I am a typical guy. I would not consider myself crunchy.
I love football on Sunday’s, baseball in the spring, listening to loud
music in the car (when I am by myself – when is that anymore?), and playing with
my kids. When my wife told me she wanted a Doula for the birth of
our third child, honestly, I was insulted.
“Why do you need a Doula?” “What can she do for you that I
cannot?” “Your birth partner is my role, why are you trying to
replace me?” Those are the three questions I asked my wife.
I truly did not understand why, all of a sudden, my help was no longer
needed. I assisted her with the birth of our first two
children. Did I do something wrong? Why is she just
now telling me?
My wife is a wonderful person, and having been with me 15 years now, she knew
exactly how to answer me and diffuse my bad attitude. She
explained that she was looking for someone to help me, not replace me.
As she stated, “You mean to tell me, if I labor for 6 hours, you will
never have to pee?” She also explained that, although we have two
beautiful, healthy children, she was induced with Pitocin and had two (failed)
epidurals. This time around she was determined to have a natural
birth, and a water birth on top of that. She said, “This is new to
both of us, and does it really hurt to have someone there that has experience
and a bag of tricks that will make this better for both of us?”
How could I argue that? So, begrudgingly, I agreed to meet
with a few Doulas.
Mary Gillette was the first Doula we met with. I had a bad
attitude. It showed on my face. I acted like a
complete jerk, but let me tell you…Mary didn’t bat an eye. She
answered my questions, told stories, and made me understand exactly what her
role was. When she left I knew, she was going to be our
When my wife asked me why, I said, “Mary reminded me of some of my favorite
coach’s I had when I played sports. She assured us we would win if
we were properly prepared. She had great tips and advice to
prepare for child birth, and when the day comes, she will look at us and say, ‘I
got you here, now let's go do it!’ She was not there because she
wanted to stand on the sidelines and cheer, she was going to be there to help
with moral support, physical support, if needed, and any suggestion she could to
make this birth experience exactly what you want.” And as for me,
I was very coachable and still am, I can always use someone who wants to help me
do better. All I want is my wife to have the birth experience she
dreamed about. I truly believed Mary would help us get that.
The day of the birth was quite a blur. My wife only labored for
an hour and a half. I barely had enough time to blow up the birth
tub and get the water to the minimum water line before my wife started
pushing. I don’t have a clue what we would have done without
Mary. I was in my element, fixing something, doing something
useful – preparing the tub. Mary never missed a beat.
She helped my wife and gave her the support, moral and physical, that she
needed. This birth experience, though fast, was exactly what my
wife had wanted, and I was blessed with a happy mom and beautiful baby girl.
No two birth experiences are the same. We have had three and
they have all been very different. However, I will tell you,
honestly from my perspective, Mary made this last one fantastic. I
know I could not have set up the tub and given my wife the support she
needed. Mary did not get in my way, or take over.
She supported both of us exactly as we needed. When my wife
began to push, she slid out of the way and I stepped in to support my
wife. It was a perfect transition and I will always be blessed
with knowing that Mary Gillette made this experience perfect for my wife, me,
and our new little girl.