"I can’t recommend Annie’s doula services enough! I had Annie as both a birth doula and postpartum doula and she was an indispensable part of my birth team. It was such a huge relief to have her coaching me through every moment of every contraction when I was in pain and scared (first birth!) countless hours before it was time to call my midwife. She always knew just the right thing to say for encouragement, to keep me focused, and also knew just the right way to offer soothing touch and massage at the right moments. Not only was Annie always instantly receptive to whatever frequently changing signals I sent out in my chaotic state of mind, she also knew what I needed before I did and made sure I was always staying hydrated and had anything that I needed before I even thought to ask for it. I truly don’t know how people get through giving birth without having a caring, compassionate, skilled, and attentive doula like Annie by their side.
My labor ended up being very long (nearly 3 days total) and, although it was planned as a home birth, ended up transferring to the hospital for the last 12 hours of labor plus delivery. Annie could not accompany me at the hospital due to COVID restrictions, but she rode in the car with me helping to calm my frantic headspace while my partner drove. Then she returned to our home and stayed with my partner’s 13 year old daughter while my partner and I were at the hospital that night. Since we had not planned on going to the hospital, we had not lined up childcare. Annie’s flexibility and willingness to help in this regard when nothing was going according to plan was vital and so appreciated.
Annie’s care during my early postpartum phase was just as valuable as it was during labor. I was hormonal and emotional, exhausted, anxious, and very painful from what ended up being a traumatic and long labor and complicated delivery that just barely escaped requiring emergency c-section. Annie gave me wonderful postpartum support, from making sure I got food and beverages while I was recovering on bed rest (as I had been so out of it that I didn’t even realize I was eating/drinking too little), to researching my new breast pump to make sure I knew how to best use it since I was struggling with lactation challenges, to helping with baby so I could finally rest for a moment, to helping make a schedule to coordinate my medications/meals/breast pumping/feeding baby/alternating sleep shifts with my partner, to facilitating much needed naps for myself, to offering a friendly ear to listen whenever I needed to vent about my frustrations and anxieties. This added support truly contributed to my speedy recovery from a traumatic birth.
When I sought out a doula, I didn’t fully understand what a doula really provides. However, I’m so grateful I followed my intuition and looked for the added support. I now know that a good doula is simultaneously a guide, a coach, a cheerleader, a therapist, a caregiver, a masseuse or body worker, a teacher, and a friend. Annie is definitely all of these things, and I am now convinced a good doula is a critical component of the birthing journey. Baby Juniper and I are very grateful for all of Annie’s support!"