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I had both of my babies in a hospital without a doula, though we always had someone else there with us. The first time it was my MIL and the second time my mother. I think it's nice to have someone who can help relieve the partner if the labor is long or run and get things so the mother doesn't have to be alone, but that's just the way we do it.
It sounds like you have a very supportive doctor, so that will go a long way. Even still labor at home as long as possible. Typically, though not always when you read birth stories there is a common theme, "I arrived at 8cm" "I arrived ready to push". You will be more comfortable and not have to adhere to the rules of the hospital. I would do as much research as possible and make sure your partner does the same. I took a Hypnobirthing class which we loved, but still took time to read about natural forms of pain relief and made sure DH was on board as well.
If you still want a doula perhaps you could meet with a few and see if he changes his mind?
I actually felt like your husband. I wanted just the two of us in the room. Why would I want someone else watching me suffer? And getting in the way of such a special bonding time? Making DH feel like he was inadequate?
That meant it put a lot more on DH and the nurse, but in the long run it was fine. I made sure to talk a lot with DH about my wishes, so he knew how to advocate for me. We chose a NB friendly hospital. When we checked in I asked for a nurse experience in NB.
It all turned out fine. The nurse gave DH some suggestions to help me (I had back-labor so she showed him how to apply counter-pressure with an ice pack.) We had a beautiful labor and birth experience that I would do again in a heart beat.
That being said, I think you need to do what makes you feel comfortable. That's the only way you'll be able to have a NB. If you're nervous, scared, whatever, you are way more likely to cave and get an epi or need intervention. If you really think you'd feel better/less scared/more relaxed/whatever with a doula in the room, then convince your husband to hire one. If it's a money thing looking into hiring a "doula in training". If it's because your husband just feels like he wouldn't be helping give him a job that's all his own - like holding your hand or getting your ice or whatever.
It sounds like as a nurse/paramedic he is probably better prepared to support a birth than the average husband. He needs to be 100% on board with supporting your plans, though. If he thinks getting an epidural is really the sensible thing, he can't really be there for you when you hit transition and start doubting yourself.
There is also the "what do you do if labour is really long" question and the "is he willing to read a few books to supplement his birth support skills" question. "The Birth Partner" book is an excellent resource for support methods.
I just delivered med-free, though it wasn't an easy birth. I just had my husband, the midwife, and the nurse. I see the benefit of having a doula for many people, but it wouldn't have been the best option for us. We took Bradley classes, so my husband was well informed. I also knew through many discussions that he and I were on exactly the same page and had talked about all the possibilities that can arise during a birth. I was totally confident that if I had not been able to advocate for myself he would have been able to speak for me and make decisions that I would be okay with. We also had people were able to reach out to, and in a tough spot near the end of the delivery he did end up calling our Bradley teacher for advice.
Decide what feels right for you both :)
thanks everyone!!!!!!! I was going to pick up a couple books for us to read before/during/after the class. I know he likes to read, and Im sure he'd read these books.
I appreciate the stories and help!
I had a natural hospital birth without a doula, I read a ton about natural birth and made sure my DH was informed as well.
bleusimp:As a nurse...what type of nurse is your husband? I'm a med surg Tele nurse who floats to post partum a lot. I'm working on hypnobirthing, and only feel like I would be adequate as a support person for a natural birth recently due to the additional research I've done. Going through it as the mom is much different than as the nurse. My boyfriend felt like your husband at first. He thought that me wanting my mom there, who is not only my mom, but an l and d nurse, meant I thought he wasn't enough to help me. After an honest talk about why I wanted both of them there, with him being most important, he got on board.
If he was a paramedic, I'm guessing he is an ED nurse. Our ED nurses are amazing at stabilizing and caring for the immediate needs. Not so great at planning for what the patient is going to need 6 to 12 hours later or nonpharm comfort measures.
you got it! He's an ED nurse, and he actually spends a lot of his time in Peds because he's so good with the babies and kids (if he can't get an iv or picc line in, no one can)
When I had a pretty big suergery a couple years ago, he was phenomenal at helping me out, both medically and non medically. He's very nurturing.
Im going to get us a couple books, because I know when he reads something he feels he understands and retains the info better and then we'll discuss.
He did tell me that its more up to me than it is him. so Im thinking this is going to be the best course for us. We'll start with the books, and then the class and see how he feels after that about the doula. He's already a great advocate for me during doctor's appointments because he knows I get panicy (I had a really Screwed up throat surgery when I was 16 that landed me in a plastic surgeon's office for the skin on my BACK for 9 months so I tend to panic a little when too much medical slang is tossed at me.) I tell him before we go into the appointment what questions I want to ask, and my feelings certain things we discussed with the OB at the last appointment, and he makes sure that we don't forget to talk about those.
So it can be done :)
We live far from family so it was just DH and I. I had wonderful nurses who were supportive of my birth plan, and wonderful midwives who were also supportive.
It took me a little while to convince DH that natural birth was for the best, but once he was on board it all went really well for us. It helped that I went from 6-10 cms in 10 minutes and didn't really have time to back out or question our plans. lol