I met you through Peaceful Pregnancy Pathways, and I’m so grateful I did. From the beginning, your help with the building of the birth plan was a huge benefit! The understanding of our goals and what to expect through labor was so helpful, as was the mental preparation for variable situations.
In the time leading up to the birth, the many suggestions we got to guide the baby into positions with the use of the ball and squatting were very helpful. You had suggestions for holistic medicines for me to research when I had headaches or felt ill. It was also helpful to have a point of reference to know what was “normal” during pre-labor.
You have some great resources, your library of books specifically. “Breastfeeding Made Simple”, while I didn’t finish it before the birth, has become very handy now that I’m in the thick of breast feeding. We ordered “The Wonder Weeks” and look forward to reading it. The suggestions of a seeing chiropractor to get back in alignment, the encouragement to join breastfeeding support groups and baby wearing groups have been very helpful.
What did you do to help me during labor? This is a loaded question! EVERYTHING!! I could not have done this without YOU. The aromatherapy, soft music and the physical contact were distractions that put me in a very peaceful place, I was actually able to disconnect during the last of active labor in between contractions. I noticed that while Fred did try to massage me before you arrived, it wasn’t until after he took cues from what you were doing that I felt relief. The use of the ball to relieve the intensity of the contractions. Talking me through my fears when I started to lose sight of what I wanted, what I had worked so hard for, talking me out the epidural without needing to talk me out of it, lol. Reassuring me that I could do this. I felt empowered but most importantly supported, guided and loved. When women talk about their birth experience, all of them have a horror story. I on the other hand feel I have a fairy tale, I felt I had full control of my body, 90% mental, 10% physical.
This is a message from Fred:
Following your lead and understanding what to do exactly to comfort her the best way possible was invaluable. You would make subtle suggestions to stand and rock side to side, or sit on the ball, giving me confidence that I was helping in the right way.
During the immediate post-partum period, your information, the visits, the phone calls, the support, all was so important. You helped us understand that it was all normal. You had great suggestions to help us help baby adapt with the baby wearing and the rocker, and Benny loves his custom CD mix =)
When I was “preparing” for baby, I focused a lot on the birth which proved beneficial, but I lost sight of preparing for when baby was already here, thinking that my mom would be all the support I needed. However, being able to talk to you almost daily on the days after birth were extremely helpful to give me reassurance that all I was feeling was normal and that “this too shall pass”.
I never imagined how much of a full service this would be… I am still trying to figure out the best way to describe a Doula. You really are so many people rolled into one. A vast pool of resources with an incredible peaceful energy. I see the benefits to having someone like you for support during pre/post-partum that I wish more people could see. The exposure to Doula’s in this society is so shallow that I will try my best to advocate for all that you do because I see the benefits, the reward and if nothing else, the investment that we made for our family by having you involved.
Thank you so much Martha.