We met Shannon through our childbirth educator at the hospital. Since it was towards the end of my pregnancy I was uncertain if we would be able to get a doula, but after talking to Shannon, she was so reassuring and willing to jump right in and start the process. We talked at length about our goals and desire for natural childbirth. She was more than supportive and had so much insight on practical ways of meeting our goals. She is very knowledgeable about birth and pregnancy! We shared our beliefs and concerns. She listened and shared her personal experience and empowered us to strive for our goals. She helped us define our birth preferences, and gave us resources to feel prepared. We visited several times and kept in touch.
Finally one week past my due date I went into labor. Shannon came right away, and stayed by our side the entire time. It was a long 41 hour labor, and I am still amazed by her endurance. Shannon has such an intuitive sense of timing and knows when and where to help most effectively, while also encouraging partner support. She was so kind and gentle, even during the tense moments when I would start to feel discouraged. I never felt that I was in too much pain or that I couldn’t do it naturally, and I credit much of that to her support and ability to re-focus me, bringing things back into perspective. She was never pushy with her suggestions but took initiative in recommending ideas, which were amazingly helpful. If I ever started to feel overwhelmed, she would be right there to help me breath through it and “get on top of it” (the contractions).
Looking back, I can’t imagine going through labor without the support of a doula. We had no idea what our labor was going to be like or that it was going to be so long. The best advice I can recommend to someone for their labor is to hire a doula! It’s the single most important thing we did in preparing for labor. If you are lucky enough to have Shannon as your doula, you will be truly blessed!
-Hanna, Ryan, and baby Isla