(All Love Letters and Reflections shared with the permission of clients)
I remember being a little nervous speaking to you over the phone for the first time. I was worried that we wouldn’t connect like I was hoping to with a doula. We chatted a bit (which eased any worries) and set up a date to meet for the first time. I was still a tiny bit nervous, but then I met you in person. The energy that surrounds you is just absolutely comforting. I knew immediately that you were an empath, and a kind soul. I felt at ease. I was able to relax, and knew that you would help me educate and empower myself to make my gentle birth dream come true. You helped me research anything I had questions about and even chatted with me about my worries. When labor day came, you were waiting for me at the birth center when I got there. You were so comforting and intuitive to my needs, and I could never in my life could have asked for a better pair of guiding hands to help me rock my birth. I will never be able to thank you enough for helping me to make my dream birth a reality. Thank you for being the best doula ever, and a sweet friend as well!
With all of the love and thanks in the universe,
Jenny’s reflections~ Sarah was my first client as a trained doula. I was so nervous! It was also my first birth at a freestanding birth center…so I was even more nervous! Was I right for this job? Would I be able to help Sarah and her family feel strong and confident? Had I made this leap of faith only to crash and burn? This was her BIRTH…an experience she would remember for the rest of her life. I felt a sense of tremendous responsibility. So I grounded, I breathed. And when I got in that room I felt things just start clicking into place. It was the most natural thing in the world. I focused on Sarah, and what she needed. I remember watching the waves of her contractions visible from her back and I was just in awe of her strength. Labor and birth have such an incredible rhythm and flow…I felt like I just belonged with Sarah in that moment. Her husband and I were able to focus together on helping her, he was wonderful. What a privilege to be able to be with them as they welcomed their sweet babe. As I drove home that day, I remember saying over and over “I am the luckiest person on earth! I have the best job in the world!”
“Jenny was my doula for the birth of my second child and her support through my pregnancy, labor and birth, and postpartum was invaluable. She was knowledgeable, warm, and kind. During my pregnancy she helped me identify my feelings and wishes for my labor and birth and form a birth plan. She checked in with me frequently and I felt very well cared for in the final weeks of my pregnancy. I knew I could rely on her support at any point in time. Her experience and positive support helped me remain calm as my due date approached and then passed.
During labor she offered excellent emotional and physical support. She helped provide my husband with ways that he could support me through contractions and facilitated a calm and positive environment. She suggested various laboring positions to make me more comfortable as well as help labor progress. I had a hospital birth with midwives and Jenny was able to identify when we should head to the hospital, something my husband and I would not have been able to do. When at the hospital she worked alongside of the midwife and nurse in a professional manner. She was by my side for each and every contraction and her presence and support created a positive birth experience for my husband and I. In the first few hours postpartum she helped us initiate breastfeeding and get set up in our postpartum room. She helped us navigate communication with visiting family members so we could maintain a relaxing environment in our first hours with our new baby. Postpartum she checked in with us and offered support. She was an amazing resource to have.
Overall having Jenny was so essential to our positive birth experience and we would not have been able to have the wonderful and calm birth that we did without her. I will definitely have her by my side for our next baby.”
“Love Letter: Birth and Joys of Having a Wonderful Doula
I was afraid to become a mother; terrified even, but also, I was filled with excitement and joy and wonder. I was in love with the process happening in my womb and sick of vomiting and being exhausted at the same time. My partner is incredibly supportive, and the truth is he had no idea how to relate to what was happening to me and though he tried, he could not provide the comfort I needed.
I reached out to Jenny, and she came with the same level of excitement and wonder I had, but the difference is she knew what she was doing. She could handle and respond to my mood swings, my fears, my joys, my questions, all of it. I called and texted her over the smallest things, and she kept reassuring me that no question or worry was too small for her. I came to her with all of it. Honestly, it was like having two mothers; one mother, my blood, who loved me and provided a listening ear, and the other, a new friend, who also loved me and had experience and knowledge to share with me. Jenny encouraged me constantly to give myself what I needed and she empowered me to get the birth experience that was right for me. She suggested a birth class instructor whom I absolutely loved! I learned so much in that series and am so glad Jenny told me about her. Throughout my pregnancy she was a rock. My experience would not have been the same without her.
When the days got closer I texted her and called her several times a day, and she was glad I did. She wanted to be in frequent contact and know all the things that were happening – mood swings, blood, diarrhea, all of it!
And one morning the day had arrived. I called her, half crying, half laughing, at 4 or so in the morning. She spoke with me about what was happening and trusted me when I told her I would need her soon. She came with rebozos, birth balls, juice, essential oils, and a calm, reassuring, positive spirit. She immediately was able to direct the madness that was happening (my partner and parents were beside themselves with excitement so the house was full of frantic energy). She helped center me and encouraged and calmed my family and directed us – giving us tasks, suggestions and information. I should give some perspective – I have a family full of nurses, and I don’t think anyone had ever even considered having a natural birth, home birth, birth center delivery… nothing like that. But that is what I wanted, that is what I knew I needed. Minimal intervention, quiet, the time and space to allow my body to do the work it was made to do. Women are made for birth, the ability is deep within us and when we have loving women around us who know this truth we can have a beautiful birth experience. I knew this, Jenny knew this and with time, my family discovered this as well.
Jenny coached me through early labor and helped me decide when to call my midwife about coming in. When we arrived at the birth center, I was 5cm and beginning active labor – it was perfect timing! The 12 hours of laboring is mostly a blur. I remember water, pain, joy, fear, and love. I remember Jenny, holding and supporting me the entire time. She left my side only for short moments to eat or pee. She must have been exhausted, but she stayed with me and made sure I had what I needed. She helped my family participate in ways that were meaningful and still allowed me space. This was difficult, because I am very close with my family, and it must have been hard for them to hear that I wanted to do this without them. I felt the need to go on this journey with the father of my child, my doula, and my midwife only. My partner checked in frequently with my family, my midwife left to perform necessary duties, but Jenny stayed. I am so grateful for her.
After we came home with our sweet baby girl, Jenny came by often. She helped ease fears, made plans, prepared schedules for my family to help care for me. She answered 100 phone calls with questions about latch, crying, poop, and sleep. She continued to support me for quite some time postpartum. Again, she was a rock for me and my family.
Jenny is an advocate for women, for babies, and passionate about helping us have the experience we want and need. If I have another baby, I hope she will be my doula again. I have love and respect for this woman.”
Jenny’s reflections~ Birth is a passage. And watching someone walk through that door for the first time is an incredible honor. Being allowed to support them as well? Well that’s just magical. There are many ways to transition into parenthood, culturally birth is the one we are often most familiar with. But even with its familiarity, the first time is full of surprises and revelations. We see ourselves and our relationships differently, and it is forever. We cannot backtrack or become not a mother. Kelly chose to look at, own and process all of those contradictions that pregnancy and impending motherhood bring. Seeing her bloom as a mother of a crawling, laughing, (sometimes crying!) baby girl, and own her own power as a woman has been beautiful.
“Jenny is amazing, and I will tell you all why. Not only is she an exceptional doula who is knowledgeable, she has become a part of our family. Jenny was able to be with me during my birthing journey as well as after birth. She was able to give an overall description of the birthing experience so that I knew exactly what was going to occur. Being a first time mother I wanted my birthing experience to be smooth as well as planned. Some things did not go as planned, but Jenny was able to assist me in the changes that occurred. After birth Jenny was able to make sure that I met my nutritional needs as well as emotional. She was also able to assist me when I needed help at home and just needed a break after my child was born. My child had some complications after birth and because I asked Jenny to assist me postpartum she came to the hospital and was supportive through all of our sessions with various Dr’s. The service that she provides is something that you cannot put a price on. I am thankful that I was referred by my good friend to fulfill my birthing experience with a professional that truly cares about the birthing process and all that is entails. Choosing Jenny for this journey was the best thing that I could have ever done and for my second birth I will hire her again so that I have a supported experience. My boyfriend was also supported by her through the birth as well and was able to ask her any questions so that he could understand various things that I was going through. I was able to text Jenny any question and she was able to give me answers/ more information as well. It is very important to have someone who is objective as well as supportive. Hiring Jenny for your birthing experience will be the best thing that you have ever done in your life.”
Jenny’s reflections~ Sometimes things don’t go the way we’d hoped. Courtney and I truly went on this journey together. We did my private childbirth class(along with her awesome mom!) and had so much fun(while Courtney’s dad read the paper and occasionally threw out good questions). Her mom was absolutely willing to hear and see things she’d never imagined(how many births can your doula make you watch on Youtube anyway?), all for the chance to be there for her daughter. Being an adoptive mom, she had not experienced birth herself, and she was really excited to be there. For her part, Courtney was a fierce warrior mama and was ready to DO THIS birth thing. So to go from rocking a hoped for birth, to an emergency c-section in a matter of moments, took an incredible amount of adaptability and grace. It’s also a different kind of support from your doula. For a short while, it was about helping her partner to do skin to skin with baby while she was still recovering from general anesthetic. As she woke up, we made sure that she and her little guy spent as much time skin to skin as possible. We also spent a lot of time processing how you can go to sleep and wake up with an instant baby…it can be so surreal to not have the time that labor and birth allow you to transition to parenthood. I could not be more impressed by how much Courtney advocated for herself and her new family in the hospital and beyond. Her baby had some health challenges and needed more care a few weeks after birth. I was able to be there for them and again saw that fierce, loving, warrior mama. Her family was there for her as much as possible and really put their all into being supportive. I always fall a little in doula love with my clients, with Courtney it was her whole family!
“Jenny was such a blessing during my pregnancy and labor. This was my third pregnancy and my first doula experience and it makes me regret not having her by my side for my other two. I opted for a non-medicated birth this time and breastfeeding support. She was attentive and brought up some good information that I would have missed. She never made me feel like I was alone in this process. My pregnancy went from no risk to high risk towards the end and I was scheduled for an induction, which shattered all my hopes for a natural, epidural-free delivery. She still managed to make me feel that I was in charge of all of this regardless of the circumstances. Baby decided to come one day before my scheduled induction and things progressed fairly quickly. She was prompt and attended to any anxiety and pain I had. She was my voice during labor in the hospital and it was such a relief to just focus on delivering my baby instead of everything else that was going on. My birth ended up going the way I wanted with a few bumps and Jenny played such an important role in making that happen smoothly. I highly recommend reaching out to Jenny if you are in need of a doula!”
Jenny’s reflections~ Sophia has a history of quick labors, and this time she was hoping for an experience that left her feeling more empowered and connected to her body. We met, and as I listened to her hopes and plans, I reassured her that she would have my full support for whatever path she chose, and that I believed in her ability to birth her baby. We worked on her birth plan and had such joyful, connected prenatal visits. Sophia received challenging news about a complication that developed late in pregnancy. One thing a doula can do is to help make EVERY birth beautiful and meaningful. So we regrouped and planned for her induction to be as peaceful and gentle as possible. But clearly the universe had other plans! We could hardly believe she went into labor the very day before her induction was scheduled. When I got to her, I realized this labor was moving quickly. Very fast labors present a different set of challenges. They are intense, and leave little time to make the mental journey to the moment when you hold your baby in your arms. Babies also need a little more time to adjust. Sophia, her husband and I made it to the hospital, and very(very!) soon she birthed her sweet little one, much to her surprise and joy! It was delight to hold space for them as they held and cuddled their sweet babe. Sophia was amazing, and I am so grateful I was able to be her doula.