Mandy & Johnathan
This review is a bit lengthy so I apologize but there were just so many good things to say and we also wanted to reflect both the mama and daddy’s perspective.
Mama’s review: After a bad experience (very pushy and tried to discourage me from giving birth at the hospital we had chosen) with the first doula agency I had contacted and after a lengthy discussion with my husband about whether we should hire a doula, we decided ‘no’ due to the cost and due to not thinking we’d really need one. Although I had originally really liked the idea of a doula the case had been closed for me at that point. Interestingly, however, my husband said to me the morning after our discussion that maybe we should gather some more information after all.
So I went on Facebook and found Indy Doula Associates. They ended up having a doula date night that very evening and since it was free we decided to go. We learned A LOT that night and enjoyed the warm and friendly atmosphere. Moreover we saw the value in hiring a doula. On the way home both my husband (!!! this was a complete surprise to me !!!) and I decided that we definitely wanted to hire a doula for our birth, specifically Tamrha.
From the moment we met her we felt comfortable and at ease with her. We were impressed with her wealth of knowledge and expertise. We realized she would be immensely helpful to us not only during birth but also before and after. We were not disappointed. In fact, Tamrha even greatly exceeded our expectations. Our prenatal visits with her were extremely helpful. She gave us different perspectives and options we hadn’t even considered. She helped us create a plan for the birth we desired. We had 24/7 access to her through texting, email or phone calls. Many times she eased my fears and troubles when I had a question or doubts.
During labor and birth Tamrha was PHENOMENAL. She was a constant source of encouragement, support and wisdom for us. When I thought I could go on no longer, she would recommend different positions or the shower/tub, use essential oils and encourage me with her words and gentle touch. When I thought I could not go through another contraction, she helped me see that in fact I could-and I did. I am still amazed about what I was capable of doing during my labor and birth. I never would have thought I could do it- but I did. And that is to a great degree due to Tamrha helping my husband and I. When some unexpected things happened that we hadn’t “planned” for, our doula helped us think through things and make informed decisions. A few things didn’t go quite as planned (not due to anyone’s fault but just the way things went) but Tamrha was there every step of the way supporting us through it. When I was in tears about things not going as planned she helped me to be comfortable with the change in plans. She added a great calm and peace to our birth experience. She helped my husband immensely to see how he could provide pain relief and encouragement to me. Even now after birth she is still there for us to answer questions and give support as we navigate the waters of being first time parents. We couldn’t have done it without her. Birth was such a positive and sweet experience despite changes in plan and some complications. If we are blessed with another child we definitely want Tamrha to be there again. In fact, I can’t wait. Words can’t express how grateful we are to her and how much we love her.
Daddy’s review: From a husband's perspective, I had a slightly different view of Doulas. My original skepticism was centered around the expense and general stereotypical views of Doulas that I had encountered in the past. My limited understanding was that they were expensive and only good for things that a family member could do if available. I was completely and pleasantly proved wrong.
This was my wife's first birth. Therefore, we could have spent much time reading and studying what birth would be like but because each birth is ultimately unique, a fresh but experienced perspective from a doula could save us time and effort by being a sounding board and helping us with knowledge and information, especially before seeking medical intervention. Each Doula is different so I would encourage you to first interview the Doula you are thinking about hiring for your birth. During the information session my wife and I were impressed by the knowledge and focus of our Doula, Tamrha. She knew medically the terms, signs, and actions that happen during birth. She was well experienced and she held a deep commitment to support the wife's desires for birth. Each of these were important to me because without them, she would not be able to know what was occurring to communicate it to my wife when I could not effectively communicate, aid in providing a well-rounded but reasonable perspective throughout the birth process, and she could not have been an advocate for my wife's desires during the birth process. Because Tamrha was able to exceptionally perform these critical roles, we saved time not worrying about things we did not need to worry about, saved money by not going to unnecessary doctor's visits, and were able to carry out our birth plan as my wife desired, even though with a few changes. Furthermore, I was able to aid in the birth process and enjoy loving my wife by caring for her and not worrying about her wellbeing.
To finish my review I would say that investing in our doula was pivotal to the successful navigation of the birth process for our first child and would invest in our Doula again! Her investment is worth the small price when it comes to taking care of my wife and child before and after birth.