Initially I didn’t think we needed a doula. I have a supportive husband and thought that would be enough. I’m so glad a friend casually asked me if we would be hiring a doula, because it got me thinking.
After doing some research and being astounded at the positive benefits of having a doula during childbirth, I was convinced!
After hiring Tammy and having our two pre-birth meetings with her, I felt so much more relaxed and prepared for birth. I found the guided meditation and breathing exercises to be empowering, and I felt equipped to cope with labor and delivery.
I started having cramps before bed on a Friday night. They continued throughout the night and by the time I woke up they were no longer cramps but contractions.
It was a beautiful May Saturday, sunny and 70s. My husband and I had planned to plant our vegetable garden and flowers that day, and we did! It was a great distraction to be outside and “supervising” my husband as he did our planting.
My contractions became very strong and close together by Saturday evening. We went in to the hospital at about midnight and I was only 3 cm dilated. They gave me the option to continue to labor at home and I gladly took it. It was a difficult several hours at home due to continued strong contractions and very little sleep.
We went back to the hospital around 6:30 a.m., and I was 5 cm dilated and they admitted me!
It was Mother’s Day, May 14th, and we were so excited that our little one decided to make an entrance in to the world on Mother’s Day. Little did we know that our sweet babe had other plans. I continued to have strong contractions, using breathing and Tammy’s coaching to work through them.
By that evening my water still hadn’t broken. I was starting to get tired after not getting much sleep the two nights before. We decided to have the doctor break my water to see if that would get things moving. As soon as my water broke the contractions went to another level and things moved quickly.
I was 10 cm within an hour or two and began feeling the urge to push!
My body told me that I needed to deliver baby on my knees while leaning over the back of the bed.
During the pushing stage I experienced what I can only describe as a “birthing high.” I was elated and so excited to meet our little one and that it was finally happening.
I don’t remember having much pain, despite having no medication, and I was smiling and enjoying the moments between contractions/pushes with my husband. I can recall a nurse saying “how are you still smiling right now?!”
My body knew what to do, and it was the most empowering feeling I have ever felt. Thirty short minutes of pushing later and my beautiful daughter Delaney Joy entered the world. I was in awe of this perfect little miracle that just came out of me. It was 12:17 a.m.on May 15 that I became a Mom, the best thing in the world.
Our doula, Tammy, was integral in helping us to have the birth experience we were hoping for. I wanted to have a medication-free childbirth, and I was able to achieve this! Her knowledge throughout the entire process helped us to feel prepared and relaxed about giving birth.
While we labored at home, it was comforting to have someone so knowledgeable to call and text about the progress and to help us determine when to go to the hospital.
During active labor at the hospital, she made me feel strong, confident and capable. This was the most valuable thing to me.
My confidence in myself never wavered, and I owe a lot of that to Tammy’s help and encouragement!