Finding out I was having a baby was very exciting for me. The idea of having to deliver one was a whole other thing! I was scared to death. My sister, who lives out of the area, used a doula with the birth of her son the year before and she had the most positive experience. That got me thinking about finding a doula to help my husband, Morgan, and I with the birth of our daughter. Tina was recommended to me by a mutual friend. I called her when I was only about 4 months pregnant. Morgan and I met with her and decided right away that we wanted to work with Tina. She made us feel so comfortable and was willing to answer all of our questions and help me with my anxiety along the way.
I was so happy to discover that Tina provided pre-natal massage in addition to her doula services. I began seeing Tina for bodywork right away. Around week 20, I was placed on bed rest for over a month and Tina helped me so much with the aches and pains that came with being pregnant, growing larger and laying in bed for so long but also emotionally by doing visualization and breathing techniques to help me prepare for labor. It was a good addition to the birth class we took. I’m so glad I called her early on in my pregnancy.
Tina walked us through preparing our birth plan, which helped us all feel more comfortable about our wishes. I felt very strongly about having a medication free birth but didn’t know how to make that a reality. I also really wanted someone else to be there to help communicate our wishes with the hospital. I didn’t want to get talked into something I didn’t want or have me or Morgan be overwhelmed.
My water broke around 5 am on June 5th, 2007. We went to Mad River Hospital right away and called Tina shortly after we learned that I would be staying there for the duration. We kept in touch that day and, unfortunately, not much happened for that entire day and night. Tina came to visit us a couple of times that night in the hospital. My labor was stalled into the next afternoon so Tina worked on my acupressure points to help my labor get going. It sure worked. Not long after, my labor kicked up a notch and was non-stop from then on. After that, Tina made sure I ate and drake enough liquids, sat on the birthing ball, walked around and around the hospital and got outside as much as possible. She made sure Morgan rested and ate and took care of himself while also taking care of herself. We labored outside as long as we could and Tina made sure that was possible. We wanted to try to deliver in the birth tub. The water helped me so much during my pregnancy that I hoped it would help during labor. We had it ready and delivered around 8 pm on June 6th. Morgan and I got in the tub about 8:30 pm and Tina sat there on the edge helping me breathe and push when the time came. Our daughter, Sydney Anne, was born at 9:30 that night.
I couldn’t have done it without my husband who helped me breathe and moan and walk for hours and even climbed in the birth tub to help deliver our daughter ~ but the two of us couldn’t have done it without Tina. Morgan and I both are so thankful that we had her on our team. She was extremely helpful in the weeks following Sydney’s birth as well. It helped to have someone to talk to if I (or we) were feeling overwhelmed and she made herself available for visits to see Sydney and help us with any resources we needed.
Sydney is now 19 months old and I still see Tina for bodywork and occasionally for playtime so she can see Sydney grow up. We truly feel like she is part of our family and hope she will be a part of our lives forever. I want Sydney to know her as she grows up and know how important Tina was to us the day she was born and even now as our friend.
~Lisa van Doorn