Why Hire A Doula?

In honor of Doula Week, we decided to ask some of our recent clients what they enjoyed about having a doula.  Here are these mamas words…

Lynda:

Lynda

I chose Birth Insight based on several very high recommendations from a few close friends. But, I’ll be honest, I was only looking for a Doula because the Birth Center I would be delivering in required it for first time un-medicated moms. In my naivety, I didn’t think I would need a “birth coach”. I thought I could do it on my own. After all, your body is made to do this right? I soon realized I was more unprepared than I even dared to imagine! I am so thankful for the requirement of my Midwives to hire a doula…oh…and take a 7 week birthing class. The class was SO invaluable to me and my husband. The class covers pretty much everything that you (and your spouse) will experience, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually. All of these ladies have their own unique personalities, and birth experiences. They balance each other so well. God blessed my little family with Aimee as our Doula. She was so calm!…which is exactly what my personality needed! There was a moment where I really thought I couldn’t do it anymore but she never stopped encouraging me. She reminded me that not only did God DESIGN my body to do this, but that in fact….I WAS doing it! I could go on forever about my birth experience and why I’m so glad I had a Doula (Birth Insight especially)…but you probably get the point! Thank you, ladies for all of your hard work and dedication! Your job requires so much of you, but gives so much more in return!

Shannah:

Shannah

When I found out I was pregnant I was stunned and excited all at the same time. I decided early on I wanted to try a natural labor because if other women could do it why couldn’t I. I attended Birth InSights birth class and after getting to know these ladies in that class I knew I wanted them to help me in my journey of becoming a mom.
I had so many ups and downs and through it all the love and support I received was beyond anything I could have imagined. Without a doula I can honestly say I would have given up. So many times I would have just given into my fears and gotten lost in worry. I’m so glad they reminded me each time that I could do this. They saw things in me that I didn’t even see myself.
When my little lady decided she didn’t want to come and the day finally came for me to be induced, my greatest fear, these ladies were there right by my side encouraging me and cheering me on. The midwife broke my water and I immediately felt my first real contraction, two hours later I was welcoming my sweet baby into the world. Sara Beth and I joked that she was my epidural and I can honestly say that when I was so overwhelmed by how quickly my labor came on she was the one who was in my ear getting me through each surge and the final stretch. I couldn’t have done it without my doula! So absolutely worth it! Thank you ladies!!!
Jessica:
Jessica
After taking a child birthing class with Birth Insight I definitely knew I wanted a doula by my side while aiming for a natural childbirth. I will never forget the moment my water broke. Sheer panic. I texted the doulas and was elated to find out that Christi would be doing this with me! We headed to the hospital texting Christi the whole way. She met us at DePaul when I was about 5CM. The pain was just starting to get intense. Every single thing that Christi did helped. Every position she put me in, every stretch she had me do… it all made the pain manageable. When I said “I can’t do this”, Christi assured me I could. The security she put in me and my husband was inexpressible. She pushed me in the best ways. She held my hand. She comforted me. She kept me calm. She did everything in her power to help me. I will never forget Christi being a part of that day with me. Her love and support didn’t stop at the delivery. She visited me the next day when I was having nursing troubles and was at a very discouraged and low point. She texted me and she called me daily. She was the biggest supporter and cheerleader for me. We had a lot of challenges after the delivery with latching, multiple bouts of mastitis, thrush, jaundice and Christi was there through it all. I didn’t just “hire” a doula. I found a friend for life. Her grace, love, support and selflessness will never ever be forgotten.

The Third Time is the Charm

daniela 2.

May I introduce to you a woman whose path was destined to collide with ours.  We are so excited to share her story with you from her point of view.  This is a woman who smiled through almost her entire labor.  It was an honor to walk through this journey with them and with their permission here is a link to the video

Be sure to grab a box of tissues before watching the video.  Her expression when she meets her baby for the first time will make even non pregnant women, teary eyed.

 

When you are a third time mom, you feel pretty confident about what you want as far as a “birth plan.” And I was that confident mom – I knew I wanted an epidural. I had an epidural with both of my other children and there was no question about it- if I didn’t have to feel pain, why would I? Until my husband and I decided to hire a doula.
At first, to me, having a doula was about an expensive car ride to the hospital in case my husband wasn’t around to take me. But things started to change when I began to do more research on what a doula does and how people felt about having a doula.
During my first meeting with my team of doulas, they never pushed the issue of a natural birth. They respected my choices but wanted me to have all of the information. Before they left, one of them looked at me with such conviction and said “you can do this, and we will be there to help you.” Her conviction got me thinking “Could I do this? Could I surrender all my fears? Could I commit to pain?” I started doing more research and getting more information on natural birth and praying a lot about it.
By the time we headed to the hospital, I had made up my mind – I wanted to have a natural experience, I wanted to know how it felt to birth my child. I wanted to be brave enough to face my fear of the unknown, to trust that my body was designed for this process, and to trust that it knew exactly how to bring my baby into this world safely. It took a lot for me to give up that control. Even my own mother could not understand why I wanted to “submit myself willingly to pain.” But my belief was that I was truly accepting the natural process and trusting that it was the perfect way to become empowered by my own body. I have absolutely no regrets. My labor did just that!
With the support of my husband and the knowledge of our doula, I was happy and not afraid at all. I labored for three hours, with my husband beside me and our doula giving him directions on how to comfort me during my contractions. I remember thinking “I love that there’s someone else here to boss him around.” When the labor surges intensified and I thought I couldn’t take the pain anymore, I yelled “I am losing it!” I heard Marc ask for an epidural and Christi whisper to him “no time for that.” She then came around the bed and that’s when that friendly face looked at me, again, with all of her conviction, and said “you can do this, it’s almost time to meet your baby.” Boy, she wasn’t kidding either! The nurse checked me and it was time to push, and after 3-4 pushes there he was, the miracle I was waiting for. But not only that, I had delivered him naturally! I felt everything that I was supposed to feel when bringing a life into this world and that was empowering.
This experience was one that nobody can take away from me and it made me a more confident and better mother. I believe that having a doula with us made everyone more comfortable. There is something indispensable about having another woman there to support you who has been through the process herself. I believe every woman should have a doula and every husband deserves one – hey, the men need a little guidance, too!
My recovery was much faster this time around and looking back, I wish I had done all of my births naturally. But I trust that I needed the confidence of a “third time mom” to make that decision.  The third time really is the charm!

 

Daniela Hines

A Healing Birth

Copy of Seva.

Video link above.

With permission we would love to share with you this beautiful journey.

seva

This mom, like so many of us, (myself included) brought some anxiety and fear from her previous experience into her labor space. In doing- so she was projecting an old fear, on a new day. She had to continue to remind herself to trust the process.  She was well supported and when she spoke those fears out loud- her midwife, doula and husband met them with truth!  “This is a new birth and a new experience!” She trusted those words and shortly afterward began to push.  This became a healing birth!

What old fears are you projecting on a new day?  Speak them outloud to those who will be supporting you in your birth.  Feel free to comment if you have an example you would like to share that would help others relinquish their fears.

Welcome Baby Davis!

 

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Dear Baby Davis,

 

When I first met your Mama and Daddy, I knew they were looking for something different—a second chance of sorts—to achieve the birth experience that they missed out on with your sister.  They adore your sister, and were thankful for her healthy birth, but they also knew that they wanted something different this time around.  I could tell by the look in your Mama’s eyes that she was going to achieve it—she was ready and prepared and had strong support on her side.  She had chosen her care providers well, had hired a doula, and, of course, had your strong and loving father to support her.  We met for our prenatal meeting, talked about their wishes and desires, and then we waited—and waited and waited and waited.  Your due date came, and then went, and still your Mama’s uterus was quiet.

 

Although your Mama was dilated to about a 4, things seemed quiet as the days went by—still, your Mama was patient.  At her 41 week appointment, she had the normal tests, which were normal; however, an ultrasound predicted that you would be close to 10 or 11 pounds—a very big boy!  The midwife carefully reviewed the dangers of delivering a larger baby, while still telling your Mama and Daddy that it was their decision on how you would be born.  The midwife knew the risks, but she also trusted your Mama and Daddy’s ability to decide, and ultimately your Mama’s intuition on how you should be delivered.  A c-section was offered, but your Mama’s membranes were stripped too and things were left up to you, sweet Davis!  Your Mama told me that if you started labor and decided it would be safe to come, she would take that as a sign.  She was also wise and said if you did not start labor, maybe it was because you knew—her body knew—that you needed to be delivered by c-section.  They prayed and we prayed too that your Mama and Daddy would know just what to do!  They called the midwife back and told her the plan, and she supported them in their decision.

 

We did not have to wait long, and your Mama started having contractions.  I suggested that she do some lunges and spend some time on her hands and knees that afternoon to get you in the very best position for delivery.  We knew that you might be big, and we also knew that positioning was key!  I prayed that the contractions would continue, and your Daddy updated me as the afternoon went on.  Sure enough, as the minutes kept coming, so did the contractions and it looked like you had answered our questions—how would you be born?  By a wonderful, spontaneous labor it seemed!

 

Just before dinner, I told your Daddy to tell your Mama to get in the shower—he was concerned that it slowed the contractions down, but I assured him that this was the perfect time for hydrotherapy.  I told him to tell your Mama to lunge, with one foot on the bench in the shower, and to switch legs with each contraction, and to call the midwife and let her know that labor had begun.  The midwife told them to go ahead and come in about 30 minutes, so I prepared to leave as well.  Your wise Mama was enjoying the water so much, and began to think about just staying put—maybe the midwife would come to the house?  She then realized that she was farther along than she thought, and decided it was time to go.  She waited until she was between contractions to kiss your sister goodbye, and then they were off—it was time to meet you.

 

When I got to the hospital, there was a car parked kind of crazy by the front doors, and it was still running—when I saw this, I started running as well, having just a hunch that it might be your Mama and Daddy’s car.   I was right!  When I got to the room, your Mama was laboring away, spending the required amount of time on the monitors before she could get up and move around.  She was lying on her side, breathing through each contraction, and I talked to her a bit, reminding her to stay calm, and loose, and limp.  Your Daddy said that he was going to go and move the car, and knowing that you were close to being born, I offered to do it for him.  He said no, he could do it, until the midwife suggested I move the car as well, and all of a sudden he realized how close your birth really was!  With your sister, they had been at the hospital for over 24 hours before she was born, and they had barely been there for 24 minutes at this point!  I grabbed the keys and ran, catching the elevator, and running to park the car.  I unloaded all of the bags and pillows, dragging and rolling and carrying, while running as fast as I could back inside.  An older lady on the elevator looked at me, all my stuff, and my heavy breathing and asked if I was okay.  I said, “I am about to have a baby!” and ran off the elevator, leaving her in shock and deliberation I am sure.

 

When I arrived in the room, your Mama’s cervix had been checked and was found to be at 9.5 centimeters with your water in-tact.  She was almost able to get up from the bed, and when she did, we had he do some lunges, alternating legs with each surge.  She held onto your Daddy’s neck, and when the surge would rise, she would let her body hang limp, surrendering to the intensity of the contraction and letting go in your Daddy’s strong arms.  With her foot on the chair, and her body nice and loose, her pelvis was rocked back, opening up her legs nice and wide, allowing you to move down.  After the contraction, we would switch sides, and at one point she looked at me and said: “When is transition?”  I told her that she had moved right through transition and was about to meet her baby, and she laughed with joy.  Your strong Mama never faltered—not once.   After a few contractions, I switched places with your Daddy so that he could rest his back, and your Mama held onto me, and we would squat down with each surge.  I remember the sensation of her belly, with you inside, touching mine, and I felt so honored to be a small part of this forever moment with your parents.

 

After about 40 minutes of lunges, your Mama began to feel the urge to push, and with each surge, she would squat down, with her legs nice and wide.  I was amazed by her desire to squat—most women think they will like squatting, but when it comes to labor they don’t really want to do it.  It was almost like your wise Mama knew just what you needed—lots of room in her pelvis for you to navigate through.  The midwife, who never left the room, was watching and listening, and trusting your Mama as she squatted with each surge and pushed a little more each time.  At one point I was sitting on the floor, holding pressure on your Mama’s back, and the midwife was right beside me, waiting to see your head, and I knew that this was sacred—us all trusting your Mama’s ability to give birth.  I switched with your Daddy, and your Mama held onto my neck, and soon, your head was born.  Your Daddy told me later that he would never forget the midwife practically lying on the floor to birth your head, and the midwife told me she wanted to trust that your Mama knew just what to do.  After your head was born, your Mama moved to the bed, and birthed your shoulders on her hands and knees.  In about 3 pushes, you had been born, and we all got our first peek at you!  You were HUGE!  Because you had some meconium, the nurse scooped you up and took you to the warmer, where everyone talked about how big you were!  The doctor went ahead and got the scale, and sure enough—you weighed 12 lbs and 14 ounces—almost 13 pounds!  Everyone was shocked and excited and overjoyed that your Mama had done all of this hard work with just a small, tiny tear—amazing!

 

Davis you broke all kinds of records, but most importantly you helped your Mama and Daddy have the birth experience they wanted, all while confirming everyone’s faith in the birthing process—even when birthing big babies!  The midwife was instrumental in this, of course, and so was your Mama.  Her strength allowed you to be born vaginally, because she was able to feel you and move as you needed her to move—you both really worked together.  Your birth confirmed to me, once again, the value of movement in labor, and especially being able to use different positions to facilitate birth.  So often women are afraid to squat or lunge, because it might hurt a little bit more or bring on more intensity, however, the intensity of contractions is not something to fear, but something to surrender to.  I am so thankful to have been a part of something so precious, and I hope that when your parents remember your birth, they are reminded of the love that filled the room as an amazing team simply watched and waited.

 

You are loved, sweet boy!  Welcome to the world!

 

Your Doula,

 

Sara Beth

 

Birth InSight

 

Welcome Baby D!

February 20th, 2013

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Dear Baby D,

Your labor started with a bang—or more appropriately a POP, on the morning of February 16th, just before 8 am.  Your Mama woke me with a text—her water had broken and it was clear fluid followed by some cramping.   I was so excited to hear that today would be your birthday.  The morning continued, and your Mama continued to wait on some contractions.  We suggested that she shower and try to relax, while eating a good breakfast and drinking plenty of fluid.  Her mother (your grandmother) was on her way, and your Mama said she was not allowed to have a baby until she got there.  We waited and your Daddy cleaned all the toilets.  Your Mama teased that he must be in labor too!  I was so happy that he would be home to witness your birth.  He had missed your sister’s birth and was excited to support your Mama and watch her labor with incredible strength.

Around 10am your Mama texted me that the contractions were picking up a bit and that the baby was moving around well.  She continued to drip a little bit of fluid and had some bloody show—all good signs that dilation was happening.  Around 11:45 your Mama texted that her contractions were about 7 minutes apart and that they were getting more intense, but still very manageable.  At 12:45 she had her first minute long contraction, and texted that she was going to get in the bath and try to relax and have some quiet time.  I reminded her that I was here and ready for her whenever she needed me.

Around 1:00 she texted saying that the last 4 or 3 had been 5 minutes apart, right at the same time your older sister went down for her afternoon nap.  Of course, with your sister napping and taken care of, your Mama could relax even more and sink into her labor.  She was still in good spirits, and even texted us during her bath that she had lost more mucus plug and it looked like a jelly fish swimming around—gross but funny!

At 1:15 your Mama texted that the contractions were much more intense and she was about ready to go to the hospital.  I offered to come over first, as the hospital was on our way, but she said that she would just meet us there.  During this time, I talked to your Mama and your Daddy on the phone, and I listened to her have a contraction.  I could tell that she was really working through each surge and it was indeed time to go to her birthing place.  Your Daddy texted me and told me that the contractions were “kicking her butt” and that they were getting things ready to leave.  They were still waiting on your Grandmother to get there, and were ready to leave as soon as she pulled up to be with your sister.

At 1:45 I got a text from your Dad that he was leaving the house, but I was already driving because I had a little bit farther to go.  When I got off on the exit, I was examining every car, knowing that your parents must be right around me.  Before long, I spotted them, a few cars back, and waved—your Mama waved right back, which was surprising!  She was laboring hard but still very much in control and aware of her situation.  When I first saw your Mama, she was leaning on the wall, breathing deep through a contraction.  I knew that she was moving along quickly and I was thankful that she had trusted her instinct and we were at her birthing place.

We walked the long hallway to the elevator together, stopping to breathe through each contraction, and I watched all the people look at her while trying not to look at her.  I stood in front of her to give her some privacy, but I was also thinking about how many people have walked those halls to labor and delivery in early labor, causing a cascade of intervention and unwanted procedures.  I was proud of your Mama and Daddy for waiting at home, for trusting, and for listening and knowing what they wanted in your birth.

When we finally made it to the L and D floor, your Daddy filled out a bunch of paperwork while we waited in the waiting room to go to triage.  No one seemed to be moving particularly fast, and everyone had a lot of questions, but I kept your Mama calm while your Daddy talked to the nurses.  It seemed obvious that your Mama was very far into her labor, and close to pushing, but we were sent to triage anyway.  In the hallway your Mama had a big contraction, and she leaned over and made some pushing noises.  The nurse ran out in the hall and asked, “Is she pushing?” To which your Mama said no and yes, and then maybe.  She rushed her into triage and had her get into the bed, and checked her cervix.  She was complete (of course) and she wanted her to be moved to L and D right away.  We were swiftly moved to a delivery room, and the doctor came in and introduced herself.  Your Mama told her that she looked very young, which she did, and we all laughed.   I told your Mama that she could push when she felt the urge, but she said she was not feeling the need to bear down yet and she wanted to wait.  I checked on your Daddy, who was doing just fine, and stationed at the top of your Mama’s head.  After a few contractions, your Mama was ready to push, and I held one leg and the nurse held the other.  It took only a few pushes and we could see your head, and then before long your entire body was out—covered with more vernix than I had ever seen and completely lovely from head to toe.

Your Mama scooped you up in her arms and your Daddy cried big tears—sobbed—overwhelmed with emotions surrounding the birth of his second daughter.  It was one of the most wonderful sounds I have ever heard—I will not soon forget it.  Complete awe and love all wrapped up and unable to be contained.  The warmth and peace in the room was thick—you could almost touch it as Mama and Daddy looked over their new baby girl with delight.  And of course, a perfect ending to your perfect story, you latched right on and began to nurse—a perfect fit in such a wonderful, loving family.

Welcome to the world baby D!  What a blessed baby you are to be in such a loving family!

Your Doula,

Sara Beth Roberts

Seasons

sisters

As the seasons are changing- my mind is drawn to a beautiful birth I recently attended.  This is a story about a mom who was about to welcome her second baby.  As I watched her labor, I remembered my own emotions each time I welcomed another child into my family.  It is bittersweet- knowing that one season of your life is coming to an end as the next begins.  Life with one child is challenging and wonderful. I remember being so excited to welcome our second but scared that I wouldn’t have the time to devote to each of them. I quickly learned that God knows what we can handle and before long siblings are the best playmates they can ever have.  Each time we added another child to our family I went through the same emotions and feelings- always ending in joy and fullfillment.   As I attended this birth, I couldn’t help but shed a tear as I watched her go through the same thoughts and emotions as she kissed her first born daughter goodbye before heading to the hospital.

I had the privilege of attending this sweet couple’s birth with their first born, so when they asked me to be a part of their second birth journey, I was overwhelmed with excitement! The morning started very much like her first labor.  Her spiral was quicker this time as she welcomed each surge and knew it would bring her baby closer and closer to her arms.  I watched as this time she labored with confidence in her body’s ability to labor.  When we arrived I watched her not fear transition as it quickly came upon her.  No words were needed.  I watched as did her midwife with a smile as we witnessed her strength.  Soon she began pushing and delivered her sweet baby girl in the sac in the posterior position in the water.  There was so much happiness in the room it felt as though we were all about to explode into laughter.  I will never forget her midwifes contagious bursts of laughter as she helped wipe off the sack from around sweet V’s face.  I must have smiled the entire way home so thankful for the privilege to witness such an amazing birth.  Then the rain slowed and I saw the most beautiful rainbow!  What a perfect way to end an amazing day!  I hope you enjoy watching her birth journey unfold.  ***Warning -You may just need a box of tissues handy.

http://animoto.com/play/6BQPpEmvdpdcv0CFimfJ0A