From the first point of contact, Sarah was very friendly and after an initial phone call, came to visit us in our home (something none of the other doulas I spoke to had offered) for a meeting. This was the first sign to us of her willingness, level of effort and commitment Sarah would go on to make for us. Sarah’s energy was very gentle and reassuring… exactly what was needed when the time came.
The two pre-natal meetings during my pregnancy were quite straightforward as I had already created a draft document of my birth preferences. Sarah gave me some useful information and further topics to explore for a few things I had mentioned throughout. Having previously suffered with anxiety, we also discussed things I knew to be triggers and coping mechanisms so that Sarah knew what she could do to help if I started to struggle at any point. I felt confident going forward that I would be well supported whatever happened and that I would have a good advocate if I was unable to express my own preferences.
During my pregnancy I also had a few questions which has arisen from my midwife meetings, which as well as giving helpful responses from Sarah herself, with my permission, she also took to other doulas she networked with to ask for their opinions. A fantastic resource I wouldn’t have otherwise had access to!
The value of having Sarah present really came into play when I went into labour… All four and a half days of it! I honestly don’t know how both my partner, Fred, and I would have coped without her. From pouring water over my belly at home in the bath during contractions, ensuring I was not alone whilst Fred took a much-needed nap, to feeding me food and water, massaging my back and providing motivation and reassurance when self-doubt kicked in, Sarah was constantly on hand and no task was too much. The list of things she did for us both is extensive and I can not express how grateful we both are to have had her as my doula.
After the birth, Sarah’s support continued to ensure I settled in ok at home, helping me process my birth and providing tips to help me breastfeed after a tricky start.
Whilst I did transfer into hospital half-way through, I wholeheartedly believe that without her support, I wouldn’t have had the natural birth I so desperately wanted and finally achieved. I will never forget her integral role in my daughter’s birth and the final image as I birthed her into the world; my Mum on one hand, Sarah on the other and Fred, ready to catch as I delivered her.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!