Melanie and Chris were referred to me through a mutual acquaintance and she had followed me on Instagram for a while as well. She reached out through IG to connect when she was just starting out on her pregnancy journey. They both knew right away that they wanted a doula. Chris, a wise man, knew that he knew little to nothing about the birth process and felt that having a doula would really help him help support his wife better. This baby was also their rainbow baby after suffering a miscarriage just months before.
We met at a local restaurant and talked for a while. We discussed what they were looking for and what they were thinking about for this birth. We talked about what doula support looks like and what birth photography actually means (not just gory moment of birth and lots of pictures of vulvas) and after about an hour, we said goodbye and agreed to check in after they’d had some time to talk it over.
A couple days later they messaged me asking to hire me! I was thrilled!
We then began the process of helping them discern where they wanted to birth and with who… I sent them a few referrals and they ended up choosing one of my favorite hospital birth providers, Willow Midwife Center for Birth and Wellness, which at the time was still doing births at Banner Ironwood (they are now doing their hospital births at Banner University).
I also recommended a few childbirth education classes, and they chose a hypnobirthing class here locally.
We talked regularly about everything from nutrition, positioning, supplemental healthcare, feelings, emotions, and so much more.
We met twice during their pregnancy to talk more in depth about their birth plans and what our plan would be for their birthing time and helped them feel prepared for what to expect at the hospital.
When their birthing time finally arrived, we talked during their early labor regularly, then I met them at the birth center as they wanted to go get checked. She was still in early labor and their baby was not in a great position so we went home and my student doula also came and we did some Spinning Babies techniques to try to help rotate baby. Things picked up and they decided that it was time to go to the hospital.
We drove to the hospital and checked in. Despite an incompetent night nurse (seriously not sure where she left her brain that night) we labored through the night with Midwife Roxanne keeping an eye on things but generally keeping the midwife code of keeping hands off. She labored in the tub with nitrous for a while and then come morning decided that she was ready for an epidural and a nap.
Lora (my student doula) and I let them get some sleep and got some breakfast then went back to help them change positions regularly and then it was time to push out their baby girl!
She did magnificently and Midwife Belinda kept her hands completely off until baby’s head was out and she helped reduce a cord wrap and then Melanie pulled her baby girl up to her chest! We all cried while I snapped a billion pictures. Chris got skin to skin. We made sure their golden hour was respected and breastfeeding was established.
A couple hours later Lora and I went home and they went to recovery.
Two weeks later I went back to do an in-home family session with them and to check in.