So, today I finally had my first meeting with a doula. Unfortunately, she’s going to be going to Germany for a training course around my due date. She said she likes to be around and ready during the two weeks before and after the due date, so it doesn’t look like we’ll get to work with her for the birth. But, there’s another doula she works with, an American woman who’s lived in Turkey for years and speaks Turkish, etc., so she’s going to put me in contact with her.
Despite that, it was a nice hour long session. She talked about the general birthing situation in Istanbul and gave some recommendations on doctors who are supportive of natural birth. Our current doctor seems fine, but we are going to the most expensive hospital possible (!), so we want to look into some other options. So, it would be nice to arrange to meet a few of these doctors and see if one of them might work out better for us. She was also helpful in giving some general information about the typical approach to birth here, and the usual course of events once you get to the hospital. She made some good suggestions about talking to the nursing staff at whatever hospital we decide to go with, to learn the usual procedures and talk about what we’d like to happen with the whole birth and post-birth experience. One thing she definitely says is in our favour is that we’re foreigners and we can play the ‘crazy foreigner card’, as she called it. Basically, if we ask for or demand something, since we’re not Turkish, we’re much less likely to be challenged by hospital staff etc. It seems that most people here are just used to saying yes to whatever the doctor says and going with the flow, but people will be less pushy with us because we’re foreign. Sounds funny, but if it works, why not?!
So, I’m hoping to make another appointment with her sometime soon, when Richie’s free too, so we can learn a few things about preparing for labour, pain coping techniques, and that sort of thing. We don’t have the time to actually do a birth preparation class, so at least this way we can get the most essential information in a private session.
Anyway, it was a productive meeting and besides all that, I got to see a new part of Istanbul. The place was in Emirgan and it was quiet, with old-style houses and lots of trees and some nice green spaces and flowers. It didn’t feel like bustling Istanbul at all! It was quite refreshing. I’m looking forward to taking Richie over there!