In light of this second pregnancy, one of the pertinent thoughts in my head is the need for a Doula. Up until coming to Chapel Hill in 2008, I had never even heard of the term. Now with March drawing closer, she is one of the people I can’t stop thinking about.
In Manila there is no need for a Doula, because you have extended family, friends, and household help (maids) and yayas that are there from the time you are pregnant, up to 10 years after. Plus you have very strict rules in hospitals when it comes to the birthing procedures. Here, extended family members sometimes have to fly over as needed, and not many have household help that stay in their homes 24-7. I don’t know about other cities, but specifically at the UNC Midwives practice at the UNC Women’s Hospital, they are very supportive of alternative birth partners. (Side note: I’d have to say I think my husband should be the only other person in the labor room with me, other than the necessary medical staff of course. AFTER though at home, a doula is My Mommyology heaven).
In our area I found Triangle Mothercare, which caters to postpartum care for new moms. They sent us KK, and she was (is!) an absolute angel.
Each time she came, I had 4 hours of happy bliss. She would arrive at 8:30AM, get Sam from me, and then I would disappear into the room to shower and sleep. She’d only wake me if Sam needed to be breastfed, or if not, then I could sleep until she left at 12:30nn, just in time for lunch. By some miracle, when I’d wake up, I’d find the laundry had been done and folded, the room tidied up, a complete meal on the table (that would last me and my husband maybe about 3 meals in total), and the baby snoring peacefully in her Pack ‘n Play.
But more than that, KK was (is!) one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met. I learned so much from her too, that no book nor any other person has told me about caring for a newborn, information she culled from her vast experience as a Doula. Priceless really. Beyond our contract, she also stayed in touch via email and would make social visits every now and then to see how we were. She became family to us here and I absolutely loved it.
I’ve already confirmed KK for March, and I am quite excited to have her back in our weekly routine!