My daughter (29)is expecting our first grandchild first of Nov (not that I trust dates!) and I plan on being there for the birth. My dilemna is that I am trained as a doula(labor coach), and have assisted some of her friends in their birthings, but now that its my daughter's turn I'm worried about how to handle it! My daughter is pretty sure she wants to try natural childbirth(which I highly advocate, and yes, I've been there & done that myself more than once) but isn't ruling out taking drugs if it gets too intense. As a labor coach to anyone else I'd do my best to keep them to their birthing plan, but I can tell its going to be a different scenario when I'm dealing with her...she's going to see me as MOM before relating to me as her labor coach, and I can envision her telling me to go take a hike(not that she's ever told me that before!) at some point! Has anyone here dealt with being in a similar situation with their daughter during labor?? I hope to see her this coming weekend and want to talk this out before the time comes....she and hubby are just starting their childbirth classes, so thats good, as he knows NOTHING about the process! I know she wants him involved, and I usually talk things through with both parties so we have a clear understanding of everyone's role during this special time....I just know its going to be impossible to not have my role blur between mom/grandma & doula....anyone have suggestions on how best to handle it??
What's my role here????
I would recommend being Mom. You will have a hard time separating the roles, she will have a hard time, too. I think it would be better if you are just Mom, this time.
Then again, what do I know...I have a penis.
OldSoul (of the "men don't know s*** about birthing babies" class)
I recommend that you Not be more than Mom. That may be hard to do, but probably essential in this situation.
I agree with Old Soul. Just be Mom this time. Your training will no doubt come into play, but don't make that the first hat you wear. IMO
I really don't know the relationship you have with your daughter. Being present should suffice.
As a father and grandfather this is a great moment for the husband and wife. A time for increase bonding.
OK Now where is Scully and Joyzabel when we need them?
Golf, you mentioned something about what kind of relationship I have with my daughter maybe having some bearing on how things are handled at the birth....I do have a close relationship with her, she's my only daughter, and since becoming pg I've noticed she's calling me more, and reaching out to me in ways she hadn't before....she's VERY independent! And since she's not really aware of my working at fading out of "the truth" I've been especially worried about not putting up any red flags at this time so as to create any reason for there to be a wedge between us. She does know that I hadn't turned in time for several months, but thinks I am now,( after a WT article came out earlier this summer re: why we do turn in time). Anyway, I think I go along with everyone's opinion so far about just being MOM, maybe throwing in some helpful suggestions as things proceed....I think she expects me to be helpful, not just BE there!
Thanks so far, everyone, I appreciate the feedback!! bythesea
I was present for the birth of my granddaughter. It was a tougher delivery than any of us expected, and I cried with relief at the end. The most beautiful part was that my granddaughter's, Naomi's, first few minutes were filled with images of mommy and daddy cradling her and looking deeply in to her eyes. She was so calm.
My daughter, flush with the hormones of survival, asked why I was crying.
"I could have lost my daughter AND my granddaughter today".
She puzzled over that for a long time. I don't think she realized how close it came.
Yeah, just be the mom. Let others take the lead.
What a wonderful opportunity and blessing. Congradulations.... I was present for the birth of all three of my grandchildren.
The role of your daughter's mom and your grandbaby's grandmother are big enough roles as it is. You can still be an advocate for her in that role, without assuming professional responsibility for the situation.
My best advice would be to offer your daughter the gift of having one of your trusted colleagues be her doula. That way you can be the Mom and support her and advocate for her while your colleague acts as the professional liaison between the midwife/nursing/medical staff as needed.
By the way, I have noticed that there seems to be a correlation between having an elaborate birth plan and the end result of a cesarean birth. When it comes to birth plans, I advocate to "keep it simple":
- The desired outcome is a healthy baby and mom.
- Don't be unreasonable in demanding or expecting things like jacuzzis, birthing balls, a certain position for delivery, no episiotomy or lacerations - although many people have a certain "vision" for what they would like to have for their birth experience, it doesn't take much for things to go horribly wrong and dash those expectations to pieces. When that happens, there is a lot of anger, resentment and disappointment to work through, and sometimes the new mom can end up with a bad case of postpartum depression because the experience didn't go the way you planned.
- Medication can be your best friend... or your worst nightmare. Don't ask for it too soon or too late. Make the staff aware that you are open to the idea of having pain relief, if that is what you really want. If you do not want pain relief, make sure you have someone there who has practiced with you already to help you implement your alternate pain relief plans.
- Keep noise and other distractions minimal. Your partner and your labour coach can take turns helping you through contractions. The rest of your friends and family are better off waiting at home rather than being in the room while you are in labour. They will be more than welcome during visiting hours, and it will give you an opportunity to freshen up and rest a little.
- Initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, unless you have decided to bottle feed your baby. Don't be afraid to ask for help, because it doesn't always come naturally to either mom or baby.
- If a cesarean birth is necessary, you can usually hold the baby almost immediately after delivery.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions - you have a right to have information about your progress and your baby's condition.