This post is a long time coming! It will probably be brief, because a lot of what I experienced doesn't feel like it can be explained (as far as emotionally)!
It was a long drive up to Nevada City, and when I finally arrived at the host house I was staying at, it was dark (and rainy!). Also, it was in the middle of the woods, so I felt a little creeped out when I first arrived, but the people who I stayed with were so nice! I basically just tried to settle down that night (Thursday), because I had absolutely no idea of what to expect from the weekend! Friday morning came early, but I got out of bed fairly quickly because of my nerves! The space where the workshop was was only about 5 minutes away. The first couple of hours that morning was all introductions! We ran really long, doing what Janine (the instructor) called "emptying our baskets."The first day was all Introduction To Childbirth, and there was a binder which we went through, and we watched videos, etc. etc. The main thing that I took away from that day was that as women, our bodies are meant to do this! Intervention is mostly unnecessary, and there are a lot of really awful side effects that can come along with said interventions. So we mainly just talked about and looked at what a normal, natural birth is and what it looks like. I left feeling like I learned a lot, and just basically feeling in awe about the miracle that is childbirth, and excited about learning some actual Doula skills!
Day 2 (Saturday) was the first day of Doula Training. It's really hard to describe...there was another binder (much bigger!) and we went through certain parts of it throughout the day. We watched a TON of videos, and we picked apart what could have been done better and what could have made the birth better. Seriously, the biggest problem with birth in America (besides the insurance companies having doctors hands tied behind their backs, basically forcing them to do unnecessary interventions) is that women go to the hospital WAY too early! Then they lay in bed, flipping the baby around, closing up the cervix, and prolonging labor and making it more painful! Then, labor slows, so they get Pitocin. Once they get Pitocin, labor becomes so painful that they need an epidural, which slows labor again! Or, vice versa, labor is already too painful, so they get an epidural, which slows labor and then they need Pitocin. That is now the "normal" birth. It's horrible! I left that day with my head crammed full of information that I desperately wanted to remember, so I could share it with all the pregnant women I know!
Day 3 (Sunday) was a very loooong day. We had been sitting on the ground (on pillows, but still) and my butt was hurting, my back was hurting, and I was having trouble still focusing. Each day was like 8 hours long and it is really really hard to concentrate on the same thing for THAT LONG! (I got a lot more empathy for what Jake has to do in school!) Sunday we started talking about the things that go wrong in birth, and going into what each intervention actually is. I saw a video of a c-section...it was gross looking! I hate seeing surgeons cut into skin...eeesh! We also had a breastfeeding consultant come and talk to us for a couple of hours. Breast feeding is SO SO SO SO SO important and I really hate how formula is pushed onto new moms! Most women stop breastfeeding in America at 6 weeks! They need to keep breastfeeding for at least a year! It was a long last day, but at the end I kind of wished that we could keep going.
Unfortunately that night I got very very sick and I think that's why I avoided writing this! My weekend was marred by that, and so it's hard for me to think about. Overall, the weekend really made me in awe of what women's bodies can accomplish! I just felt so inspired! I really want to be able to help women in this special special time of their lives. No one forgets their birth experience...it's something that really stays with women throughout their entire lives. It's important to make it the best experience possible.