My birth experience was everything that I could have hoped for! As a first timer, I was anxious leading up to my son’s birth. I’m such a planner and birth can be unpredictible. But it went so smoothly and despite apprehension of what could go wrong, nothing did! Emily helped me and my husband feel confident leading up to the birth day and during it.
The biggest thing Emily did was affirm that what I was feeling was normal. Since I had never experienced birth before, I had no idea how I’d handle it! During my son’s birth, I remembered discussions from our prenatal meetings when Emily described the birth process and how I may feel. That “rehearsal” was very helpful. For support during labor, Emily was great at recognizing when I needed a change - position, breathing, getting a drink, etc - and suggesting what to try next. She was awesome with guiding my husband in helping me. When I wanted to “give in” she acknowledged my feelings and didn’t make me feel badly, but she stated the facts, helping me stay on course. I was grateful for her help with nursing! It doesn’t come as naturally as the books make it sound, and she helped with positioning for successful nursing. In the days afterwards, Emily was a tireless resource and checked in with me and answered my many questions and concerns with nursing and postpartum care.
Emily took the time to get to know us as a family and by the time the big day came, she seemed like a friend who knew me for a long time. She was able to pick up on my strengths and areas where I may struggle, and she knew how to tailor her approach to suit me best. For example, I think she gave me the perfect amount of affirmation - boosting my confidence without making me feel silly. Her dedication to getting to know us really paid off with a memorable birth experience.
Read more on my blog at www.michelle.rip.pe (sorry it won't let me post a direct link!)
From the moment I met Emily, she was a calming presence for me as I anticipated having a vaginal birth after three previous cesareans. She walked me through all the possibilities and options, and was a great source of information to help me make decisions, being careful to let me create my own birth plan. She also had great advice for the super uncomfortable stages of the last trimester.
Birthing day came and true to form, she was rock solid. She supported, advocated for, encouraged, defended, and watched over me in a way beyond anything I could have ever imagined a doula would. She didn't leave my side for 24 hours straight as I went through the most intense and difficult experience of my life. Not only that, she checked in on me constantly as I navigated the scary territory of postpartum anxiety in the weeks following, and brought unique and intuitive perspective to my experience when we met a month or so later to talk. She is doula perfection and will forever be one of my favorite people on earth!
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