This is me, with my little girl when she was 6 days old in February 2008...I live with my husband in Ashford, on the borders of Surrey and Middlesex, and worked in various European and International roles for over 10 years, before deciding that I wanted to help other mothers with their own birthing experiences.
My pregnancy was pretty straightforward and it was only when I was around 7 months pregnant and starting to think about the actual birth, that I started googling how to avoid a caesarean. Every single new baby I had news of seemed to be delivered 'from above' by caesarean, which I found a little confusing and unnerving. Surely if my body was clever enough to get pregnant and grow a baby, it also knew how to birth it.
My birth plan was pretty simple. I wanted to avoid a c-section unless it was medically necessary. I felt, and do feel that pregnancy and birth is a natural event and that I could trust my body to birth my baby. I also wanted to avoid unnecessary medical intervention wherever possible, as I knew most of them had side-effects of some kind. It was during my internet research that I discovered the word 'doula', and thought there had to be something in the statistics on having a doula's support. I was also impressed with the statistics on homebirths, which I didn't mention to anyone for ages, but thought about it for a good while. My husband took some convincing, we have all come to accept that you need to be in hospital to have a baby and be surrounded by specialists and consultants, but I belived and trusted that you needed to feel safe wherever you give birth. For most people that is hospital, but for some including me, I felt that safe place was home. I also had a fear that I wouldn't get on with the midwife I would 'get' on the day, it just felt strange that I wouldn't be with people I knew and trusted, or at least have met before, for such an important (and intimate!) event.
So I only started looking for a doula when I was 8 months pregnant, and quickly found that most were booked up months before. And then I struck gold, I asked my local NCT coordinator if she knew of anyone, and it turned out that she did, and it happened to be an NCT teacher, and a lady whose earlybird class I attended when I was 12 weeks pregnant. Amazingly, her two mums for February had both given birth early, and she was able to fit me in. We got together a few times and I felt a lot better and much more in control of my own birth experience.
I went on to have a peaceful homebirth, with the support of my doula, my husband, two NHS midwives and a lovely student midwife. I used gas and air for the last three contractions before birthing or 'catching' my baby girl myself, in a birth pool in the corner of our living room. The NHS midwives turned out to be amazing, and let me catch my baby myself with my doula and husband around me, with just a gentle request now and then to monitor baby's heartbeat with a hand held sonic aid.
I never had to speak with the midwives while I was in labour, or discuss anything as my doula did all of that for me. Because she knew me and my hopes regarding the choices I had made, and knew the birthing process - I was left to relax into my contractions and wasn't disturbed with any of the 'business' side of birth. I didn't have to pay attention to anything unless I chose to. I felt safe, looked after and calm.
The unwavering, reassuring presence of a doula goes back to when women were helped and supported by women they knew and trusted. And I aim to build that trust and confidence in your body, to allow you to have a safe and supported experience, regardless of where you may choose to have your baby - at hospital, a birthing centre, or at home - and how any previous birth experiences may have been. As your birth doula, I will remain by your side, for however long or short your labour is.
The birth of a baby is an important day, one that you and your partner will remember for years to come. I wanted to do all I could to help myself, and hiring a doula was one of the best decisions I made throughout my pregnancy. I will most certainly hire a doula for my next birth, without a doubt, and equally I would be delighted to support you as your birth doula during your pregnancy, labour and birth.
Find out how I can support you as:
If you have any questions on how I can support you as your birth doula...
Please call me on 07825 130765 or contact me using this quick contact form.