Erica + Baby Grant
I decided late in my pregnancy that I wanted to do a natural birth - 35 weeks. Once I made the decision, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it on my own without the help of a doula. I love my partner and my mom, who would also be part of my birth team, but I knew they would be overwhelmed when we were in the moment, and I didn't want to be frustrated or upset with them during what is supposed to be one of the true miracles in our lives.
I was given a few recommendations and interviewed three potential doulas, and right from our first conversation and meeting, I felt as if I already knew Nicole. We just "clicked." She is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable on all things natural birth. While some of the other doulas had more experience or had nursing backgrounds, the chemistry I had with Nicole and her massage and yoga background made the difference for me. Since I was doing a hospital birth with a midwife, I wasn't concerned about experience or medical backgrounds. I wanted someone who would be "all up in it" with me and not get on my nerves.
When the day came, Nicole was a total champ. She came over to my house around 4:30PM trying to help me get the "juices" flowing since my water had broken the night before. She jumped into action making me tea, encouraging me, showing me how to use my breast pump (which I still hate) and of course, signaling when it was time to head to the hospital. Once we got to the hospital, Nicole took charge and interacted with my mom, partner and the hospital staff in my stead so I could focus on my birthing affirmations and staying in a relaxed mindset, which unfortunately didn't last very long once the surges started in earnest.
As my labor intensified and I decided that the bathroom in my room was where I wanted to labor (I really liked the height of the toilet and the handicap railing...don't ask...your body wants weird things when you're in that last phase of labor), Nicole was right there with me covering the floor with padding, removing soiled padding, bringing me more water and wet washcloths, applying pressure and massage to my aching body, removing more soiled padding, cleaning up the parts of my body doing the soiling, and encouraging me to keep on my natural birth course when my resolve waned (which it did as soon as I hit the transition from about 5 to 10 centimeters).
Nicole was my rock and I couldn't have done a natural birth without her.
After my delivery, my partner and mom both said Nicole was the best investment I had made and they were extremely grateful for her. As I had guessed, the whole natural birth situation was completely overwhelming for them and Nicole helped them find purpose and feel useful throughout.
Thank you Nicole for being amazing and helping me realize my dream of a natural birth!