Our Husbands, Those De facto Doulas [Father’s Day]

Today is Father’s Day in the United States. That day when we take a few hours to honor those special folk who made our lives possible. I thought I would take few minutes to write about the man who made my family possible, my husband. As I have mentioned before, I debated if I would hire a doula for our first birth; I debated so long, that when my labor began, I still hadn’t decided and my husband became the defacto doula. He was amazing. When the midwife checked me after hours of hard labor, when I thought for sure I was at least seven centimeters dilated (aah those first births) she said, “well, you’re at two.” As I burst into tears, my husband said, “Okay let’s walk. Let’s do the stairs.” And we did; for six hours he told me, ‘just one more flight,’ just down this hallway. We’ll sit for five minutes, you’ll answer my trivia question, and then we’ll do one more stairs.’ The only reason that I didn’t lose my mind after a twelve hour labor with contractions every three minutes was because of my doula husband. Even when I hemorrhaged after the birth, he kept his cool. He only told me in passing a few weeks later, “that was a lot of blood. I was a bit concerned.” I realize that not every husband can fill the role of doula, and that makes sense. I have a friend who had six children and when I asked if her husband had come to the births, she looked at me with genuine confusion. “Why?” she asked. “He’s much more useful at home.”

Yet, for my births, I never felt like I needed, or wanted, a paid doula because my husband was always there, as my cheerleader, guide, advocate, and support. So I’m sending out a happy U.S. Father’s Day to all those husband doulas out there who have been there to welcome their children into this world. Thank you.

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