, 2012
I feel terrible doing this post VERY late. My baby boy is now 10 month-old, which means I am 10 month late of showing my gratitude to one of the dearest persons I’ve ever known in my life — Inna, my doula. You know, it is very difficult to do a “public” post when there is a lot of emotion involve. And please don’t expect this to be objective, as it is not. But I learned that this week is the World Doula Week, so what a timing to finally post this.
I met Inna through another doula who was supposed to be my doula. Due to family obligation, she could not be there around my due date. She recommended Inna. I didn’t immediately like the idea, as I wasn’t sure I wanted someone I had never heard of before as my doula. But we didn’t have family around. I was afraid that no one would be there for me if the babysitter for my 2-y.o. daughter could not come and my husband had to take care of her. So I contacted Inna.
Inna is a Swiss, originally from Ticino, but had lived in the US for several years and just moved back to Lausanne when I met her (April 2011). She is trained as a nurse, and then on training to be a doula. She had been following my blog so she felt like she knew me, and somehow I also felt the same. I like her almost instantly, kind of love at first sight. We had similar birth experiences, which I think really connected us in the beginning. As I was expecting my second baby, I did not need the pre-natal care, only during labor and delivery. I met Inna once alone, and another time with my husband. The next one was already when I was in labor.
My labor began at 3am. I recognized it immediately. I was really happy, and excited to meet my little man soon. The contraction was strong but not too painful and very irregular, so that I only sent Inna a text to be ready but she didn’t have to come yet. The painful contractions started at around 2:30pm. I called Inna and she arrived soon later. She was really wonderful. The two of us were a wonderful team. Together we tried to manage the pain of the contractions. She helped with massages and labor positions that I felt most comfortable with. She also reminded me to drink and eat, as well as suggested some labor “remedies”. One of the most helpful thing I found was that she took care of noting down the duration of the contractions, so that I could relax. Contrary to the labor of my first baby, instead of checking the clock, I could just listen to what my body told me and prepare myself best for the coming contractions. I felt in control and cared for. With these, I was not afraid of the contractions. I knew that each contraction, while painful, brought me one step closer to welcoming my baby. And I was at home, free from any needle or machine, and could even attend my daughter in between contractions. See my pic below, Inna took it in between contractions. I really smiled, it was a hard but happy labor.
In the end, the whole labor was done at home, and at 7pm I arrived at the hospital (CHUV) only to push. In fact, the baby was almost born in the lobby as I felt the urge to push immediately after we arrived. I sank onto the floor (there, see the arrow on the pic) as I swear I felt the baby’s head was coming.
Then, again, having Inna was priceless. My husband was busy with paying the taxi and bringing my bag. Inna was with me at all times. She yelled to some people there to help. I think only visitors were there at that time, as the reception at the maternity department had closed. Somebody grabbed a wheelchair and they lifted me onto the wheelchair. Inna pushed me to the delivery theater. I remember my eyes followed all the signs (Salle d’accouchements, yellow arrow below), hoping to see the final turn. But I knew it was a quick ride (approx. 50m) so that I calmed down a bit.
Arriving in the room, they quickly moved me to the bed. Pushing was easy peasy. Really. It felt so natural that I didn’t do any effort. My baby just glided out. No pain. No tear. No needle.
The hospital record says:
- Arrival at the maternity: 19:05
- Pushing: 2 min
- Birth time: 19:08
You see, I had a REALLY wonderful birth experience and obviously having Inna as my doula had contributed to it enormously. Here’s a pic of the three of us after the birth — Inna, baby boy and I. I don’t know why I didn’t look happy there, probably too stunned to smile
When she was my doula, Inna was still in training. To qualify as a doula, she had to assist 2 birthing mothers. She needed me, so that she didn’t charge me anything. I didn’t mind paying though, as she was so helpful and that I finally had a beautiful birth experience (which also means I recovered almost instantly).
The doula story didn’t end there.
Fast forward four months, I had a mild depression. I was unhappy and fed up with our house (we moved to a new house 2 months before). I was tired and needed a break. All of a sudden everything piled up. I hadn’t had any vacation for a whole year, which was hard after carrying a pregnancy, taking care of a newborn and a pre-schooler, organizing the moving house, packing and unpacking, decorating, … the list seemed endless. Those, and perhaps the changing of the hormones, made me blue.
Re-enter Inna. She gladly helped me as my post-partum doula. She came 1-2 times per week for a couple of hours. It immediately changed the whole situation. Just having her around already made me feel better. She also helped with anything that I needed to do. From taking care of the kids, to washing the dishes, to taking me grocery shopping. It was amazing to see how a couple of hours of help could boost my mood. For example, on our very first session, I (finally) could plucked my eyebrows and quickly applied nail polish, and boy how I felt much better afterwards that I could pamper myself! Having her around again was a bliss!
The post-partum doula support last around 3 weeks. I was a much MUCH better person again after. I was glad that I had such help before things got much worse. As someone who is usually very positive, it really sucks to be unhappy.
The best thing is that Inna and I remained very good friends until now. So there you know why this post could never be objective as, man, I love this lady!
(Happy Doula Week, my sweet Inna!)
To contact Inna:
Français, Italiano, English, Espanol
076 321 26 08
corinnarasmann (AT) gmail (DOT) com