I am grateful to have met you through Natural Birthworks. The initial visit with LeVell and I was eye opening. Due to his work schedule I completed the pre-visit questions by myself. When we were both at your home reviewing the questions and answers I was pretty surprised by that he thought Hollywood portrayals of labor & delivery was reality. Going through the questions allowed us to have an open, guided dialogue about expectations and desires for the birth experience. We didn’t know the questions to ask each other to get to a real substantive discussion, but you did!
In the weeks that drew closer to my due date I really relied your expertise as opposed to Google for little things that deep down I thought were not a big deal, but the internet has a way of making them a big deal.
In the days leading up to the actual birth were so hectic; even knowing when the actual birth would take place was up in the air for a while. I purposely tried to keep family out of the nitty gritty of preparing for birth and actual birth because our ideas, wants, and motivations were so different than theirs. Having a second person who had my best interest at heart to discuss what was happening was really good for me. Waiting for baby to come is stressful when you think about it on your own and then compound that with well-wishers and it’s overwhelming. Although you wanted to stay abreast of any changes with me like early signs of labor I always felt you were patiently awaiting baby’s arrival whenever he wanted. Having someone that was like LeVell and I, happy to wait when he was ready, was really nice.
I really appreciated your referral to your prenatal masseuse! I had her come over twice and both times were such a treat. LeVell was super worried about me getting massages all pregnancy, but he was 100% okay with your referral. The prenatal massages were so relaxing.
As for “labor day”, you helped me with the last minute tweaking of the birth preferences. For some reason it was really important to me to still have a plan even though my first plan was turned upside down. You remembered to show up in my favorite color! We were so last minute with everything trying to block out the fact I was about to give birth and have major surgery that we weren’t really prepared for going to the hospital. Thank you for getting the cooler for the placenta (I finally found some cash & will pay you back!!). We didn’t research much about cesareans like what prep would be like and in a way not knowing what to expect was a good thing. The times when I wanted to know more I was so glad you were there to just reassure me things were going along the way they were supposed to. You helped LeVell with his surgical scrubs. He always tries to hold it together for me and selfishly I just take the support without always being mindful of reciprocating. I was happy that you were really there for both of us!
What surprised me the most was how much you reached out post-partum. I had a long “hotel stay” and I think we texted every day. I feel genuine care from you. I wish I was up to doing all the things you suggested like going to the babywearing group and breastfeeding support group. You have a lot of great resources and outlets to make sure women are fully supported. Adjusting to motherhood is harder than I envisioned and I am taking these first moments to just bond. Your FB post was about our family of three was meaningful. I am excited you’re going to take some photos of us especially since this is where we first brought our son home, but won’t raise him.
Thank you so much for being our doula. When I first decided I wanted a doula as a birth companion I was looking for someone that would just simply help out and advocate for a specific kind of experience during labor & delivery because I didn’t trust my husband to 100% have my back when the time came. When I think back on the interactions that you and I had I realize that you provided something I didn’t even know I needed or we needed. From the initial questionnaire to the joint “therapy” session at your home to reminding me it’s not too late to eat healthier to your persistence with holding me to my stated wants like breastfeeding I think you helped me a better, more thoughtful parent. I’m still learning of course and aspire to truly be zen. I know for sure I did two things right this pregnancy (1) tried to relax and accept things as they unfolded and (2) picked you as our doula.