Matt + Roxy
I believe myself to be the same as any husband and expecting father. I love my wife, I want to make her happy, and I want to be the best father I can be. When I found out we were pregnant I was excited about becoming a father and wanted to do all of the right things for my coming child. My wife immediately expressed a desire to hire a Doula for our pregnancy and birth, but I did not initially agree that it would be in our family’s best interest. I felt that I had very rational objections thinking that we shouldn’t spend extra money and that there wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle with the help of our OBGYN, friends and immediate family. Despite my reservations, we hired Nicole to be our Doula, and after going through the pregnancy and birthing process, I can now look back and see that each objection I had was wrong and Nicole offered more than I could have ever imagined over our 9 month pregnancy and also in the weeks after our son’s birth.
Throughout the pregnancy we had several scheduled meetings with Nicole in which she answered any questions we had, ranging from car seat recommendations to hospital choices. She has attended births at most of the hospitals in the valley as well as many birthing centers. She also has worked with many of the OBGYN clinics. She was able to provided insights based off of her past experiences into what the processes were like at different hospitals. Possibly more valuable was Nicole’s willingness to take our calls at any time to address any questions or concerns that we had. Multiple times something would happen and we were concerned as to whether or not it was normal. We called the OBGYN, but could not speak to a doctor and had to leave a message. An internet search yielded 5 different answers, each one contradicting the other. Then we called Nicole. She comforted us by recalling multiple examples of when she had seen the same thing happen to other mother’s that she had worked with, or sometimes that she had even experienced it herself (she is a mother of two after all). After talking to her for 10 minutes, we were able to save ourselves from taking an unneeded costly trip to the hospital.
Child birth is a natural process right? Shouldn’t my wife’s body naturally do the right things? After all, if something does happen to go wrong, there will be a doctor right there with us. While all of these things are true, I found that after 6 hours of contractions at our home, I was not at all confident in what we should do next. The contractions aren’t stopping, is this active labor? The contractions are getting stronger and more frequent, should we go to the hospital now? We had heard many stories of couples going to the hospital only to be told to go back home because it was too early. We knew that we did not want to waste a trip to the hospital or show up and then be in active labor for 12 hours in an uncomfortable hospital room when we could have been in the comfort of our own home.
Luckily, we had hired Nicole. We contacted her immediately when my wife’s contractions began. She continued to check in with us for the next 6 hours. At this point she could tell by our descriptions of the progression of the contractions that my wife was actually in active labor and that our son would be born that night. When she arrived at our apartment 20 minutes later I was sure that we would be headed to the hospital within an hour. My wife’s contractions were strong, and in my mind I was worried that the baby might come out on our living room floor. Nicole immediately calmed me down, and then she proceeded to help us through 4 more hours of contractions at our home. She recommended different laboring positions based upon the strength and frequency of the contractions, she was able to use massage techniques to ease my wife’s pain, and she provided a much needed extra person to comfort my wife while I did things like make us some dinner and pack up for the impending hospital trip. Ultimately it came to the point where Nicole said it was time to head to the hospital. She led the way in her car, and when we were taken to OB Triage my wife was 10 cm dilated. They took us straight to the delivery room, and an hour later we were holding our son in our arms. It was the smoothest possible hospital experience I could have imagined. We labored so long at home that it felt as though we had our son in the comfort of our home, but with the assurances of a trained doctor, hospital staff, and equipment ready to aid in case of an emergency. If it had been up to me we would have arrived at the hospital 5 hours earlier, been uncomfortable and possibly felt rushed to deliver our baby. Often time this situation is what leads to epidurals, forced inductions, and possibly a C-section if these interventions go badly. We were able to avoid all of these by arriving at the hospital ready to deliver our baby naturally. I credit Nicole for this, and feel that this alone made hiring her as our Doula a good decision.
I could go on for another two pages speaking of all the things that Nicole did for us. I will end by saying that her care for us did not stop after Henry was born. She came by only hours after we returned home from the hospital to teach us how to use our breast pump properly and work with us on getting Henry to latch properly for feeding. She also noticed that he had a tongue and lip tie. Her own son had the same issue and she immediately recommended a good IBCLC for us to take him to. We would not have known that he was tongue tied, and after the exhaustion of the birth, the thought of trying to research on the internet to find a good IBCLC was daunting. Nicole took care of all of that for us, and we couldn’t be happier with the treatment our son received. In summation, I do not want to imagine what our pregnancy and birthing process would have been like without our Doula Nicole by our side. I strongly recommend hiring her if you are considering a Doula. We plan to have another child in the future, and we already know that we will be hiring Nicole again to help us through the process.