I received a lovely testimonial from a client this week. I got all teary-eyed when I read it. I feel so proud to have been a part of this mama’s birth experience. Words cannot express. This is what she wrote:
I had reservations about having a doula attend my daughter’s birth. I wanted to keep the occasion as intimate as possible and couldn’t imagine a meaningful relationship being established with another person over 3 meetings. How could this “stranger” possibly offer me emotional support? I had recently decided, however, to approach my life with an open mind and heart, and to say yes to things that might present themselves as opportunities.
It turned out that Heather was able to give me exactly what I needed to feel supported. Her clinical knowledge and passion on the subject of childbirth came through again and again. After our meetings I found myself researching little facts and anomalies regarding physiology and psychology behind childbirth. She encouraged conversation and really listened to my questions so that the answers and information I received was precisely what I was looking for. Her knowledge lends her an air of competence and confidence without being overbearing, and I found that very comforting.
Even though she did not force or forge an overly friendly and intimate way with me, she approached me and dealt with me as a unique person. She understood that my own fears, experiences and tendencies are factors I would bring with me into labour. While she provided me with many relaxation techniques to consider during labour, she encouraged me to consider my own methods of relaxation, if any. I shared with her the Japa meditation I’ve been recently practicing and she not only encouraged me to use it but she herself looked into it and then practiced it at home with her partner so that we could be on the same page.
Heather really encouraged me to write a birth plan and I kept putting it off. She would kindly remind me, each time we met, to put one together. Once I sat down to come up with one I realized the importance of it. It helped me visualize the kind of experience I wanted to have, and realize some issues that were blocks for me. I understood that I had concerns about being able to communicate effectively during labour with my support team & fears about expressing my likes and dislikes without hurting anyone’s feelings. I also realized, on a more personal level, that I felt guilty receiving extra support and attention during pregnancy because I considered it being self-indulgent. Writing the birth plan helped me communicate some of my fears and deal with some of my beliefs that could have hindered my progress during labour.
During labour Heather focused on me and what I wanted or needed and I allowed her into my space. For a while she helped me through pain by stimulating a pressure point on my shoulder. Her touch was beneficial and not obtrusive. When I felt that I didn’t want to be touched anymore and just wanted to walk around for a bit, I let her know and she stopped immediately. I sneaked a look at her face and she was smiling. In fact, every time I looked at her I remember her smiling.
What I envisioned for my daughter’s birth was my midwife, my husband, mother and doula present, working together to create a pleasant, calm, light atmosphere. I believe that Heather was an integral factor in creating this for me. She put my husband at ease and therefore he was able to remain calm and easy for me. I found the light, fun, sporadic conversation between them very comforting. It made me believe on a deep level that everything was O.K.
Heather, I believe you are an exceptional doula. You were such a wonderful presence at little Rhea’s labour and delivery into this life. You are by no means a stranger, having shared with my husband and me one of the most precious experiences of my life. Thank you.