With a two week old.
I like to think of myself as a very strong, determined individual. I'm scrappy and resourceful and very very ambitious. This can be both a good and bad thing.
My second child was born at the end of December after a very successful induction. I feel overwhelmingly blessed for the experience that I was able to have. The stress surrounding her birth was something that I wish that I hadn't had to go through.
Noa was due December 19th but my body has no desire to ever let my children go. If it had been fully up to me, I would have waited and let her come when she was ready. Unfortunately we were moving across the country on January 2nd. You can see where this is going.
My midwife encouraged me to allow them to induce me on the 28th as the other days were completely booked (end of the year tax babies!) and I was truly devastated. Thankfully I did have an amazing doula at the ready to hold my hand and tell me it would all be ok. And you know, it really was!
After she was born, we packed. And packed. And packed some more. The plan was that my mom and I would drive to my grandma’s house and recover for a week and then fly to our new destination. My husband would stay behind and drive down with his dad in a few days. That four-hour drive was the most uncomfortable drive of my life. The afterbirth pains were intense and as a very tall woman, I wanted to cry and scream out with how cramped I was in the car and how intense my bodily cramps were.
If I had had a doula she would have told me to slow down. When I came to her with worries and doubts about leaving our home so early (three days after giving birth) she would have nodded and encouraged me to speak with my husband. She would have made me soup and told me to stay in bed. She would have held my baby while I showered in the comfort of my own home.
But we traveled.
When we got to my grandmas, I knew immediately that we had made a mistake. My grandparents are wonderful and I couldn't have been more grateful to them for allowing us to stay in their home. But I needed my bed. I needed my pillows. I needed my husband.
My doula would have said, "it's ok to ask." She would have given me the courage to voice my concerns to my husband and ask/beg him if we could have stayed another week in our home. She would have told me it's ok to slow down and it's ok to say no.
At my grandparents house, the army of help that I had planned on, fell through. My mother got sick and my son wouldn't sleep in his own bed. I was still uncomfortable and Noa wouldn't stop crying.
My doula would have stayed awake so that I could sleep. She would have let me cry on her shoulder instead of the bathroom by myself. She would have told me that I was strong.
Before this experience, I didn't realize the importance of a comfortable postpartum experience and as soon as we walked in the door to our new home, I vowed that I would never do that again.
My doula would have beamed at me that I had made it and that it was done now. She would have let me tell her over and over how hard it was and how much I didn't want to do it again. She would have folded my laundry so that I didn't have to. And when it was done and I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I would have told her how amazing I was and she would have nodded her head in agreement.
If only I had had a doula when I moved across the country with a two week old. You live and you learn!