I'll begin by saying I would absolutely hire Cathleen to support me in future births, and will definitely recommend her to my friends. We originally hired Cathleen to help prepare us for a Bradley method birth, and assist me in dispelling hospital-related anxiety. The techniques she introduced, both during class and our private sessions, provided me with the "toolkit" I needed to feel prepared for birth. I'm immensely grateful, because I ended up having an emergency cesarean when the doctors determined I had HELLP syndrome. The techniques I learned from Cathleen helped me remain calm through the serious pain of liver failure; the questions we learned to ask helped us feel well-informed in a crisis situation; and the empowerment Cathleen encourages helped me feel confident in asking for what was important to me even though I couldn't have a natural birth.
Since things moved so quickly, Cathleen wasn't able to make it to the hospital until after I had already had surgery. But she was in constant text and phone contact with us as we talked with the doctors, and the timing of her arrival was perfect. She was in my recovery room when I came out of surgery; I was very disoriented, and she helped me focus and get my son latched for breastfeeding. She stayed for several hours helping my husband calm down after the scare we had, helping me get situated in the room and let go of some lingering fears, and helping us communicate our desires to the nursery nurses. Finally, she remained in close contact postpartum and was a reservoir of resources in the area. I had complications within the first two weeks, and she helped us find someone with extra breastmilk when I couldn't breastfeed for a bit, and guided me through the baby blues. I can't imagine going through that birth and postpartum period without Cathleen, and am extremely thankful for all her help.
August 11, 2015