“The birth of my first child was a beautiful and powerful event in my life, and having a doula gave me the confidence, knowledge, and support I needed to fully embrace the experience. She listened to my concerns, helped me navigate confusing and conflicting information, and helped support my husband to be an active partner and assist me while I was labouring at home. I think every woman, regardless of the type of birth they desire, can benefit from having the support of a doula at her side”
Dr. Karen Samonds
“Choosing to have Lesley at my birth, supporting me and gently guiding me; always with the intention to empower me as a birthing woman, was one of the most profound gifts I have given myself. Lesley is a guardian of Sacred Space, the Sacred Space where birth happens and she guards it with honour and humility. A doula with incredible integrity and an infinite well of experience, knowledge, wisdom, insight about pregnancy, labour, birth, mothering and women. I know in my heart that my successful VBAC after 2 c-sections would not have been possible without her support.”
Making the decision to have Lesley accompany us during the birth of our daughter was one of the best and most worthwhile decisions my husband and I made. As much as I love my mom, I did not think that she would be able to handle seeing me in pain during labor and would not be the best support person for us. Consequently, having someone like Lesley who was emotionally connected to us, but who did not come with any of the ‘emotional baggage’ that can sometimes come with a family member provided much needed reassurance and calm for both of us. Lesley’s wealth of experience and complete confidence in our ability to give birth on our own terms was also invaluable. I would strongly recommend her to anyone having a baby. Thanks Lesley!
As a second time mom I got a lot questions from my friends along the lines “why do you need a doula, you’ve done this before, you know what to expect, don’t you?” Yes, this is true, I have done this before but my last delivery was with a midwife, and this time around having my pregnancy declared as ‘at risk’ due to a potential blood condition I didn’t have an option of going with a midwife and I still wanted to have a more holistic labour than just having an OB showing up for the last 10 minutes of pushing.
There were other factors that made me seek the support of a doula. My first daughter was delivered 16 days past due date with a Pitocin induction and a looong 30 hr labour and 3.5 hrs of pushing. The woman in my family have a tendency to carry their babies longer than the traditional 40 weeks that the medical society wants you to or feels comfortable with. I knew this one will be late too and I wanted to avoid the induction any way I could. I was hoping that the advice/support of someone who assisted with the deliveries of hundreds of babies and had the same philosophy on child birthing as me would help me avoid repeating my previous story.
On the 19th of November, 5 days past my due date, with the induction already scheduled for the following week, I woke up feeling sort of different. I couldn’t quite tell what it was but I had a feeling something was going on. I had some minor menstrual type of cramping that would come and go but it was nothing painful or regular enough to even pay attention to. I drove my daughter to daycare and my husband to work that morning and when I got back home at 9am I called Lesley (my wonderful doula) to let her know that something was feeling strange and she agreed that maybe the labour would start by the evening. Having my first labour induced in the hospital, I really didn’t know what to expect so 15 min later when I realized that actually there were contractions coming up quite regularly and quite painful I got scared. I was home alone and all of a sudden I had a vision of having this baby on my kitchen floor all by myself. I called Lesley again. It was
amazing, but just by the sound of my voice she was able to tell that I was already in pretty advanced labour. She was at my house 2 contractions later and we were at the hospital by 10:30.
Once at the hospital I got into a wonderful, warm tub of water with massage jets and laboured there for about 40 min with Lesley telling me how to relax, adjust my position and just being there while my husband had to go and do all the paperwork that I never had a chance to do upon arrival at the hospital. At some point I felt my water breaking in the tub. The nurses got me out of the water and onto the bed. I was fully dilated and ready to push! There were a lot of people in the room, nurses, residents, students, the OB/GYN, all of them saying something, telling me what to do and what position to be in. I don’t remember any of it; I didn’t even realize that at some point the OB actually left the room because I refused to go on my back. All I remember was looking into Lesley’s face, who was telling me in a very calm voice with that soft gentle smile on her face how wonderfully I was doing and that the baby would be with me within the next push.
Camille was born at 11:36, an hour after getting to the hospital with just 10 minutes of pushing. I couldn’t believe that at 9am that morning I was still not sure if I was in labour and 2.5 hr later I was holding my newborn daughter in my arms! This was exactly the kind of labour and delivery I wanted and I know that I got that in part thanks to Lesley, being there with me offering her experience, emotional support and security.