VBA2C journey with Doula Lou.
“I’ve believed in you from the very beginning and every time we visit and talk, this positivity and confidence grows and grows.” Doula Lou.
This concise, yet comprehensive, trust-filled statement was the buoying bolster that I needed. It was a statement I often revisited when experiencing doubt and uncertainty during the final stages of my pregnancy.
This supportive statement, along with many others expressed by Doula Lou, lifted me up time and again and helped to carry me on a VBA2C birthing journey that brought healing euphoria to every part of my being.
When I first approached Lou to discuss her doula services I immediately sensed her genuine, whole-hearted interest in validating my flame of VBA2C aspiration burning deep within. Lou honoured this flame, and she helped it roar to the fore. At times, my flame flickered and faltered. With her thoughtful messages and spoken words, Lou stoked the flame when it needed refuelling, and she encouraged it to continue burning brightly.
Geography meant that Lou was not physically present for much of my pregnancy and birthing journey, but I nonetheless felt that she was always close at hand. Via our correspondence I knew Lou was in-tune with me, that she was walking side-by-side with me – on mental, emotional and biophysical levels.
Lou has an incredible knack for providing intuition-based, grounding support, and this guided me as I moved up, over and beyond a series of hurdles faced during my pregnancy. At times, I felt like I actually smashed through these hurdles and forged ahead triumphantly, with Lou enthusiastically cheering me on.
Lou helped me to see the hurdles for what they were: medical system, socio-cultural and (admittedly!) personal stereotypes and biases that were standing between me and my VBA2C. These included stereotypes and biases associated with my age, GDM history, pelvis size, my babies not engaging during my previous two births, my tendency to carry my babies beyond their estimated due dates, and my Mother’s birthing history. Lou helped me to understand that the hurdles did not need to define and dictate my pregnancy and birthing pathway, and through negotiating each hurdle, I emerged stronger, more confident, and more resilient.
During the last few weeks of my pregnancy Lou and I communicated frequently via SMS and phone. Lou reinforced my birthing confidence through affirming and elevating the positive experiences and thoughts that I shared. Importantly, she also acknowledged and normalised my challenging experiences and thoughts, which meant that I did not hold onto or bury them, but accepted and ultimately moved beyond them.
In working with her intuition, Lou honoured and brought to the fore my own intuition. She encouraged me to appreciate, tap into and realise my innate birthing power. On a practical, biophysical level this meant that my husband and I worked together to manage stage 1 labour at home – with Lou driving almost 2 hours (in the middle of the night!) to support us during the last hour and a half of this stage.
By the time I made the decisive, intuition-led call that I was ready to head to the hospital, my birthing momentum was unstoppable. As we entered the birthing suite my body and baby propelled rapidly and confidently into stage 2. Somehow, Lou managed to photograph a series of precious birthing memories and experiences for us, even though my baby and I afforded her minimal time in which to do this, such was the strong momentum of our birthing ride! And as I helped my baby squeeze her way into the world, Lou provided a welcome hand to squeeze, which assisted me in drawing upon the full force of my primal birthing power.
How do I explain my strong, unstoppable birthing momentum? I’m not really sure. I guess there were many factors at play. But one thing I do know is that about two weeks out from our birth, Lou sent through this knowing message: “Baby will choose the right time to make their way”.
I suspect this message entered the core of my being; I simply couldn’t get it out of my head, so it had to be assimilated by my body. In turn, perhaps this meant that my bub knew I trusted and believed in her intrinsic wisdom – so when the time came for her to emerge we completed our birthing journey together, boldly and boisterously, with the support of my husband, Doula Lou, our doctor and midwives alongside.
For me, this was perhaps the most rewarding journey I will ever complete; led by hope and courage, reaching deep into my birthing ancestry and beyond, redefining my personal birthing story, and allowing me to understand the power of the primal and sacred birthing ‘song’.
Deep gratitude to you, Doula Lou, for sustaining us on this very special birthing journey – a wondrous, uplifting journey from VBA2C aspiration to realisation.
Photograph by Documenting Motherhood.
Doula Lou – Albury Wodonga.