Experience Peaceful Delivery with a Doula [Salvador and Ana Ruiz]

Video Transcript

Salvador: Well, I am Salvador Ruiz.

Ana: I'm Ana Ruiz.

Salvador: And we have two children. One her name is Prudence Sophia Ruiz Schweer.

Ana: And our newest member of our family was born October 2nd. His name is Paolo Ruiz Schweer. Full name Paolo Santiago Ruiz Schweer.

How Was Your Delivery?

Ana: It was peaceful, if I had to sum it up in one word. It was also the hardest thing I've ever done in my life but was a peaceful experience for me, which I was incredibly grateful for.

Why Was Having a Doula Important?

Ana: But I want to have this other person who I know can be an advocate for me and help me learn how to be my own advocate, me to be stronger and continue believing in myself. And I wanted to make sure that if I didn't really truly need to have an intervention, that I could choose not to have it, or I could wait. Maybe there would be something that would arise and I would need to allow medical intervention, but I wanted to feel supported to know that it's okay to also wait and try to allow my body to do what it's designed to do before I would step to doing any other interventions. So that was a big reason also to have to have a doula with me. Yes.

How Can Doulas Support Partners?

Salvador: As a husband, your biggest stress is that she's in pain. And we talking about being powerless because there's nothing I can do to help her, but it's like she gave me the tools to be a support. That's actually what I appreciate from her. It's like she gave me everything that I needed.

How Did the Doula Support Your Goal of an Unmedicated Delivery?

Ana: I had an epidural with my first child and knew what that experience was like. But then being able to continue going through labor after I got to the hospital and feeling like, yes, I'm okay. I was able to stay calm and especially that tension that would make the pain feel even more intense. I was able to work with Salvador and with my doula. Together as a team, we were able to keep doing things and the techniques that we practiced before we went into labor, to continue practicing those techniques to help alleviate wherever I was feeling the most pressure, or pain, or something. And I was able to keep going. And I didn't know if I was going to be able to. That's what I wanted, but I also kind of knew, okay, if I need to ask for something, that's okay. But I was able to. It was like, I was in shock that I did it. I was like, "I can't believe that happened."

How Did the Doula Help Dad Prepare for Childbirth?

Salvador: She will come to our house and, for example, she'll give me a list of things that I can do to be supportive to her and things that I can do, things that I can say to validate her emotions, especially. And she was also accessible. The doula will tell me like, "If you need to ask something, feel free to ask. This is not just woman talk. You get to participate in this discussion." And those were some of the things that I really, really, really appreciate from that. And also help when she start having contractions, what positions that will help her during the process. It was kind of like a mentor that will guide you and who tells you like, "Hey, keep going. You guys are doing great. You guys are doing great. You just keep moving forward."

What Techniques Did Your Doula Recommend?

Ana: Every time a contraction would start to have kind of a rhythm, whether it was like a clapping or like kind of a dancing or a bouncing or using the exercise ball to be bouncing, we did those things. We practiced those before going into labor. So when she came to our home...

Salvador: I think we have a video of that.

Ana: ...we were able to... So we practiced different stretches, even like getting down, she got down on the floor with me and helped show me different stretches to do and different positions that I could try to be in during labor. So we practiced those positions. We practiced using the exercise ball in different positions, whether it was sitting on it or leaning on it for support.

Salvador: Remember, you would hold on to me and then we'd go...

Ana: Yes. We also had one we practiced where Salvador would support me and hold onto me. And those were some of the things that helped me the most, having somebody to hold onto me and then also using rhythm to work through the contraction. She also shared with us a whole poster of a bunch of different positions, really. And we did try various ones. We worked through different ones before going into labor. But then once we were actually in labor if I felt like something wasn't going to work for me, she would say, "Nope, don't worry about it. Then let's try this other, let's try something else." And she would bring a new one and help show me what to try. And then we would see how does that feel? Does that feel better? Does that feel worse? And she just worked with both of us to keep trying things.

Salvador: Yeah. Like it was coaching all the way through. I love that.

How Did the Staff Support You?

Ana: Nurses were very, "Is there something you need? Is there something I can get for you?" But especially this time, I can remember that very distinctly that they were just very...they made sure and consistently asked that. It could have been, "Yeah, I really need a snack right now," or, "I just really need to get up, and can you help me with this?" Or, "Can you stay right here with me in the room for a little bit or just to talk to me." Some of the nurses just would stay in the room if I needed to talk with them because it was a lot going on to bring in this precious little one into our life and with all the other things that we have going on. And they were very kind in that way just to listen and just like having another person's presence is a big deal to have that. So, I felt like they did a great job.

Salvador: They were very supportive.

Ana: Yeah, they were.

How Did the Staff Support Your Decision to Breastfeed?

Ana: Having the nurses support to help me try different things. All of the nurses that came in the room, they were able to help me try different things, help me put the pillows different ways, give me some tips, things I could try and just keep on going and keep giving me kind of a moral support too like, "Don't give up." She's like, "If I had to write a book about breastfeeding, it would be like how a breastfeeding mom has to be more stubborn than her breastfeeding child." And like, okay, keep going.

Why Do You Recommend Delivery at Brookings Health System?

Ana: The support from the whole process of pregnancy to when you arrive and the care that you receive and then the support right as you embark on that journey as a new parent to whether you're...no matter how you're choosing to feed your baby, but if you're choosing breastfeeding, there's an amazing support for that, to understand that there's a supportive community here through the doctors, the nurses, the doula and that you can have an experience that you want and that you would want for your sister or your friend to have and feel safe and secure.

Salvador: The support of the nurses, the Baby Café, and with the doula, yeah.