Katie - Lancaster, KY

"First I would like to start off by saying I can not imagine my birth without having Christina as my doula. Things got started in an unexpected way, as they seem to do with labor and delivery. My water broke early as a small trickle at home at midnight close to the end of my 37th week. It was a Thursday night and I felt a rush of fluid but had read blogs that said some women had fluid for weeks before labor. I went back to bed without much concern.

The next day when the trickle continued I called my ob office to come in. My soon to be mother in law insisted on driving me. Once I arrived I was informed that my ob was OUT OF TOWN for the weekend. I saw a nurse midwife who I immediately clashed with. She checked me and said "Your water is broken you are in labor! Are you ready to have this baby? Let get you admitted and begin some pitocin to get things going!" I said, "Whoa whoa whoa...I want a natural birth...and I have a plan....and a doula." I was admitted and after calling Christina and us both having a good laugh in disbelief she headed to the hospital immediately,  even asking me if I wanted any snacks or anything from the store. This was Friday late morning, Christina arrived around the same time as my fiance who was also in disbelief and a little flustered after having to go home and pack our hospital bag (In our minds we still had 2 weeks to pack). After no contractions started, they gave me a full dinner meal and said I would be monitored throughout the night. Christina had copies of my birth plan and helped pass them out to all the nurses/staff. She made me feel so at ease and I felt like I was just hanging out with an old friend instead of being nervous about my upcoming labor. We decided to send Christina home for the evening and have her return the next morning since nothing was happening.  I was given IV antibodies at midnight which I allowed because I had premature rupture of membranes (aka the trickle). Christina encouraged me to relax and enjoy time with my fiance as our last night as just the 2 of us. I will never forget her advice and her urgency for us to call her in the middle of the night if we needed her.

At 6am they wanted to begin pitocin and I held my ground and said no. I was given the option of having a Foley bulb placed, I had never heard of this but it was a drug free option. Christina returned refreshed and with her magic doula bag on hand. She helped inform me about what this Foley bulb was, and I decided to go ahead and have this placed. After this was placed, my uterus contacted and I started to feel light contractions. They removed the bulb around 10am. Christina was by my side. She began helping me come up with movements to help get labor going. She walked the halls with me, helped me on and off birthing balls, put on retro motown music and even danced with me. She had essential oils and gave me hand massages, foot massages, pressure point massages. She even had white Christmas lights that she set up in the hospital room bathroom. She brought me chapstick, a headband, a robe. She was a calm and present force. I can't say enough how she put my fiance at ease and helped him step in to care for me, providing cool washcloths for him to hold on my head. As my active labor began, I kept my eyes closed but I always had either my fiance hands or Christina's hands supporting me. They were the birth dream team.

 Daniel Ellis and his doula.    

Daniel Ellis and his doula. 

 

Towards the end of labor I was feeling deep pressure, Christina moaned with me through each contraction. She kept telling me I could do it, that I was strong and beautiful. She helped me keep my sense of humor and wonder the whole birth experience. When it was about time to push she remembered the positions I wanted to push in and helped me get into them, even when I didn't want to, but knew it was the best thing. She was patient and kind. She helped me not to push too fast and helped me with my breathing. When my baby was born she stayed with us and she shared in the true joy. It was the longest, hardest, most rewarding day of my life.

I can't imagine having given birth without amazing Christina. If you want someone who will believe in you and truly labor with you Christina is your first choice. I will never be able to repay her. I am so blessed to have had a natural beautiful healthy labor and in my memory Christina will always be a part of that, what a gift!"