Birth Fee: $1200
Birth Doula Experience: 3 years and 20 births attended
Not SpecifiedType of Practice: Partnership with 1 other doula
Clients per Month: 0 to 2Attends hospital births? All Hospitals
Languages spoken: English, Polish
Service Area MapArea of practice: Fairfax, VA
Karene assisted us in October 2014. Both my husband and I were first time parents-to-be, and we were not sure of what to expect from the birthing process. Karene met with us three times before labor and I quickly understood that she would be on my side, no matter what course the labor took. By questionnaire and interview, she took into account our unique situation and our hopes, fears, and expectations for the birthing process. My goal was to have an unmedicated labor and she reviewed all the various techniques to ease the pain. We even went as far as to rent an AquaDoula birthing tub to labor in at home (highly recommend it!) even though the plan was to deliver in the hospital.
When the time came, Karene was responsive by phone and text and soon was with us, and proved to be a very soothing presence through early labor, utilizing massage techniques and aromatherapy, and the AquaDoula. She helped to time the contractions and when I was ready, we went to L&D. Although ultimately I "threw in the towel" after 18 hrs of labor and received an epidural, I did it on my terms. She helped me understand the pros and cons of each decision and did it in such a personable, non-confrontational way. Again, I felt she was extremely supportive of whatever decision I took, which gave me the confidence to labor on. After 29 hrs of labor, my daughter was born and I realized how hungry I was. Nearly every restaurant was closed for the night but she offered to and went out to pick up a takeout order, which after several hours of fasting was magical.
I recommend Karene without any hesitation. She is a wonderful Doula and I could not imagine my birthing experience without her!
Karene was hands down amazing- exceeding our expectations and being a bright spot in our delivery.
We met with Karene several times before the birth and she made herself readily available during our pregnancy for our questions. It was so nice to have an unbiased perspective and source of information. We learned more from her than we did in our labor class! She had tons of resources that she shared with us, and helped us form and write our birth plan.
I feel it is very important to stress that she always supported our choices and never, ever made her opinions even known unless we solicited for them and even then never made us feel pushed or judged for our choices.
when it came to the actual birth she was so helpful in helping us advocate for what we wanted- even in the face of some very serious adversity. She made sure we felt we could ask questions and stand up for our wishes. She came prepared with lots of tools to assist us and helped out any way she could (even getting my poor sick self ginger ale when my husband needed rest.)
Ultimately I feel I would have had extremely bad feelings about my birth experience if she had not been present. We were working against a lot of difficult circumstances but she really was empowering for us. And good company even in the 20th hour of labor.
We feel so blessed to have had her with us and would 100% endorse her and use her again! Thank you Karene for your care, help, compassion and assistance. You are the best.
We could not have made it through natural, drug-free labor without Karene. She provided a calm and reassuring presence leading up to and during labor. My daughter was posterior, so all of the pain from contractions concentrated in my lower back. Karene's gentle encouragement to use water therapy at the hospital enabled me to get through the most intense period of contractions during transition. She also encouraged and enabled my husband to be an active participant in our daughter's birth. We really appreciated her two prenatal consultations at our home, where we talked through our birth preferences and pain management techniques, as well as her follow up postpartum visit. Karene was very knowledgable and did not push any birth agenda on us. She genuinely enabled us to have the birth we wanted, and we could not be more grateful.
Karene was fabulous to work with before, during, and after the birth of our son (our first child). I was committed to an unmedicated birth, and Karene helped my husband and me practice techniques and develop a birth plan to ensure that I could fulfill this commitment. She met with us three times before the birth (including the initial interview), and she was extremely well prepared with materials and leave-behinds. She supported not only me but my husband as well, and she didn't get in the way of the medical staff at the hospital. Karene's demeanor was spot on throughout the whole process, and she was professional while still being caring and personable. She was as much a therapist as a doula! With her help, I was one of three women in the past three years at the hospital who had an unmedicated, induced delivery. I'll definitely be hiring Karene again should child number two come to pass!
I was connected to Karene in the 3rd trimester of my 4th pregnancy. We had just moved across the country and had to switch to a new hospital and new doctors. With everything so unfamiliar, it just seemed like a good idea to have an extra set of eyes, ears and hands for the labor and delivery. And it certainly came in handy!
Karene was extremely helpful to me in negotiating with my new OBs. I was attempting a 2nd VBAC and found out a bit too late that my doctors had different goals than I did. They pressured me to schedule a repeat c-section around 37 weeks and we had other various conflicts when it came to wanting a more natural childbirth over a medicalized childbirth experience. After several frustrating visits, I would email or text Karene (who was always available to me) and she would reassure me that the natural unmedicated VBAC I wanted could still be achieved and to stand my ground on what I felt was important. She never pushed her own agenda but helped me plan for how to work around the difficulties of not having fully supportive doctors when it wasn't practical to switch doctors.
When the time came to deliver and things did not go by the book, Karene remained calm and flexible, which proved to be the most important thing. When I started to worry that my water had broken and my labor had stalled for approaching (and ultimately beyond) 24 hours, Karene talked with me about what I wanted to do and went over facts to reassure me in making the best decision for me and the baby. When labor picked up and progressed so quickly that we had no time to get to the hospital, Karene calmly called an ambulance from the side of the road and was there when the baby abruptly showed up a few minutes later.
Even though things didn't go as expected, our expectations of a doula were more than met with Karene. It was comforting to both me and my husband to have Karene with us throughout the process and we would recommend her to anyone.
Having a baby is one of the most life changing, emotional, exciting, and sometimes overwhelming exoeriences a family can go through. We asked Karene to be our doula to help anticipate and navigate through the unknown fears and pain of labor and delivery. She was beyond amazing from start to finish! In late pregnancy she was available to me for first time mom questions and was on call 24hr/7days a week near our due date. Leading up to delivery day, I was immediately comfortable asking her questions about what to expect, especially when real labor began vs. false labor and braxton hicks contractions. She was incredibly compassionate and knowlegeable. When the big day finally came, Karene was with my husband and I the entire time. She helped me relax and breathe through the pain. And her positive encouragement was reassuring to me throughout the day. My husband really relied upon her as well to coach us through our first time. She was able and willing to do anything we needed to be more comfortable and ensure that our birth plan was relayed to the nurses and doctors. Even the little things, like running to get me ice chips and apple juice made a huge difference in alternating with my husband so I was never alone in the delivery room. During the hospital staff shift change, we realized how her constant presecnce was invaluable as we has new staff come on board just before the baby come. She was able to help us articulate my wishes and get back on track quickly. I could go on forever about how valuable Karene was to us. To be frankly honest, we can't imagine what we would have done without having her help when ouir baby came into the world. We are forever grateful for her patience, knowleage, compassion, and company. And plan to keep in touch with our baby's progress for years to come! In conclusion, we highly recommend her to anyone looking for an awesome birth doula!!!
= Available. Calendar last updated: 1/5/2017 4:47:53 PM