The Doula And The Placenta

I have been looking for a good image to go with this blog for about 25 minutes and I need to stop.  Let's just say when you're looking for artistic/pretty doula images there are a lot of water colour paintings of women with rainbows coming our of their vaginas.

These are all legit pictures that come up when you search for doula art.  Ana didn't want a doula but I did and since I am the one pushing the baby out of my vagina I get final say.  I also made a fairly good argument that having a doula would mean that she got to nap more.

A doula is sort of like a personal attendant during your birthing time, by birthing time I mean labour, but since Hypnobabies I don't call it that anymore because fear clearing, granola, and rainbow vaginas.  A doula can help make things calmer, she is trained in different positions for helping to relieve pain, she has seen many births and knows the general flow of things, and she can also advocate for your birthing choices.  All of those sounded like good things to me, but the main reason I wanted one, is that the more trained professionals (who aren't going to cut me open, or induce me) around me during my birthing times the better.  When I get scared about turbulence on an airplane I look towards the flight attendants.  If they're not freaking out I'm good, they've seen it all.  I want my doula to be my flight attendant who is calm even when I'm not.  Ana is convinced she can be my flight attendant but the thing is she's never been present at a birth.  I have no doubt she'll be calm.  She is really good at calm, but how can I trust her calm?  I couldn't trust a flight attendant who had never been on an airplane. 

Apparently flight metaphors are rampant in birthing because a mom at one of my works was telling me that during her birthing time she was freaking out and didn't think she could do it.  Her doctor said to her, it's too late, you're a pilot and now the plane is up in the air, and you're going to have to land it one way or another.  Landing the plane is birthing the baby.

I should say there are a lot of reasons to hire a doula that have nothing to do with being anxious about birth.  They are associated with lower rates of c-sections, pain medication, induction and the list goes on and on.  Anyway, so I won the doula debate and we interviewed a few doulas that were recommended.  I have never interviewed doulas before but my midwife said to make sure whoever we picked was in line with our birthing philosophy.  I wasn't sure what our birthing philosophy was so Ana suggest we ask them their birthing philosophy and see if we liked the answer.  I decided on the second one we interviewed and it had nothing to do with her birthing philosophy.  They all kind of said the same thing when we asked them that, birth is beautiful and natural, support the partner to support you, Ina May blah blah blah. 

I liked the second one because she was funny and a good story teller.  Once again I won because I am the pregnant one.  It will be weird when I am no longer pregnant and we go back to the standard power dynamic in our relationship.  It helped that this particular doula did placenta encapsulation and Ana has been trying to get me to eat my placenta forever.

When I say forever, I do mean for a really long time.  She definitely brought it up before we started trying to conceive.  Maybe not on our first, or second date, but I think within the first year of us dating.  She wants to eat her placenta, when she has a baby, so I just think her enthusiasm boils over into wanting everyone to eat their placenta.  If you don't know what a placenta is, it's actually really badass.  It's the organ your body grows just to support baby and it's full of blood, vitamins, and hormones.  You birth it after you birth the baby.

Anyway, Ana wanted me to eat it and I was totally grossed out by the idea.  Most mammals do eat their placentas but we're not most mammals.  Some differences: we cook our food, we drive cars, we wear clothes, and we don't eat our placentas.  To me eating the placenta was like a little bit of cannibalism... self cannibalism... like masturbation of the cannibalistic world.  Gross.  Try not to get a mental picture of that. 

I told Ana that the only way I would do it was if she could somehow trick me into eating eat so I didn't know.  She ran a bunch of ideas past me and finally was like, what about in a lasagna?  That was a great idea because it's not like I pay real close attention to the individual components of a lasagna.  Turns out a lot of other people had the same idea.  There was even a recipe for placenta lasagna in Women's Health http://www.womenshealthmag.com/mom/placenta-recipes.

Don't worry this is just normal lasagna... as far as I know.

Don't worry this is just normal lasagna... as far as I know.

The only flaw in this plan is that Ana has never once made me lasagna so, when the day after baby's birth, she suddenly has this delicious Italian treat ready for me, I would be suspicious and not fooled.  Doubly so because we discussed the placenta lasagna option beforehand.  In enters our doula the hero who does placenta encapsulation.  So now I can pop a pill of placenta instead of eating it.  A pill I can do.  Even if I am not totally sold on the benefits of eating placenta I take so many pills these days what's another one?  To be clear I mean vitamins.  I take like 7 or 8 vitamins a day.

Also, I am 37 weeks as of today which means 3 weeks left till my guess date, which is Hypnobabies for due date.  I am really excited and also not working anymore.  I will tell you more about Hypnobabies and my baby shower in the next post.  What I can say about the shower was that there were two things I explicitly didn't want to happen at my baby shower.  They both happened.