Hey everyone. I spent quite a bit of time getting to know many of the doulas in Pueblo this year. I thought it would be fun to let you get to know them too! First up is Emmy Harmon. She an Lacey Albrecht make up Your Birth Story Doula and Birth Services.
Tell me a little about yourself as a person?
I am pretty reserved until I get to know people. But once I do I am pretty open. I am also pretty open minded and flexible.
If you feel comfortable, would you tell us a bit about the births of your children?
My first was induced at 41 weeks. I was “allowed” to labor for only 8 hours by my OB. He decided that I needed a section with no distress or other factors that made vaginal birth impossible. With my second I was much more educated on what my options were and opted to drive 1 hour each way for prenatal care and birth so that I could have a VBAC. I went into labor at 39 weeks and achieved my VBAC, though there were many other factors that made me unhappy with that experience. My third child was an unintentional unassisted home birth. When we realized that my labor was progressing rapidly we didn't have time to make the hour drive to the hospital and our local hospital has a ban on VBAC'S so going there was not an option for us. My 4th child was also induced. I had some health issues that made continuing the pregnancy past 37 weeks very risky. At just under 37 weeks I was induced. As I progressed my babys heart rate was dipping drastically during contractions but recovering well in between. When I was checked for dilation the nurses and my OB found little fingers in the way. Despite efforts to move the fingers back, baby’s entire hand ended up coming out of my cervix ahead of her head. At that point continuing to labor became dangerous and we opted for a cesarean.
Why did you become a doula?
I became a Doula because of my own birth experiences. I trained as a doula after my first VBAC. I realized that having an experience that families were pleased with could be very difficult without the support of someone more knowledgeable and experienced with birth.
What was different about the reality of doula work, that you thought would be different?
It is very difficult to create a birthing community when so few people are aware of their options. Many are also unaware of what a doula is or does.
What do you love now that you didn’t expect to love about being a doula?
I love being able to help families have birthing experiences that more closely align with their vision of birth. Sometimes things don't go as planned but that doesn't mean it can't be a positive experience.
What free advice would you have to give to a pregnant woman to help prepare herself for birth?
Research everything. Be informed because you are the one in charge of your birth.