Birth Story

JASMINE AND CORY

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Jasmine and Cory, as first time parents, wanted to pursue a vision of a natural, unmedicated birth. Understanding that their vision would benefit from doula support, they invited me into their birth journey.

 

Learn how Jasmine prepared for her birth vision and why Cory would recommend doula support to other fathers and first time parents.

LISTEN TO JASMINE AND CORY'S STORY

Jasmine and CoryYour Doula Cares Birth Story
00:00 / 11:34

Quotes | Jasmine, on pursuing a natural birth

"I was interested in doing a non-medicated birth. So that's one of the reasons why I chose to do a doula. And then after learning, kind of just that my odds - my risk factors as an African American woman going into a labor situation or going into a pregnancy situation, that the odds were not necessarily for me. So [I knew that] a doula could help decrease those risk factors, a lot of those risk factors."

READ JASMINE AND CORY'S STORY

Gabrielle

 

So it's really exciting to be able to revisit your birth journey and reflect on that with you again. And our first question is just, what were your interests in having a doula? What inspired you to want doula support?

Jasmine

I was interested in doing a non-medicated birth. So that's one of the reasons why I chose to do a doula. And then after learning, kind of just that my odds - my risk factors as an African American woman going into a labor situation or going into a pregnancy situation, that the odds were not necessarily for me. So [I knew that] a doula could help decrease those risk factors, a lot of those risk factors. So that was one of the main reasons that I wanted to do a doula and have a doula.

 

Another one was that I knew my success rate for the not-medicated birth, which is very important to me -- I wanted to avoid an induction, I wanted to avoid a C-section -- I knew having a doula who could help me support me through the labor and the pains, who could help me to move and whatnot, would help to decrease that [risk of intervention]. And originally, I wanted to do a home birth, which was another thing that I knew a doula could help with that.

Gabrielle

How did you feel Cory felt about some of this?

Jasmine

He did have some concerns, I later realized, about the risk factors for women in birth. I think, I can't remember if we talked about it before I got pregnant or after I got pregnant -- I remember him, like he had read something about it. And I was like, yeah. I know this. And that's why I was like, that's why I want to do natural. And that's why I wanted to have a doula. So he was definitely on board with it. Not so much with the homebirth, but with a doula and with a midwife.

Gabrielle

I definitely remember you talking about, you know, your interest in home birth. And that being a really important kind of decision to make. And it was really important, I think, to watch you and Cory work together to come up with a plan that worked well for both of you and for your first pregnancy.

 

And you really knew right from the beginning that you wanted to have a doula and you had reached out right from the beginning. And so I wonder if there were any specific benefits that stood out to you, or even some unexpected benefits, when we were working together and you had your doula support?

Jasmine

I mean, the comfort measures were beneficial, definitely. I know you helped me move and that was helpful. We did a lot of -- I can't remember what the move was called -- where we were like putting the bed down and me going head down to get the baby denied into position. I can't remember if I was having a lot of back labor, but I remember just having labor in general. But I do distinctly remember you using the massage thing. And that was helpful. Just in general, I expected that whatever you did to be beneficial if someone else did it. And that was not the case, haha. I remember that. I remember my mother-in-law was trying to do it, and I was like, 'No, go,' haha, that was not helpful. So I do, I distinctly remember that.

 

A lot of stuff that I do remember, just from the labor and the birth, a lot of it's flashes. Almost like I was just in a -- I was in a different world, almost. So those are some of the specific things I remember. Someone turned music on and that was helpful, too. That did change the atmosphere. And then I think, oh, and then an unexpected benefit was how well you could coax Cory into being more supportive and just there, like in the moment, and finding ways he could be helpful, too. I think that was very, very good. And just helping him to engage in the in the labor and everything. So yeah, that was I think those were probably all together benefits and unexpected.

Gabrielle

Yeah, you know, and Cory was really, really engaged. It was obvious that he wanted to be there. He wanted to support you. He was really interested in trying to help you find comfort. And so yeah, that was really, it was really beautiful to watch you two work together in the birth room.

Jasmine

Because I mean, I remember him being very helpful with things and the comfort measures. I remember using him to sway. I think one of the biggest things that I remember was him sitting in front of me when I actually went to try and push off the side of the bed.

Gabrielle

Yeah, absolutely. That was a really precious experience to watch you all working together. And we had talked about how you all would work together and want to work together in the birth room, and we practiced some comfort measures and just running through different scenarios, as well. And so, I know, in some of the prenatal sessions, it was really great that Cory came and participated and wanted to be a part of that experience, as well. And so I just wonder, what did you think about how those prenatal sessions prepared you all, and what were your thoughts as far as how that helped Cory prepare, as well? Because I do think he was in tune, and he was listening. But there was a real shift when you went into labor, and I could really tell that he was really honing in on those things that we had already discussed. So I'd be interested in your thoughts on that.

Jasmine

The ones that he went to at the hospital too was kind of like that. They made everyone participate so that you weren't, you know -- you had to participate in them, and I think my aunt went to one, too, and she had to participate. So I could tell then, too. So kind of the same attitude he had -- I think he was probably a little more vocal with you just because he could be, as opposed to when we were in the prenatal sessions with everyone watching. But I think it was good because I knew when we talked about them [comfort measures] in the labor -- because like I said, I was kind of in my own zone -- I knew what you were talking about, and what to do. So I don't think it would have been as smooth of a transition if we hadn't practiced it beforehand. So that was definitely beneficial. Yes.

 

And I think also, maybe it was beneficial for Cory because then he knew during the labor, like, why we were doing some of the stuff that we were doing, as opposed to in the middle of it, like why are you standing on the bed holding her stomach? Or why are ya'll moving the bed down and having her go upside down? Like the fact that he could -- because he's very, you know, 'Why do we do this?' So yeah, so yes, very beneficial.

Gabrielle

That's really wonderful to hear. I really think those experiences of learning together as a couple and then talking through those things together and communicating about what will matter to you all in the birth room is just so valuable. So I'm really glad to hear that you all found that beneficial and saw that play out in your experience.

Oh, yay! Welcome, Cory.

Jasmine

How was Gaby's services as our doula helpful in helping you to navigate labor for pregnancy? 

Cory

Oh, we learned a lot of the like, what was it -- the pain mitigation techniques. And that was very helpful. I think that's probably the most valuable thing.

Gabrielle

Being your doula, I was of course supporting Jasmine, but how was it for you, too? How did you feel supported?

Cory

It was comforting having somebody else there to kind of help, I guess, take care of the situation or just kind of like monitor the situation. So it was nice to have an extra person there.

Jasmine

Any advice for fathers who may not otherwise ask for a doula?

Cory

Oh yeah, I would recommend for, at least, if it's the first birth, I would at least recommend doing it. If it's a new parent, new parents involved, because it's something easily to learn from. At least -- like parents that are skeptical about it -- at least trying it for your first baby, you will notice a complete game changer.

Jasmine

Did you know doulas help decrease the risks?

Cory

Mhm. I remember all the statistics that you guys were talking about and some of the stuff in the class. But like, seeing it first hand was probably the most eye opening part of it. 

Jasmine

Yay!

Cory

It's a shame that people don't take advantage of it otherwise.

 

Gabrielle

That is just really fantastic. Well, I'm so glad that you got to share those thoughts. And thank you just for encouraging other dads and families to be thinking about doula support. Because it is really helpful, I think, when families can hear from other families about what they experienced. So I really appreciate that. 

And so if someone else was interested in my services, or were thinking about having a doula added to their birth team, what would be your recommendations to that family? Or, you know, what would you want them to know about my services based on your experience working with me?
 

Jasmine

The fact that you offer both services, the birth doula and the postpartum, is very helpful. It gives the continuity of the service, I think. And just your personality -- your personality is very calming, to me, at least very calming. And just because I know you personally, I know where that's coming from. For someone who doesn't know, just that your faith in the Lord will guide you into your service, I think, gives you a certain calmness because I'm gonna be honest. The fact that -- I mean, I know we asked you to be our doula, like right when I found out, like, 'Oh, you're interested? Okay, good! I need a doula,' haha! 'No, no one else is gonna do it, you're gonna have to do it,' haha. -- how you were willing to take that on for us? And the fact that we can help you kind of start that journey maybe a little bit sooner than you were probably planning, but you started nonetheless. And just that how you allowed the Lord just to kind of guide you into that. I just, I think that's very -- to me, it's very helpful and calming.

 

And to know that you were willing to do that for us and still be willing to, even after our need for you was done, to still be able to offer your services to other people who may need that. I think that speaks volumes for just the person you are, and the help that you can provide, and the help that it will provide for women that may not even realize that is something that can help decrease their risk factors because I know a lot of women probably don't know. The word is getting out but a lot of women still don't know the risks that can go into it, I think, which is sad. And yeah, just that all in general. Just your willingness to go above and beyond to be there for us and then continue that service for others. I would definitely recommend. And then calming, very calming. Which I am very grateful that you said, Yes, haha.

Gabrielle

It was an honor. You know, I think something really special from your experience is that your birth vision was to, to really pursue a natural unmedicated birth, and you were able to achieve that. And so I just wonder if there's anything that you would share with women and with families who have a similar birth vision? What would you want them to know?

Jasmine

It's like running a marathon. You have to prepare for it. You can't just go into it. But if you want to do it, you can do it. You just have to prepare for it. Because even after the birth, when I told him [Cory] that I would do natural again, and he was like, 'Even after the pushing?', I was like, yeah. I mean, there were some rough parts, but yes. Haha, I'm very grateful.

Gabrielle

Yeah, I mean, it's true. And that's one thing, I think, for yours and for Vance, you know, working together and for your birth in particular, that one of the things that I really found just really beautiful about your birth is that I really felt like I was watching you all's preparation unfold in the birth room. Yeah, because it was very clear that you all were stepping into it not from just this place of like, 'Well yeah, let me see if I can try to do this.' You know, it's like no, like, it was like watching the preparation unfold.

 

So, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time. And thank you for sharing these reflections and just for welcoming me into your birth journey.