A Birth Story: Tracey Thomas
Latham’s recent experience working with a VBAC patient and her doctor inspired me to share my experience having a doctor/doula combo while giving birth to my son Chase in September of 2016. Thank you for allowing me to share this with other mamas and mamas-to-be!
When I became pregnant for the second time, a wonderful and exciting feeling of entering a familiar territory came over me. My husband and I had a great childbirth nearly three years prior with my first son, and it seemed that we had much less to learn the second time around.
Working full time while raising a preschooler, I did not have the luxury of being able to share every kick and craving of my second pregnancy on social media and mommy forums. But I knew exactly what I wanted for my second birth. l wanted to enjoy every moment of the miracle taking place in my body.
I was extremely lucky to have one of the most sought after concierge doctors in South Florida as my obstetrician. Dr. Lanalee Sam is an amazing woman and mother; she is also attentive and experienced. That was reassuring for a busy professional mom like me. So when Dr. Sam opened the conversation of inviting a doula to be a part of my childbirth, I was surprised. That just didn’t resonate as traditional doctor speak (I always thought it was a doula or doctor).
To be clear, Dr. Sam is all about the virtues of advanced medicine and how it can promote a healthy childbirth under many circumstances. Although I was having a healthy pregnancy, Dr. Sam explained that a doula would provide me with constant support, and she would be a personal advocate for the type of labor and delivery I wanted. That sounded incredibly empowering.
Dr. Sam recommended our doula to us, Chanice Ford of Concierge Doulas. My husband and I first met with Chanice in our home. She explained the role of a birth doula (there are also prenatal and postpartum doulas, but Chanice would be our birth doula and assist during the labor and delivery). In her second visit to our home, she helped us design our birth plan and talked about our desires, fears, and expectations for childbirth. By the end of our time together, she seemed more like a BFF than a health consultant.
That feeling did not change throughout my pregnancy. Chanice provided everything from advice to motivation, affirmations, and companionship. In short, she was a blessing that I didn’t even realize I needed. She understood pregnancy, and she had grown to fully understand me as well. I had my own pregnancy expert on call who allowed the experience to be completely about me and my baby
With Chanice’s support, I was able to fully labor at home using breathing techniques and affirmations that she taught me. At nine centimeters along, my husband and I met Dr. Sam and Chanice at the hospital. Chanice had prepared the room with soft lighting and music; she also gave me a massage as I waited a short time for delivery. It all felt very beautiful and organic with my husband my by side, relaxed, and enjoying the essence of moment. Chanice was neither too attentive nor inattentive, just offering a reassuring presence for whenever I wanted her support.
In just a short time, it was time to deliver our new baby. Within a few pushes and surrounded by an incredible team, my second son was born. I ending up not having an epidural or other pain medication or interventions, which was part of our birth plan. It was the perfect combination of Dr. Sam’s expertise and Chanice’s support that made the experience not only exactly what we wanted, but truly memorable and empowering. My husband and I were grateful to know that every choice we made during the pregnancy was absolutely well worth it.
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