The Birthing Room Rookie Chronicles, Vol. I: The Power of Empowerment


“Everyone out, I have to check her….”

Almost 10 years ago, I found myself in a labor and delivery room with Salsa music blasting in the background while six of my closest friends and family members laughed and roamed freely around my L&D suite.  A good time was being had by all!  All except me, that is.  This time has come to be etched in my memory as The Puerto Rican Takeover!  While I love and cherish my loud and boisterous family, little did I know my labor would rival any Latina family’s New Year’s Eve celebration!  This was only one of the many things I was not prepared for that day, but that is a different story!

This is what it felt like in the L&D room!
This is what it felt like in the L&D room!

“…I was far from okay.”

Meanwhile, with each Salsa beat and guffaw that passed, I found myself getting more and more anxious.  Was I anxious about the impending birth of my daughter?  Hell yes!  More than that, I was anxious about all the excess energy in the room!  When the nurse came in to check the monitors, she gave a bit of a side-eye to my entourage and asked if I was okay.  I smiled and said, “Yes, of course!”  but I was far from okay.  I was panicking inside at this point.  My mind was screaming, my heart was racing, I was sure to snap at any minute and then, the nurse came in again and announced, “Everyone out, I have to check her!”  Never in my life have I been so happy to have a stranger put her fingers in my vagina!  I didn’t care about that;  I didn’t even notice!  What I did notice was that blissful sound permeating the room:  SILENCE!  Oh sweet silence, how I had missed thee!  Why had I not done that sooner? (Kicking everyone out, not the vaginal exam!)  In a time when I had needed it the most, my voice had left me.  But in that brief instance of getting the peace I so desperately needed, I found the one thing I could not live without:  my voice.  As circumstances would have it, more pressing issues came up and my entourage thinned out of necessity, but I was fully prepared to protect my birth space at any cost.

That was definitely a rookie birthing room mistake I would not make again!  More importantly, I came away from that experience with some valuable lessons:

  1. Even though you love your family, you don’t have to always share every experience with them.  Birth is not necessarily a team sport.
  2. Protect your birth space; it’s yours and it’s sacred.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use your voice; you have it for a reason. AND
  4. Sometimes it takes a little outside help to get you back on track, and that’s okay.

That last reason is partly why I became a doula in the first place.  There is nothing more empowering than recognizing the strength you have within yourself!  Having experienced it first hand, I would wish nothing less for you in your own journey to motherhood and beyond!

For more information about A Beautiful Creation Doula, please visit www.abeautifulcreationdoula.com

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