At 34 weeks, we knew the due date was fast approaching… But I wasn’t feeling ready to have my baby! I was tired from working too much, worrying too much, moving to a new house, not having enough time to attend all the birthing classes I thought I needed, to read all the books I wanted or to attend all the yoga classes I had imagined; I had too many doubts about trusting my body, I thought I was too old, too weak, too fearful to have a natural birth. But then, there was Kathryn…
My wife and I are not from here. We don’t have many friends locally, and no family at all. 2014 was another crazy year in a string of many. Time was ticking and we were feeling behind, a day late, a dollar short. We needed to find someone to help us to make the birth of our baby girl safe and beautiful, with the least interventions possible. We NEEDED to find someone we could trust at one of the most vulnerable moments that any woman can go through in her life. We thought we wouldn’t find anyone. But then, there was Kathryn.
We went to the Mount Diablo Doula Community’s “Meet the Doulas Night” less than two months before the due date. I went there thinking it was going to be pretty impossible to click with anyone at that point, to find someone who would inspire connectedness and trust. We wanted someone that we could feel at ease with, someone who could be a trusting hand (literally), someone who we could count on at the very moment you can really only count on yourself. Someone who could work around our emotional needs and our financial needs. And there was Kathryn: a well balanced mix of professional but casual, respectful and respectable, knowledgeable and experienced but tuned in and aware that every woman, every family and every birth is unique, deeply spiritual but rooted, earthbound. Punk rock and hippie; half witch, half fairy but above all 100% human.
After fun home visits, lively phone conversations, long detailed emails, and lastly the urgent desperate text messages, the moment finally came. I never felt that Kathryn was imposing one or another idea, but instead, always educating us, showing us all the possible paths and supporting us at every crossroad, at every decision we had to make. I never felt that Kathryn spoke for me, but that instead I spoke through her. She was able to read me and to know when I had reached my limit or when I could go further. Not to mention, Kathryn gives a great foot massage!
At that very scary moment that lasts for hours, when you are crying, screaming, laughing, cursing, there was Kathryn with a calming but firm hand, a sure voice and compassionate strength in her eyes, telling us that we could do this. And we did! Penélope was born from a vaginal birth, healthy at 41w2d.
If you’re thinking about getting a doula, do it. At the moment you most need it, at the moment you’re not sure of anything any longer, at the moment you truly believe labor will never be over, it will be a relief to look around your birth room and say to yourself: Ahhhh… There is Kathryn!!!
~ Naia, baby Penelope, and Holly