Two nights ago, I posted on Facebook an article for a friend that I found on positive speech and thinking when you are preparing for natural childbirth. I told her that I thought it would be great reading as she prepares for her hospital waterbirth- which will be her first drug free childbirth! (I was so excited for her- I remember how amazing my first natural birth was following my hard epidural and pitocin filled first birth... I felt SO empowered and I couldn't wait for her to feel the same kind of strength and healing!)
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. I was sitting in Starbucks with my friend Kate having a Passion Tea when I mentioned the article to her! I thought Kate would enjoy it, since she is in grad school to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. I mentioned that I posted it on my friend's wall and how excited I was that she was getting so close to her due time.
Kate asked me if I had seen her response to me on Facebook. No, I hadn't.
I pulled up Facebook and read her response.
The condensed version was that she was no longer planning a hospital waterbirth for a number of reasons. The hospital required there to be someone there to put up and take down the pool, within an hour of birth. The birth pool rental was more than they could afford, and if that wasn't enough, I knew already that she wished she could have a doula, but that was financially out of the question, as well.
She said that she was still planning on a natural, drug free, intervention free birth- that she could labor in the shower and bathtub at the hospital, but did not have the choice to deliver in water.
And as soon as I read that, it struck a cord in me.
I got to hire the perfect midwife. Get the awesome birth tub. Have the amazing doula. Have the fantastic birth photographer. I got to have MY perfect birth experience- a virtually pain free waterbirth and a beautiful postpartum recovery.
How lucky am I? How blessed. We could afford those things- and I had a supportive family and network of friends.
Does my friend not deserve a doula? The opportunity to give birth in water if that is what feels right to her? Why should being able to have the birth experience you long for be available to one, but financially out of reach for another?
I left Starbucks and got on the phone with my friend Jessica, who is working towards becoming certified through DONA- a doula in training... that was my first phone call. She's done a few births and I knew she could use more. I asked if she were available to attend a mother for free or reduced cost, since I knew she was already volunteering her services for teen mothers through the YWCA, but I was hoping she would be available!
Jessica immediately jumped on board and offered her services as a doula- for free.
I told her my other issue- finding a birth tub that wasn't totally unaffordable.
She mentioned that a mutual friend, Jade, had a La Bassine birth tub from her hospital water birth that she rented out occasionally. I got home, got my kids in the house, and picked up the phone to call Jade- right then, my phone rang.
It was Jade.
I immediately launched into telling Jade what I was trying to do- find an affordable birth pool. She offered hers up immediately at no cost. All I needed to do was purchase a liner and a hose to fill it.
Do you see the puzzle pieces coming together?! By this point, I was SO excited.
Not only did we have a doula, but we had a birth pool! I decided to buy the hose and liner myself, as her baby gift from me. I called to tell her the good news!
I believe she was excited, a little overwhelmed, maybe a little shell shocked. :) She would get the opportunity to have her waterbirth... AND she had a doula. I would encapsulate for her, since I am training to be a CPES- and I offered to watch my doula friend's children and my pregnant friend's child, just to eliminate that worry, as well.
A little while later that night, Jade called me back. She told me about a mom she'd met at a breastfeeding group, who was having a hard time maintaining her supply for her 3 week old baby. She'd ordered Domperidone from Canada and was hoping it would make a difference- she was pumping like mad, taking supplements, only to get a few ounces. She is essentially supplementing formula with breastmilk- not what she wanted for her baby. Jade is already pumping for another mom, but she thought of me.
She asked if I would be willing to pump, anything was better than nothing, for this woman's baby. I said yes, absolutely.
And even better, Jade got back in touch with me again last night and told me not to buy a pool liner for our pregnant friend. The woman I am going to be providing donor milk to was giving us her pool liner (for the same kind of birth pool!), since it was unused due to her having a c-section.
So, just to recap...
In a matter of just a few hours...
A pregnant mommy went from telling me that her dream of a waterbirth was shot to having a birth pool provided, a doula volunteer her services, and a having childcare offered by the person doing her encapsulation.
A doula in training got another birth scheduled to hopefully finish her certfication- and childcare for her kids offered by the CPES in training.
The woman who offered up her birth pool found a mom to provide donor milk for a newborn whose mother was struggling to feed her.
I found a person to give milk to- and the mother of the baby I'm pumping for gave us a pool liner for my friend that is now getting to have her waterbirth with a doula!
Did you get all of that?!
Are you in awe of the power of networking as I am?
I am so proud to be part of this village of moms and birth workers...
And if my day could have gotten any better, my new Boba came.