Before Alyssa and I had any kids of our own, I was skeptical of anything medical outside of a physician's advice and avoided blood and body fluid, even in conversation. Yet, when my wife was going to give birth with our first child, I wanted to be somewhat involved--but I did not know how.
I was one of those guys who really looked forward to having kids. Kids are fun, unique, and together with you and your spouse can form a loving and warm family. Sounds great, right? But at the time I didn't think about the journey my future wife would embark on in order to get the little one out of the womb and onto dry land.
With our first child, Wesley, we took a birthing class, practiced breathing, and even used visualizations to walk though possible childbirth scenarios. I'll be honest, it was REALLY boring, like using every excuse possible to get out of coming to the classes with her--until I realized how helpful it was for me to understand all about what Alyssa and our growing baby were going through, medically and emotionally. It helped create a connection between Alyssa and I that was not there before. I learned a ton through the class and became much more capable at supporting Alyssa, but we both wanted a doula for the birth.
When my wife first approached me about hiring a doula it honestly felt like an unnecessary expense and something I could take care of myself. When the intensity of labor began all of the things we learned in birth class kind of fell by the wayside. Our doula stepped in and gently reminded me of all the ways I could support my wife through labor. Because of our doula I had confidence in my ability to serve my wife effectively during the birth experience. If we have another, it's pretty obvious that a doula is a must. " Rivera
Husband + Doula?
I'm a hardworking and determined person, but when I thought about the fast approaching moment in which my wife was soon to give birth, I was SO relieved to know we had a doula that we BOTH trusted very much! Having a doula at our son's birth allowed me to focus on Alyssa's needs every moment. The doula acted as a massage guru, advocate of my wife, and overall catalyst to ensure that Alyssa's (and mine) wishes were met. Best of all the doula was able to help us stay calm whenever we'd get worried or anxious. I felt like I could be as directly or indirectly involved as I wanted, and that our doula would help us regardless.
In our case, I wanted to be involved more hands-on and our doula focused on answering questions, relaying options, suggesting labor positions, and communicating knowledgeably with medical staff together with us. In the distractions of the moments surrounding the birth, I felt like I forgot about 60% of everything I had learned about childbirth from our class. Yet, with the help of our doula I was empowered to be even more helpful to Alyssa in an environment of decisions, contractions, waiting, and uncertainty. Doulas help women have their very best birth possible while not getting in the way, and as a husband, I want nothing less for my own wife.
I originally thought that having a doula would mean that I was second-place and the doula was the real supporter of my wife. Exactly the opposite was true. Doulas believe (as does my wife, Alyssa) that first-string support is the partner's role. And even in cases where the husband or partner is a bit weary of getting hands-on with the birthing process, doula's are there to empower husbands to do their very best in supporting their wife in ways they already feel equipped to do so.
And by the way, Dads or Dads-to-be, there is nothing like seeing your own child be born!
"We've had a doula at all 3 of our births, and I would never consider not having a doula there. Having a doula makes me to look like Superdad to my wife, and lets me focus on what really matters...HER. " Lawrence Hauptly, D.C.
So much thanks to Lindsey Rrivera at Born Photography for sharing these stunning images of Guy's supporting their partners!
~Colin Moulton is Dad of two adventure loving kids and husband to the love of life, Alyssa. By day he is a software and program manager junkie and when not working you'll find him blending up a mean smoothie in the kitchen, biking with his family and dreaming up new business ideas. ~
Autumn Alyssa, CHD is a Birth and Postpartum Doula serving women and families from Bountiful to Provo in Davis, Salt Lake & Utah Counties