Gosh, where do I start? Nicole is wonderful! She helped me in so many ways:
I connected with her during my second trimester. I didn’t realize how much I would need her BEFORE my birth.
I was dropped by my birth center and I was being told that I would not be “allowed to push.” This all happened at the beginning of third trimester (after being strung along my entire second trimester with me hearing that “maybe” everything would be ok for me to birth at the birth center).
I was scheduled to take my MCAT at 35 weeks which was tough in itself. As a first time pregnant mama, I was beside myself. I was broken inside and cried so much. I felt hopeless and Nicole helped me hold on to glimmers of hope, while staying solution-oriented.
I originally wanted a home birth but my husband was more comfortable with a birth center. I felt trapped and unheard when my birth center dropped me... except when I talked to Nicole. She believed me, heard me, listened to me, encouraged me. As a home birther herself, she fully understood the magic of what I wanted. She believed in my health. She believed in my abilities and the safety that comes with a home birth. She talked to my husband and helped alleviate his fears. Today, he’s a such a crunchy dad and if we got pregnant again, it would be a no-brainer home birth!
Most importantly, Nicole helped me find the most amazing midwife a pregnant mama could ask for — Stephanie Soderblom!!
When I was first pregnant (5 weeks), I tried to find a homebirth midwife to help encourage my husband to take this journey with me. I spoke to a friend’s midwife who she worked with for 3 births. When I spoke to this midwife, she *strongly* discouraged my home birth and recommended it for my second birth. She recommended a birthing center for my first birth. I now realize this midwife’s approach said more about her comfort level than it did about me and my abilities. My midwife Stephanie LOVES first time mamas and she’s very skilled at what she does. Choose your midwife carefully!
It seems that from the very beginning of my pregnancy, I have been pushed away from my dream home birth. Nicole was the ONLY one who was in my corner and helped me navigate the bureaucracy of birth centers and hospitals. Had I not met her, I imagine things would have looked VERY differently for me.
At my birth, Nicole helped me endure my contractions. She showed me how to make myself limp and literally surrender. While I heard this and read about this, I forgot it all during labor. I looked for help and I experienced so much fear. I didn’t know how I could maintain those intense contractions.
Little did I know how fast my labor was progressing. I dilated from 3-10 cm in FORTY FIVE MINUTES. Yes, 45 minutes! I had a VERY productive labor. At the time, I didn’t realize how fast I was progressing. My midwife arrived around noonish and my baby safely born into my arms at 2:30 pm. I had my dream home birth!
But wait, there’s more! Nicole captured incredible photos that mean more to me than my wedding photos. Whenever my husband and I look at these photos and it brings us so much joy. Her work beautifully captures a raw, priceless moment in a woman’s life.
Nicole educated me, helped me and empowered me. I am forever grateful. She and my midwife have the most special, irreplaceable place in my heart.
It is with a heart of gratitude and happiness that I offer my highest recommendation for Nicole as a doula and birth photographer. She will change your life for the very best. ☺️
We love you, Nicole!! ❤️
-The Pendlebury Family