~ What My Clients Have to Say ~
“Vanessa was our doula for the birth of my second child. Towards the end, I had a couple of nightmares that I told her about and she helped me work through my last-minute nerves. She helped me work through some emotional issues from my first birth that was fifty-six hours and very difficult. This really freed up my mind and gave me energy for this birth, by not dwelling on the past and knowing that I had set myself up for a different experience. She always has a smile on her face when I call. She is always a very warm and welcoming person.
When I was pretty sure I was in labor, I called to let her know. We planned on birthing at home as long as possible so she came over once labor was established. It was perfect because my husband was able to go and drop our son at the sitter’s house. She visited with me, painted my toe nails and timed my contractions as I sat and swayed on the birthing ball she had brought. We laughed and talked the whole time. She put me at ease. It almost felt like a slumber party instead of labor! I printed out my birthing plan and reviewed it with her and my husband for last time as we headed to the hospital. As I got into the car, I mentioned I was scared that I wasn’t as far as we hoped and that I would be disappointed. She reassured me that no matter what, my husband and her would always be there. That reassurance meant the world to me!
Once we were at the hospital she rubbed my back, got me Gatorade or water and helped with counter-pressure on my lower back. She did this amazing back massage our family calls a “flick massage”. It completely removes stress and even works on our newborn! She anticipated my every need.. She knew I had been through birth before and that I was pretty hands-off, so she was there when I needed her but was perfectly happy to sit quietly in the background until the moment I needed her. At one point, she even sat in front of me and worked with me on breathing and keeping me focused. She helped my husband to know what volume to speak to me in and when and also helped him know what to do to help me. For example, one nurse put me ill at ease and interacting with her made my labor slow way down. She helped my husband know what to say and do to arrange for another nurse to attend me.
She made a video of me birthing my son that is so invaluable to me. She also took photos during labor, of my husband handing me our son and our first several minutes of bonding. These pictures are the most precious pictures in the world to me. I would not have had such an easy birth or such amazing pictures of this birth without Vanessa. Because of her, I had the most amazing and healing water birth!” – Rachel B.
“If you are looking for someone who is calm, kind and encouraging during labor, then Vanessa is the doula for you. Vanessa helped me through very long and difficult hours of labor and she was faithful to stay with me until the very end. Vanessa worked very hard assisting me through horrible back labor, even while she herself was pregnant! She also stayed to make sure everything ended smoothly after things did not go as planned right after my birth. Vanessa brings a calm presence to the room and that is definitely something beneficial during labor. It was a blessing to have her be a part of my birth experience.” – Jessica B.
“Hiring a doula was a last minute decision for my husband and myself. We weren’t sure we could financially afford one not to mention I thought my husband, PJ, could be my birth coach. However, after a few conversations with him, he wasn’t comfortable playing that role the first time around. He thought he would be in freak-out mode which more than likely would make a horrible birth coach!
Our sweet midwife recommended Vanessa to us and I was probably around 35 weeks along already. We met for the first time in a Starbucks and I immediately noticed her calm and kind spirit. We interviewed for a few minutes and I left knowing she was the one I wanted by my side. Although she had only been to a few births prior to mine, it was clear that she was passionate and knowledgeable about birth, especially in regards to a natural, unmedicated, out-of-hospital birth.
She came to our home a couple of weeks later to show us pain management techniques. She also pulled her gadgets from a bag that are useful while in labor – my favorite being the tennis ball in a sock for massaging during back labor. That came in handy!
We couldn’t meet a second time because the baby decided to come 3 days early instead of 2 weeks late as I was anticipating. I started feeling mild contractions in the morning but thought nothing about it and went about my day – church, errands, walk in the park, etc. By 5 pm or so, I had a strong feeling I was in labor. We contacted Vanessa about it, but I knew it was going to be a long day and didn’t feel it was urgent for her to arrive immediately. Things started getting more intense and Vanessa showed up at this point. Once she got to the house, she kept in contact with my midwife without me even knowing about it. Together, they determined what stage of labor I was in. She had me walk around, sit, talk, etc. and helped me manage the pain of the contractions.
After one contraction, I threw up which was a sign that it was time to go to the Birth Center. Vanessa got the car ready for me with our bags and towels in case my water broke. Once at the birth center, things became blurry (in a wonderful way…labor and delivery is miraculous). But this I know, Vanessa never left my side. I don’t even think she went to the bathroom all night! (Ok, that’s probably not true, but you get my point). I have photos of holding her hand during contractions. She was with me for about 12 hours straight, through the night. She even was so kind as to go get me breakfast after the delivery because we didn’t have any family attend the birth!
Vanessa came to the house twice after the birth, once to check in on the baby and me and another to drop off a 12 minute DVD she had recorded of the moment my daughter was born. I’m happy to say that we are still friends and will hire her for my subsequent births, God willing. Her kind, calm spirit makes for the perfect addition to any birth team.” – Maggie S.
What Medical Professionals Have to Say:
“Vanessa has a warm and peaceful approach. Her willingness to support and encourage dad’s relationship with mom was exceptional.” – Beverly H. Former CM, Birth & Women’s Center
“VERY SWEET DOULA. Helpful, patient and encouraged mother sweetly.” – Debbie K. Apprentice Midwife, Birth & Women’s Center
“Very encouraging and helpful while still allowing mother to have control.” – Jeanne G. L&D Nurse, Plano Presbyterian Hospital