We found Ana during a stressful period in the pregnancy. We were two weeks from birth when a routine PCR test revealed that Mom had tested positive for coronavirus. According to hospital regulations, a positive mom implies a positive dad, which meant there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it to the delivery. As painful as that thought was, knowing that a capable doula could take my place and ensure Elena wasn’t alone on the day became a calming backup strategy. Enter Ana! She accepted us into her care, even at the 11th hour. Luckily we had prepared for our little one’s arrival through Love Parenting’s hypnobirthing program, making it easier to click-in so late in the pregnancy. As luck would have it, my wife went into labour 2 days after her latest test came back negative and all thoughts of coronavirus disappeared. We were actually do for an induction the same day, which was when we first saw how much help Ana would be. Our ideal birth plan was to labour as naturally as possible, so trying to induce labor without intervention was top of mind for us.
Ana gave us so many additional tools, and constant support throughout the day leading up to the induction. Miles circuits, pelvic alignment exercises and emotional support led to a natural kick off for us.
After 24 hours latent labour, a lot of virtual sessions with Ana and most importantly what can only be seen as a super human effort from my wife, we decided it was time to go to the hospital. Lost in the moment I didn’t call Ana to meet us there. Her doula instincts must have kicked in, because after we had undergone the initial assessment, she magically appeared having not heard from us. That’s when it struck me, we are about to share this extremely intimate moment with someone we’ve not even met in person. A stranger for all intents and purposes. That notion dissipated almost as quickly as it came. Elena decided to go through the labor without pain medication. When she started having strong contractions, Ana simply knew what to do, where to place her hands, how to help my wife through the discomfort. She helped me maximize what I had learned in the hypnobirthing course.
I know it sounds awkward, and I don’t typically write things like this, but sometimes you meet people that have an immediate calming effect on you. Ana was that for us. We walked into the delivery strangers and 38 hours later, through this intensely intimate experience, walked out bonded in a way that only life long friends can understand.
At first, I have to admit I wasn’t sure a doula would be right for us. Having gone through it, I can say it was one of the best decisions we ever made. My wife (my hero) made it through our experience with only a touch of air and gas at the very end. The constant massages Ana and I were able to provide were, hopefully, a small part of that monumental achievement.
I personally could not have been the birthing partner I got a chance to be without her support. #2pairofhandsarebetterthan1.