No but I would be very honoured if anyone asked me to be there. I asked a very close friend to be with me when I gave birth, as my husband is terrible in hospitals and has a tendency to faint whenever he sees a blood... my friend was with me all through the labour then just as she stepped out for a breather and my husband came in, our son was born. So in the end, he was present despite all my misgivings!
The first birth I attended was that of a friend. I was so honoured to be asked to be her support. I had not heard of 'doulas', but as a friend I took on this honour seriously.
I had one child, and was pregnant with number 2 when I was asked to be by my friends side. I had had a good first birth, but I wanted to be prepared to be a support. It is very different to doing the birthing. I read an article about how to be a good support person, and helped her do research on things like GBS and inductions, and the post birth injections.
It was after this birth that I heard about doulas and decided to train. Whilst my friends birth went well, I could see that having knowledge of the medical system would be an advantage. Birth (as it turns out) is a mind game, and the environment can have a profound affect on the other. I wanted to know more for me, and so that I could better help others. It felt like it wasn't quite enough to just hold her hand and say nice things.
As a doula I have supported women in birth preparation and in birth (hospital and home). I have had the privilege of catching a baby and being the support person in a c section.
When my friend invited me to be her support for baby two, I came with the confidence of a doula. We were better prepared. We understood 'the system' better and how she wanted to work within. The advantage of a second birth is that you know your own body better and hindsight is a wonderful thing!
There is a quote by Ina May, (see picture) that is so true. When you watch a woman give birth Her Way, she is a magnificent being and you feel so humbled. http://wholewoman.hubgarden.com/do-not-disturb/
I'm a childbirth doula - so it's my job to support a woman through labour and birth. However so far I have supported 3 women through labour but have not been present for the births due to them being by caesarean. I cannot wait for the moment when I get to support a woman in that transition from woman to mother and see her welcome her baby into the world.