Birth Story Contest 2019
by Scarlete Flores-Singh
Scarlete is a mom to an adorable six-year-old girl. Midway through her pregnancy, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, triggered by her pregnancy and a hormonal imbalance. Recalling her beautiful birth story gives her peace and hope. She wrote this story for her doula, Rachel.
At midnight, our doula, Rachel, rushed to the bath where I lay helpless. Immediately, she held my hand, and her energy enveloped me in an instant. There was calm as she told me, "It's all right, I'm right here." She squeezed my hand; I squeezed hers back.
My husband, who has been an amazing partner throughout, was on the phone trying to get a hold of our midwife. I could sense his pulse and his breath quickening as he tried to stay calm. He was pacing to and fro, speaking in a whisper.
I felt the need to scream. The walls around me were too thin, they wouldn't have contained it. My contractions were so strong, it felt like my entire body might explode. Closing my eyes only brought the pain into focus.
But then I felt my doula’s gentle touch.
I looked at her. I stared deeply into her eyes and squeezed her fingers with the strength of a lion. She took it in. My pain travelled from my bump all the way to her hands. She took in so much that she forgot to take off her wedding ring; I nearly crushed it. She took it off.
When our midwife finally arrived, we learned that my daughter was crowning, so we called an ambulance.
Through everything, I wanted to push. I wanted to give birth right there and then. Despite my best efforts to get dressed, my hands kept pulling my pants down.
"I'm doing this here! Now!"
"No you're not," said my midwife, pulling my pants back up.
I understood. We had planned for a hospital birth for many reasons, including my struggle with mental health. My midwife was right.
My doula, too, was right. She stood by me through it all. Everyone was busy but she focused solely on me. I had her full attention. I think she swallowed all of my anxieties because throughout that night, I felt a sense of calm and peaceful power. All of my fear, all of my insecurity, all of my uncertainty was gone, nowhere to be found.
The ambulance came. I arrived at the hospital with my husband and met her at the doors. We were a good crew. She was on my right side, my husband on my left. Twenty minutes passed and then my daughter, my beautiful angel, arrived at last. She didn't cry for one whole day. She, like me, felt so secure in this world, with these people. My daughter was welcomed by an amazing community and my doula was an integral part of it.
I could never have had such an amazing pregnancy and birth without the help of one of the most empathetic people I know: my doula.