10 Jun I’m A Doula And I Asked For An Induction
Would it surprise you to hear that when doulas have babies, some of them choose the same interventions that you do? That even for a doula, unmedicated/intervention free birth isn’t always the right answer.
Today, I have the pleasure of sharing the experience of a doula friend and colleague of mine. One who made choices based on what her instincts were telling her to do…
Kristina! Want to introduce yourself to us?
Hey all, I am Kristina McMurtrey. I am your typical Seahawks fanning, kitchen dance partying, Pacific Northwest exploring, sometimes jogging, emoji loving wife and mom. I’m also an area doula and lately I’ve been pouring my energy into my doula agency, North Cascade Doulas, located in Bellingham, WA!
Recently, you were telling me about your second birth experience and there were some compelling things about it. What felt most signifigant to you?
Yes! The main thing that I walked away with was feeling so grateful that I acknowledged my own needs for this specific birth. My first birth went south quickly, which was physically and emotionally traumatic. This led to a lot of anxiety ahead of this second birth!
I needed to know that this time I would be safe, and that my care team would be ready more quickly, should things become unsafe again. My anxiety was real and I didn’t want that to hinder my labor’s progression.
So I asked for an elective induction with my son. And I look back on his labor feeling extreme gratitude and a sense of power. From the time active labor started to when he was in my arms was ridiculously fast. It felt like a tornado going through me, yet I always felt in control!
Ok, so an elective induction! In some circles that might seem like a bold move. Why was it important to you to have this level of control over your labor?
People seem to have this impression that doulas are all anti-intervention and only have home births. Not me. I fully support those who want that for themselves, but this was my birth. My call. I needed to do what would help me feel safe, should things go south again.
My husband also had some trauma after my daughter’s birth that was intensifying his anxiety leading up to our son’s birth. He and I both felt that a planned induction would lead to the most control and safety, which is what we needed.
My first birth included a difficult labor process, necessary but painful interventions, followed by a hemorrhage that led to the need for blood transfusions. For my second birth, I needed to know that we had a planned net of safety, should I have another hemorrhage. My instincts led me to my choice of elective induction and I couldn’t be more grateful.
What a story, Kristina! I’ve never really understood why people feel the need to have opinions on another person’s birth decisions, but they do, don’t they? How did that go for you?
It did caused some raised eyebrows in my community because it wasn’t viewed as medically necessary, but it was the right choice for me.
There were several people who questioned my choice to be induced. I’m not sure if they were just being critical or simply being curious. Some of the questions felt very judgemental but at that point both my husband and I didn’t really care.
As we were deciding what we wanted to do, we thought through what others might say. People always have opinions. We surprised some people but were okay with that. We constantly reminded ourselves that they didn’t know, nor did they need to know the whole story. We are still so glad that didn’t feel the need to justify ourselves.
I’m so impressed with your resolve to follow your instincts. And thrilled at the positive experience you had! Any last thoughts for those who might be making a tough decision in their pregnant or parenting life right now?
I think sometimes we need to be reminded that we are the only ones who know the whole story. That when people pass judgement it’s because they aren’t walking in your shoes.
I knew that I needed to make a choice that could be made with confidence. What was right for me then, isn’t necessarily right for everyone and I had to accept that people were probably going to give me their unsolicited opinion.
My advice: You do you! And don’t apologize for it!
What an important reminder to follow your instincts, even when they seem to “go against the norm” or lead you down an unexpected path. Thank you Kristina.
For more information on unbiased doula support north of the Seattle area, Kristina and her team at North Cascade Doulas has your back!
Doulas Northwest: Seattle | Tacoma | JBLM | Olympia
North Cascade Doulas: Bellingham | surrounding areas