Mar 142010

“Are you a flexible doula?  Because when we get those 4 page Bradley birth plans and doulas that light incense and do seances, we know the mom’s gonna end up with a cesarean.” -L&D nurse to doula accompanying mom to a Non-stress test.

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 March 14, 2010  Birth Plan, Doula, L&D Nurse  Add comments

  53 Responses to “"Are You A Flexible Doula?…"”

  1. Why yes, my other job is teaching gymnastics!

  2. Oh man, where do *I* get one of those doulas who does seances and comes to the birth with incense? (I’m laughing here — *seances*? SEANCES?)

    “I’m summoning up the spirit of Robert A Bradley…oh, wait, I don’t have to do that–everything is right here in this four page birth plan, plus his book.”

    • Jane, I literally have tears rolling down my face, I’m laughing so hard at what you wrote.

      (Note to self: seances and incense are two of the many birth interventions that increase one’s risk of a c-section. Maybe those babies just get freaked out by the patchouli-scented ghosts.)

      • “I’m summoning the spirit of Ina Mae Gaskin!”

        “Uh, she isn’t dead.”

        “Oh, then I’ll just call her on my cell phone, then. Hey, Ina Mae? Wanna come to a birth?…Oh, okay. Bye.”

        “What’d she say?”

        “She’s busy right now. But hey, since we’re here in a hospital anyhow, let’s start summoning the spirit of a doctor! I hear they show up when you’re 8cm dilated, but maybe we can get one sooner if I light up this incense stick and burn some candles while chanting in Latin.”

      • ha ha ha ha! you ladies, are hilarious! AWESOME!

    • Oh my gosh, I just laughed so hard, I thought *I* was going to go into labor. I’m going to have to remind my doula to add incense to the birth plan!

  3. Little does said nurse know that we Bradley teachers (many of whom are also doulas and supporting moms right under their noses, seance-free) actually *discourage* four-page birth plans – everything “birth plan” should fit on an index card (a page, if you want to include a picture or make a poster), and if it can’t, maybe you need to re-consider your birth environment. Just saying.

  4. Jane, I do a wicked rain dance – who needs an amnihook? As for poetry, I prefer the Vedic texts myself. ;-)

    Kristen – that “interventions” comment was pure win!

  5. “Yes, I’m flexible. Use of chicken blood and this voodoo doll in scrubs is totally optional.”

  6. “I am Galstaff, doula of light.”

    “Then how come you had to cast Magic Missile?”

    … makes the baby rocket out every time, without the risks of Pitocin!

    • “Hastehastehaste! Dammit, where’s the mage, we need some water conjured up here.”

      • The last mage cast polymorph instead by mistake, and the baby came out as a kitten (don’t worry, the spell wore off after a minute or two) but the nurses got spooked…

        I think I saw a shaman down the hall though, totems are always good. ;-)

        • *has to stifle guffaws because people are sleeping*

          • No, what we need is a Druid. Nature’s Swiftness is sure to help keep those doctors at bay. And if that doesn’t work, she can always turn into a bear and hold him off until the momma’s done birthing.

          • it looks to me like we have some WoW doulas here :D

            I have all ten characters, surely I can find one class or another that could be helpful. I am thinking that if the mage just cast deep freeze on the Dr then we would have time to deal with the mama. Or maybe we need a hunter, we could sick the pet on the Dr’s?

    • We need a white mage ready with Cure in case the mother tears. No chance of a husband stitch getting in their and causing trouble if there isn’t a need for stitches >.>

    • Can’t you just teleport the baby out of the uterus? That would seem the easiest way to handle the birth.

      (For that matter, on Star Trek, why don’t they just beam the baby and placenta out of the mother and then contract the uterus with a hypospray? But then they don’t get to do the seance.)

      • We tried, but the baby wouldn’t accept the group invite so the lock could summon.

        (Don’t forget, if they do it that way they don’t get to traumatize Worf :P)

        • That episode of ST:TNG (“Disaster”) is one of my favorites and I even hijacked it into another fandom to write that style of story once. But for crying out loud, it’s the 26th century and he still has a woman delivering flat on her back?!?

          (I love some of his lines, though. “Congratulations. You are dilated to ten centimeters. You may now give birth.”)

  7. What do you mean, c-section?!? Fork-reflect!

  8. Are you a flexible nurse? Yes? Great. Well, bend over and kiss your ass.

  9. LOL at these comments. My husband was reading this over my shoulder and said “I can’t wait to have another kid so I can respond to crap like that. ‘Do you know what a seance is you f***ing twit!’”

  10. I just gotta say I love you ladies! These are too funny!!

  11. :D You ladies are funny. I’m rolling from this one.

  12. OMG!!! I have NEVER laughed so hard! I was nursing my baby, and he was asleep untill I started reading this!! I woke him up from laughing so hard!

  13. I wonder if the only birth scenes she’s seen are on TV? LOL

  14. Come to think of it, my doula never even offered the incense OR a seance … I wonder, did I get ripped off?


  15. lmao ya’ll are too funny!

  16. Actually, on Star Trek: Voyager, they did perform a “fetal transport” when a baby got stuck in mom’s uterus because of her cranial ridges (presumably because mom was human and thus her uterus was not designed to accommodate that feature – her husband was Ktarian). It was, according to the doctor, a very risky maneuver, and only used because it was truly needed. Seriously, talk about no margin for error – it’s not that large of an environment! On a cool side note, the same mom gave birth normally to the same baby in a parallel timeline, and her first question was when she could initiate breastfeeding. Go Voyager!

    • What episode was this? I want to watch!

      • It was called “Deadlock”… I believe it was season 2. Warning – the “transported” baby dies. Fortunately, the normally born one lives. It’s kind of a weird story line. The ship’s basically split into two parallel existences, one winds up being destroyed to save the other one, sort of. Kind of reminds me of my own first birth – great natural hospital birth, but in a slightly parallel, very possible universe, same situation with one or two different decisions, could have been a traumatic c-section. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about birth and do the work I do, actually.

    • That is really kind of awesome! I’ve never seen Star Trek, but I think I would watch that one!

  17. “we know the mom’s gonna end up with a cesarean” … and how do they know that? RUNNNN!

  18. Yea, because your pitocin drip inductions, time-limits on labor, fetal monitoring out the wah-zoo, laying the mother on her back to push, and literally drugging her senseless have NOTHING to do with the c-section rates being sky high… It’s all the doulas…. IDIOTS.

  19. LMAO! Seances? Burning incence? Really? Dang, this nurse sounds a little bitter…

  20. As an OB nurse, I can honestly care that it doesn’t matter ONE little bit to me if my patient has a natural birth, an epidural, a VBAC, a C-section, etc. It’s not MY birthing experience. It’s theirs. And It’s my responsibility to advocate for them with whatever they want.

    HOWEVER, there does seem to be a doom to the long unrealistic birth plans that come in. We really do see a large number of those deliveries end up with a NICU admission and a C-Section. Maybe it’s the curse of the birthplan…

    • Always nice to hear someone in a scientific field attribute something to a mysterious curse rather than a well-studied psychological phenomenon like confirmation bias.

    • I think the key word here is long (not to mention unrealistic.) My birth plan would be. “I am an intelligent woman and I believe in informed consent. Always tell me what is going on and ask me before you do anything.” If it gets to four pages mom doesn’t understand that she isn’t in charge either. Birth is an emotional passage; a letting go and letting your child into the world. If you think you are in charge then you won’t be able to let go. There is a perfectly logical scientific reason why 4 page birth plans result in c-sections. It is a trust issue. As someone said above, if your birth plan is 4 pages switch care providers. As someone said a few weeks ago (same topic over and over) the birth plan is for the nurses that you didn’t get to meet in advance, not the doctor you got to pick. Bottom line 4 pages is a red flag!

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