Not long after I announced I was pregnant with our first child, I noticed how quick others were to provide unsolicited advice on what I couldn’t do. There was the expected “you can’t have wine, sushi, etc.,” but I also often heard the “you can’t work like you used to” or the “you can’t work out like you used to.” And most prevalent was the “you can’t give birth without an epidural. It will just be too hard.” It is entirely possible that I would have accepted this type of defeatist messaging, had I not been fortunate enough to have had Carrie as my doula, and to have enrolled in her Hypnobabies course.
I believe it was thanks to Carrie and the work I did through Hypnobabies that, when I suddenly started having intense pressure waves at 12:30 a.m. one night, while I was still 37 weeks pregnant, I knew with complete conviction that I could deliver my baby naturally, and I would be doing it that very night. By the time my husband and I arrived at the hospital at 2 a.m., I had achieved such an inward focus and deep concentration that I barely registered the faces of the various hospital staff I encountered. To this date, I don’t believe I could pick any of the nurses, doctors, or other staff that were there that night out of a lineup.
Carrie arrived shortly after, just as I was reaching transformation and experiencing the most intense pressure waves. I focused on her and she was completely focused on me – knowing exactly what techniques to use to take the edge off of the pressure waves, and giving me the confidence that I needed to cycle through the peak of each wave. Before I knew it, I had reached the pushing phase, and at 5:36 a.m., I pushed my son into this world and then held him in my hands. I don’t think there are words sufficient to describe that moment, but the closest one is euphoric.
In our society, where pregnancy and motherhood are riddled with so many cant’s, I had the privilege of starting motherhood by affirming to myself, “I did it. I can do anything.” I firmly believe that this empowering experience – likely in combination with the endorphins running through my body – made our first days at home with our son an absolute joy. It felt as if the positivity that surrounded his birth stayed with us as we experienced all of the firsts of parenthood.
If you are considering hiring Carrie as a doula, my advice is: Go for it – with her help, you will be amazed at what you can do.