A preemie baby and subsequent NICU stay threw Amelia's plans out the window
I had an idea of what I wanted my pregnancy and birth to look like when I met with MMT from Intown Doula. We had heard about Intown Doula from several friends and neighbors and as soon as we spoke with them, we clicked. Expressing my desires for the experience was really easy, because they helped me to develop what they called a "hierarchy of preferences." They told me plans don't mean much to babies, but I didn't realize how spot-on that was until I ended up on bedrest.
My doulas were so understanding during that time. I could reach out to them and vent, and they knew just what to say every single time. And while I loved every time they made me laugh or feel truly heard, what I really benefitted from was the support and encouragement they gave me to advocate for myself. Some people think doulas are advocates, but I learned that what they really do is turn mothers into their own advocates. I really do believe that the empowerment I gleaned from my doulas being lovingly honest with me gave me the strength I needed to make a choice that undoubtedly kept Leni on the inside longer than she would have stayed otherwise. And as a preemie mom, there's a lot of power in that.
My husband and I tell everyone we can about how helpful doulas are during pregnancy, but also after the baby comes. Leni had a NICU stay, and they comfort they provided both of us during the immediate postpartum period was invaluable. Most importantly, though, my doulas told me truths that no other mom, mom group, parenting book, blog post, movie, or friend told me, and it made all the difference in my transition to motherhood.