I posted the thread below in some doula forums on facebook and quickly have gotten over 600 likes. Apparently, this is an important issue as I was asked to put it in a format that can be shared. Here's the post:
"I officially let the past die today.
16 years ago I had a very bad experience with an obstetrician during my own labor and delivery. It was an absolute nightmare.
I always knew that one day I would cross his path.
I didn't know what I would say but I knew it would be good. I had SO much to say. I went over different scenarios in my head a million times in 16 years.
I worked with that OB today. He hasn't change much...
But I have.
I worked with him as a professional. I served my client. I respected him. I fostered a team for her, with him.
By the time she delivered (after 17 hours), he thanked me several times for being so helpful during my client's labor and delivery. There were things I didn't like... but I never showed it. I stayed attuned to my client and completely professional and positive.
I smiled and thanked him in return....
And it felt damn good. Much better than digging up a past that no longer defines me.
#alwaysmovingforward #doularevolution #dontbringbaggage#professionalism"
The thing about letting go of the past is that you can't really write about it because then you aren't really letting go...
I am not going to rehash every detail of my birth story or speak poorly of any obstetricians.
I will say that my daughter's birth in 1999 shaped some of the local misconceptions about doulas to this very day, 16 1/2 years later.
The honest truth is, ACOG had just changed their VBAC guidelines and the OB wasn't happy about having to stay at the hospital for my entire labor...which was shaping up to be a very long OP birth. I was not a compliant patient. I was stubborn and I thought I knew everything and I was refusing everything. I can truly understand now why this OB was frustrated. I'm not excusing the way I was treated, but I have a different vantage point now.
No one understands how truly profound it was for me to work with this specific obstetrician except the doula who supported me through that very long day. I spoke to her this morning and she was beyond words she was so proud of me. She said it there would be no better news all year.
What I want you all to know, it wasn't hard. I truly am a professional... I have transformed my life and I no longer hold onto anything that happened that day. I have so much respect for Obstetricians... AS well as my clients. It doesn't serve ANYONE to walk into a labor and delivery with a chip on my shoulder. I will continue to take one day and one birth at a time. I will support my clients to the best of my abililty and will not bring my own baggage into a birth.
Thank you for reading!
Fort Worth Doula
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I had the honor of attending a meeting about vaginas last week. It was hosted by North Dallas Doula Associates. Our speaker was Shirley Jefferson, a certified sexologist and experienced sexual health educator. She is a DONA trained birth doula with North Dallas Doula Associates and serves clients in DFW as a couples sex coach.
There were nearly 20 women who got together to enjoy some wine and cheese and learn about our bodies. We indulged in cupcakes made to look like vulvas. We made nametags with our alter egos. The names that women came up with were so much fun. We giggled and talked and asked lots of questions. Many of those women were doulas and there were a few L&D nurses and a certified Nurse Midwife. No one got a perfect score on the vagina IQ test... and every single one of use learned something new. Shirley reminded us that nurses are experts in pathology and she is an expert in pleasure.
Our bodies are amazing... and it was sad to hear many of the women saying they felt sex was more of a duty than a truly pleasurable experience. There are so many ways that we can lose ourselves as women. With the many changes in our bodies and hormones...mental state, when we experience pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, weight gain, weight loss, aging... the social stigma of being a woman and espeically a mother who *GASP* enjoys sex!!
We need to know what our bodies are capable of...and find a way to truly embrace and enjoy it!!! We need to give ourselves permission and the freedom to claim what belongs to us and not be embarrassed or ashamed. We need more nights of sharing and opening up to each other. More times when we are not afraid to ask questions.
I cannot wait for the next meeting in this series!! I hope to see you there!!
Get in touch with North Dallas Doula Associates for information on more meetings like this.
And if you are on the Fort Worth side and need a doula, let me know! I'm here for you. <3
Fort Worth Doula
Abbey is a birth and postpartum doula and placenta specialist in Dallas/Fort Worth and a mom to 4 children between the ages of 21 and 7.