Sunday 4 September 2011

The one in the middle brought me here

This green kangaroo is my first born son, Lucas. When he was born I knew little of these ways: that it was my choice to make it my best birth, that I had the right to be present during any and all moments with my baby, that I could demand to be informed and make informed decissions regarding procedures. My ignorance was very convenient for the hospital staff, who set up IV's, drugged, broke waters and snipped away without bothering to give us a heads up.
Going to our first post-natal pediatrician's appointment I had this apprehensive feeling of being evaluated. As if I had been given a trial period alone with the baby, and if I didn't pass they would admonish me and take him back. I made Wynn change into a more fatherly t-shirt. We got yelled at because the Critter's skin was peeling and we had mittens on his hands to prevent him from poking an eye out with his long sharp fingernails. Dr. said it was cruel, verbatim. But the nurse told us to mitten! Argh!!! The agony of listening to everyone's advice.
Later, at home, we slowly started trusting out own instincts. We stopped asking pediatricians about sleeping habits, we ignored nurses when they scheduled breastfeeding for us, realizing that Lucas and I would figure it out on our own.
Three years later, I trained to be a doula. I want to help other parents to be able to trust their instincts sooner. Doulas inform. They don't make decissions, they don't pressure. Doulas mostly keep quiet. Most importantly, they try to guard the quietness around, so that new parents can listen to themselves, and learn with their baby.  

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