Katy Perry: The Unexpected Auditory Doula

katy_perry_roarImagine my surprise last weekend when, as I was pulling up to the Starbucks drive-thru to collect my Americano on my way to day two of doula training, I became acutely aware of the song coming at me through the radio and realized something unexpected.

Katy Perry has written an amazing labor anthem.

No, I don’t mean labor like unions and collective bargaining; I mean labor like contractions and pushing and gritting teeth and making rather novel sounds while escorting a small new human out of one’s body.

The song, if you haven’t yet guessed it, is “Roar.” Continue reading


It Takes a Village to Raise a Doula

Asleep After DancingThis is a post of gratitude.

In May of this year, I tried a crowdfunding experiment using the site GoFundMe. I’ve always been intrigued by Kickstarter and the like; it’s such an interesting model. You spread the investment across a broad number of people, cutting each individual’s financial risk. People get to sign on to help support causes in which they believe, or new product development of interest to them, with no more capital investment than a nice lunch or couple of books or a pair of shoes.

I figured, and then confirmed, that that same functionality was available for personal funding goals. I sat back and looked at the screen for a few minutes, thinking, “Can I do this? SHOULD I do this? Is this something I really want to try?” And then I took a deep breath and signed up. Continue reading

Welcoming the Colonel: My Birth Story – Part 3

I bet you thought I was never going to get back to this, eh? Yeah, me either! So, there are a few challenges with documenting the last part of this now. One of which being that my brain sort of went on vacation during the whole thing, and the other being that it’s now been almost eight months since the mighty occurrence. Side note to expectant Moms: Blog now, if thou bloggest, for thou shalt not get much time to blog after thy infant arriveth. Thy infant is DEMANDING. But, I shall do my best to finish the story and I’m sure you’ll get the gist of the whole thing. Hint, it ends with a BABY.

So, at the end of my last birth story post, I was on the toilet in our labor and delivery suite, gripping the bar on the wall with great enthusiasm and lots of animal noises that hilariously filtered directly through the HVAC system to the waiting room where my brother was likely slowly growing more and more pale. Oh, and I was starting to push a little, which felt so good against those pesky contractions. Ron and Tammy were in the bathroom with me, and Crystal was popping in every so often to check on The Colonel, whose steady heartbeat would indicate continued to have just a jolly old time with this whole experience.

At this point, the contractions were pretty much relentless. There was basically no break between them. Maybe long enough to take a sip of water, catch my breath, and then hoo-boy, it was time to deal with another wave of “holy cow, WHAT IS MY BODY DOING?” Was it pleasant? No, not particularly. Did it hurt? Yes, you could say that. Was it the most awful awfulness ever? No, probably not. Did I ever think, “I should’ve taken the drugs?” Nope, not for a second. Would I do it again the same way? Absolutely. Even given that, was there a point at which I literally thought, “This is too much. I want to run away?” Yeah, there was. Did I do exactly what Tammy said I might and actually vocalize at one point that, “I don’t think I can do this anymore?” Yes, I did. And yes, at that point, she gently reminded me, just as she promised she would, that I WAS doing it. And I had to give it to her that she was right. I totally was doing it. Running away wasn’t an option. Also, doulas are awesome. They should be fully covered by insurance, required by law, and given exotic flowers every day for the immensely important service they provide. Continue reading

Welcoming the Colonel: My Birth Story – Part 2

This is the second part of my birth story with The Colonel, at least as I remember it. My memory gets a bit fuzzy in spots, probably because of all the coping going on with the completely drug-free labor I signed myself up for. OMG, THE COPING. If you missed the first part, here it is. Oh, and the disclaimer I laid out in the first post still stands.

So, where were we? Oh right, I was all checked in to triage, dilated to four centimeters and 80-90% effaced and we were headed for a labor and delivery suite. A corner suite, I found out, which sounded cool until I got in there and realized: 1) It’s just another room, and 2) I, quite literally, had other pressing matters and could’ve cared less about the desirability of my room’s location.

No sooner had I gotten in the room and another contraction hit. I leaned over the bed and let it pass, realizing as I stared down at the blanket that The Colonel was going to be born here. Crystal, our L&D nurse, started asking me questions between contractions. Couldn’t for the life of me tell you what they were, but I think I gave the right answers. I remember she kept referring to the baby as “Colonel,” rather than “The Colonel,” (such as “Colonel sounds good” and “I’m just going to see how Colonel’s doing”) and I remember thinking, “that’s WRONG.” But, I give her credit for rolling with our baby’s nickname. Continue reading

Welcoming The Colonel: My Birth Story – Part 1

The Colonel is almost eight weeks old now. I can’t believe it. The time has flown by. It makes me slightly fearful for how quickly she’s going to go from being my squalling little newborn baby to a young lady I have to send off into the world.

I’ve recently spent quite a bit of time reading through post after excellent post on NPR’s “The Baby Project.” The posts included several birth stories, which, to varying degrees, were viscerally familiar. I realized I wanted to write my birth story, too, at least as I remember it. I’m not going to try to do it all at once, but here’s the first installment: how my labor began and our morning at home before heading to the hospital. Continue reading