When I first contacted Anne, I was thinking that I would need her help to get through a natural birth. She was so knowledgeable and immediately put my husband and I at ease while giving us guidance on how to prepare for an unmedicated birth. Unfortunately, my birth plan did not turn out as my husband and I had hoped as I was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. With ICP, the risk to the baby can be quite severe with a risk of stillbirth up to 15% past 37 weeks gestation. The diagnosis of ICP changed my status to a high risk pregnancy and necessitated having a c-section to get my baby out safely. I was absolutely terrified of having a c-section, and everything moved so quickly in the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy. Anne was there to keep me calm and keep me informed. One of the most important things she said to me was that my c-section was still a birth and didn't have to be a hard and cold medical procedure. She helped me to recognize that although I would not be having my daughter as I had planned, that I was doing what was necessary to ensure her safety. She advocated for my wishes in the OR with my OB. She held my hand when they took my baby to the NICU to be suctioned so that my husband could be with our daughter. Anne also took the most beautiful pictures of my daughter's birth that I will always cherish. Even after my baby's birth, Anne followed up with me to make sure that breastfeeding was going well and that I was coping with the c-section and recovery. She continues to keep in touch with me and send me information. Anne has been such a wonderful source of support. I truly could not have gotten through my daughter's birth without her. In fact, I told her that doulas should get an automatic pass to heaven because of what she did for me and my family. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Anne and hope to do so in the future should we have more children. She's amazing!
June 27, 2015