Doulaing the doula a homebirth
As a doula myself - I knew how important it was to feel a true connection to my labor support team. I wanted to feel comfortable asking any and all questions, I wanted support for my husband, someone with homebirth experience, and I knew I wanted a birth doula I feel connected to and inspired by. I found all of that in Melissa.
Prenatally, Melissa helped my husband and I navigate our options as we planned our homebirth. Talking to her is so easy, and we felt comfortable asking questions that ultimately helped us make huge decisions surrounding our birth experience. We were very connected.
During my labor Melissa gave us both outstanding support. She was so intune to me and my body that she was able to read where I was at in my labor, and what I needed in that moment - when I was too focused on my contractions to verbalize myself. I was a quiet 'inward' laboring person. I held on to Melissa through my hardest contractions - and I truly believe I drew strength from her in those moments. When my labor progressed quickly and quietly - there was no time for my midwife to call in her assistant and Melissa with grace and ease took over the role of an assistant midwife while my mother and husband took my hands. It was seamless, and everyone in the room was beyond grateful to have her there. I can't imagine my birth experience without her....I truly cannot recomend Melissa enough. In the beautiful birth story she wrote me she said she was in awe of me - as I write this I am so in awe of her.
DANGANA, IT MEANS COURAGE
Melissa was understanding and kind. She has a non-judgemental attitude that helped me take ownership of what I really wanted my brith experience to be like. When we got to the pushing stage of birth my self-doubt kicked in hard! She looked into my eyes inbetween each contraction with strength and fortitude. She reassured me that I was strong. And now I have a beautiful baby girl.
I truly couldn't have done this without her.
JAIMEE & PETE
Ultimately we ended up having to transfer to the hospital because our baby was struggling a little. She helped make that process seemless and as least traumatic as possible. Once we were there and baby was assessed, she did her doula magic and got my stubborn baby to move down into a more favorable position. She kept repeating comforting words of strength and love as i felt at the absolute end of my rope. I truly do not believe my baby would have been born vaginally if not for her. I am so beyond thankful for her support and love, and i wouldn’t even question hiring her again if we had another baby!
FRIENDSHIP AND RAINBOWS
Being a first time father and a male were likely contributors to the thoughts I initially had of, “Is it necessary to hire someone to help, what are the doctors for?“ or “I‘m here to support you so what else do we need?” But, wanting to support my partner the best we decided to go forward with hiring Melissa as our doula. After our first meeting together I quickly realized my initial thoughts were completely wrong.
Once we were in the room Melissa stood by my partner and talked her through the contractions as well as making sure hospital staff were doing what they were supposed to be doing. When the pushing actually started I never felt so helpless in my life. My partner was screaming in agony and i had no idea how to help. Melissa knew exactly how to make her feel comfortable and safe and even took time to check in with me and rub my back!
I DON'T WANT TO BE FORCED INTO A C-SECTION, JUST BECAUSE I'M CARRYING TWINS
My wife was seriously remarkable through a challenging labor and vaginal delivery of two OP (face-up) babies. While I know that strength and power came from my wife, I truly feel like Melissa's presence helped her tap into that. When my wife was feeling defeat and said "I can't do this" Melissa told her "you're already doing it! You CAN do this". When we needed to make a decision during the birth, we were glad to have her there to guide/support us. After the healthy birth of our twins Melissa continued to support us both in a very emotional time. We are a gay couple and if I am ever pregnant I can only hope I'd be able to have her attend my delivery. After working with Melissa I feel so strongly that everyone should have a doula, and would tell anyone in Connecticut to look up Melissa.
JAMIE, TOM & JULIE
I don’t even know how to describe the chaos of my birth. Without getting into details I’ll just say: My doctor didn’t show up in time for the arrival of our daughter and pretty much every other staff member in the hospital room (there were A LOT) was shouting conflicting instructions at me. I was able to whole-heartedly trust Melissa, and I just focused on her guidance until the moment I was able to hold my little girl in my arms.
Since birth, Melissa’s support has continued to be exactly what we need whenever we have questions. She is both extremely warm and knowledgeable-two traits that have been invaluable to during this amazing roller-coaster ride of parenthood.
OVERCOMING FEAR: A VBAC STORY
Melissa was exactly what I needed for this birth to be a successful VBAC. As testament to her greatness, Melissa knew my fear from my first birth was the pushing phase. I ended up needing a C-section with my son because of a positioning issue and "maxing" out the pushing time limit for the hospital. With my daughter, when I was 10 cm dilated, the nurses and doctors suggested pushing. This immediately struck fear into my mind and I had visions of the baby being stuck AGAIN. Melissa quietly and calmly gave me an alternative. She told me to trust my body. So I did. Watching the monitors, the baby began descending on its own, which was incredible. One thing I'll never forget was Melissa leaned down and whispered "I see her hair" and at that exact moment I knew, with her help, I was going to deliver this baby the way I wanted to!
CLINESHA, RON, & JADE
Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for whom I will always emphatically refer to as “my Doula,” Melissa. Her coaching, support, and ability to embrace the human condition are noteworthy. Having her apart of such a special time in my life was invaluable. She goes the extra mile, and is clearly not invloved in this work for any selfish reasons. Her passion and calling is apparent and well-received. As a practitioner, I realize that having a patient -centered approach is imperative. However, I am even more convinced of its effectiveness having been on the “patient” side of things. The courage and confidence I developed as a first time Mom has been truly remarkable. The education I received from Melissa has been much needed and is ongoing. My first experience having a baby was a blessing.