by Bill Ludlam
A Doula Dad. Is thatwhat I am? Wow, all these years of being
a man and I’m now a proud doula dad. Is
that even a term? I don’t know, but what
I do know is that I have a different sense of pride as a father that I’ve never
had before. I feel more a part of something
than I’ve ever felt a part of before in my life.
Yeah, I know, it’s the ladies that have the children and we
are suppose to be the supportive one, but I also know deep down inside we as
men also feel the need to be involved as much as we can.
I also believe that is the reason most men may feel
intimidated by a doula. They, “men”,
feel like they may be pushed to the side and may feel they are being
replaced. THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT
ALL. My secret is …If anything the doula
may actually be there more for the Dad than the Mom.
Let me explain.
When my wife first
brought up the fact that she wanted to use a doula, I was mystified by what a
doula was and thought “Oh My”, what journey is she wanting to take us on now? So, as any good husband, I started to quietly
investigate while being supportive at the same time. I was actually looking for any reason I could
argue the fact that we didn’t need a doula because I was the husband/father,
and surely I could handle anything that my beautiful wife needed help with
along the journey. After all, this was
not my first rodeo, I had two other children!
What I found out was (through my manly investigating) was
the fact that my wife was seeking support that I, as a man, could in no way
provide. The support I talk about is the
type of support a girl needs with anything in life when she needs to reconfirm
her own thoughts. Much like they do with
their girl friends.
Yes, bringing a baby into the world is a natural event and regardless
of what is done, the baby will come when the baby comes and regardless of what
anyone does, bam…he/she will arrive screaming and kicking. That part is totally out of our hands.
However, being a good mother or father is a totally
different matter all together. There are
things to plan. Things to think about
and questions that will be asked that have to be answered. Everything from pre-birth plans, birth plans
to after-birth plans. These are the things that most of guys just take for
granted and are the very sounding board that a doula gives Mom.
The knowledge and experience a doula brings to the table
include many things. Among a few is
knowledge, experience, education, having first hand knowledge with all the many
complications and how to deal with them as well as the comfort and support from
the first pressure wave (like that? that’s what my wife said I was to refer to
contractions as!) to the last (labor and birth). In a sense, they are your own personal “Google”. Your own personal, “go to with any question
that you may have”. That person that has
the answers and gives you the comfort mom needs when the 10 mins they spent at
the doctors office doesn’t answer all the questions she may have had. Doula’s are the support mom needs to feel in
control of their situation. Yes guys,
moms of course have our hand to squeeze the living heck out of and we know we
will do everything we need to do when we are asked; but that comfort of truly
being in the game at the moment that fear and uncertainty hit is the difference
between comfort and peace.
Now, back to why I’m a doula Dad, and why my misconceptions
of doulas were wrong.
I’m a guy. By nature we want control. We want to think we have all the
answers. After all we are the protectors
of our family.
I would imagine that
most guys would think a doula was replacing them. Pushing them off to the side and taking their
place during that special moment between he and his wife. THIS IS SO NOT THE CASE.
My wife’s doula, was probably more my doula than hers. The doula gave each of us the comfort and
peace that we both needed. The journey
between me, my wife and our doula began when we met and ran through the course
of our nine months, our labor and delivery.
But it did not stop there, it carried on after we came home, our
questions were still answered. We not
only had our own personal “Google”, but we also had a new friend. Not one that comes and goes, but someone that
is, and always will be, a special person in our lives.
I found that I had as many questions as my wife did
throughout the whole process; questions that were probably polar opposite than
that of my wife.
Guys, there is a lot for us to do! Our doula, I found, had
all the answers I needed. The answers I assumed I would have as a prideful man
were often answered by our doula. All
the way down to where the coke and snake machines were located.
Our doula was not in
my way. She was my way. She gave me guidance when I asked for it and
was never in my way. She gave me breaks
when I needed it and my hand never left my sweet wife’s hand. I felt as if I had someone that was holding
my hand as I held my wife’s hand. My
wife knew I was calm and safe as she worked to bring our son into the world;
she had her support and I had mine.
I AM A DOULA DAD.