Stephanie, First Time Mother

“I was at a party early in my pregnancy when I met a couple who had hired Devon as their birth doula.  I had never considered having a doula before this, but their recommendation was so strong that I just had to meet Devon and learn more about what doulas do.  I had never spent much time thinking about the kind of birth I wanted for my baby, but somehow I always imagined that I would need a C-section, because that’s how I was born and I am a very petite person.  At our first meeting with Devon, I told her that my main goal was to have a vaginal birth, but that I had a lot of anxiety about this.  I also told Devon that my preference was to give birth in a hospital setting and that I planned to use pain relief intervention including an epidural.  I described myself as a non-religious, non-spiritual, scientifically-minded person who would immediately heed advice from any health professional, especially if told I needed a C-section.  At first I thought that maybe these things would keep us from developing the kind of trust and understanding that we would need to have a good doula-client relationship.  But Devon responded by telling me, “This is your birth.”.  She explained that her job was to enhance our birth experience according to our own vision, whatever that may be.  I was immediately put at ease and even after this initial visit I felt more confident about my ability to give birth.  After discussing with my husband and researching the benefits of having a doula, we decided to hire Devon as a member of our birth team.  Throughout the rest of my pregnancy, every time I thought about the upcoming birth, I was constantly reassured by the knowledge that Devon would be there to help me manage the pain and anxietyand would bring a more humanistic approach to my birth process, compared to the sometime cold or rushed methods of doctors and nurses…

Looking back on my labor, 16 hours of which was accompanied by Devon, I would say that I have many wonderful memories and would even describe much of the experience as fun!  Devon kept me busy and moving and helped the time pass remarkably quickly.  I went for walks, bounced on the birthing ball, stretched, lunged, and squatted (sometimes with the help of Devon’s lovely Rebozo scarf), relaxed in the shower, and danced.  Devon decorated the room with a string of mini lights and artificial candles and put on a Nora Jones album, creating a warm and relaxing ambianceMost important of all was the massage.  So much wonderful massage!  Every time I started having a contraction, Devon would apply a lot of pressure to my hips and lower back, and this significantly helped me manage the pain.  I don’t think I would ever have made it to 8cm of dilation before getting my epidural without all of these techniques.  I am so proud that I was able to remain calm and upbeat throughout labor and I absolutely credit Devon for this.  During transition, I did eventually decide that it was time for an epidural, and I truly believe that this was the right decision for me.  Devon at no point attempted to discourage me from getting the epidural and I greatly appreciated that.  As I was pushing, Devon assisted the nurses by suggesting various positions and encouraging me with every contraction.  I remember her telling me how strong I was and what a great job I was doing, even after things got challenging. 

I would highly recommend Devon as a birth doula to anyone who is looking to get the most out of their birth experience.  My memories of giving birth to my daughter are overwhelmingly positive, in large part due to my outstanding birth team.  I felt so comfortable with Devon, and her presence in the room helped me to maintain that inner calm that I believe is the reason that I was able to achieve my goals.”

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