We originally were not planning to work with a doula because I assumed it would only be helpful if I were trying to have a natural birth (with no epidural). But after attending a childbirth class we realized it would be helpful to have someone in the delivery room who was there to support us, since we knew the doctor would not be able to provide the guidance we would need.
After meeting with several highly recommended doulas we decided on Michele, and she turned out to be a perfect fit. Michele was supportive throughout the rest of the pregnancy without ever pushing her ideas or preferences on us. Our daughter was two weeks late, so she helped us balance natural and medical induction options with just waiting it out. And most importantly on the day (days) of labor and delivery she was there cheering us on, providing information and support and a calming presence, and even some comic relief. She helped to remind me of preferences that I forgot about in the heat of the moment, and supported me when my preferences were not possible.
My doctor got caught up in surgery toward the end of my labor/when I started pushing, and I started to get nervous that he wouldn’t be back in time (he was!), but Michele kept me focused, assured me that what my body was experiencing was normal, and helped me to communicate with the hospital staff that it was time to push. She even took amazing photos and videos (with our permission) of the first moments after my daughter arrived. Since our daughter was born, Michele has continued to be helpful and responsive when I’ve had questions about breastfeeding – it really feels like she’s still cheering me on!
We can’t imagine what the experience would have been like without Michele there, and we highly recommend her to anyone looking for a doula (or even those who are not sure whether a doula will be helpful – the answer is yes!)