“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!
“…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:
- Even though you love your family, you don’t have to always share every experience with them. Birth is not necessarily a team sport.
- Protect your birth space; it’s yours and it’s sacred.
- Don’t be afraid to use your voice; you have it for a reason. AND
- 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