Melissa was essential to having the kind of natural birth I had planned. After the first meeting, I knew she was the perfect doula for us. She shared the same enthusiasm about labor and delivery and possessed a gentle, reassuring calmness I knew would be essential to getting both my husband and I through the birth of our first child. On the day our son was born, she didn't hesitate to be there every step of the way. She was encouraging, supportive, and comforting. Somehow she knew what needed to be said and done at the moments I felt like I couldn't go on. Without hesitation, Melissa will be our go-to doula, should we be fortunate to have another child in the future. I know she'd get me through it all over again with the same strength and grace as she did the first time around!
Melissa has a sweet and gentle nature which was exactly what I needed after the birth of my son. She was always very reassuring, and always validated what I was feeling or going through. She showed up right on time every time, even when I had asked for her at the last minute. She always arrived with a smile, and was genuinely happy to see my son. He responded to her right away, and sometimes she was the only one who could get him to stop crying. Melissa's flexibility made me feel comfortable asking for her help whenever I needed. She always got back to me quickly when I emailed or texted her with an issue or question, and always followed up with support and videos or links to help me. I feel very lucky to have gotten to work with Melissa, and she was an invaluable part of my c-section recovery and the first three months postpartum.
Melissa is truly in love with the birth process. Even though she has already studied extensively, and comes highly-prepared, it was evident that she was as excited and curious about the miracle of birth as I was, because of course, it's different every time. As a new mother, I was full of questions and Melissa was always quick to respond (even in the middle of the night!) and willing to explore them with me, reassuring me and dispelling my worries without ever discounting my feelings. I always left a conversation with her feeling relieved and encouraged by her sweet spirit and wisdom, and from the first time we met, she put me right at ease, with her steady smile and clear eyes. It was important to me to honor God in my birth process, and Melissa was a great part of this, offering support when I needed it most. On the practical side, Melissa also has tons of helpful resources and suggestions for local support, and helped me research my options as well. The birth timeline Melissa prepared, recording the events of my daughter's birth, has been indispensable, not only as a special keepsake, allowing me to reflect back upon what my body was able to do, but also as an essential tool for the other professionals who cared for my daughter and me in the days after her birth. My husband and I had already prepared extensively for the birth together, and when it came time, Melissa buoyed us up, making us even stronger as a couple. With her calming presence and quiet strength, she helped me to know that I could do this!
I never imagined that the birth of our first child would be a team effort, but with Melissa, that's exactly what it was. Now having gone through it, I can tell you that Melissa was completely invaluable. We wanted a natural non-medicated birth, and Melissa was ready with different techniques such as applying counterpressure and massage during contractions. She set the tone of our delivery room with soothing music and her calm demeanor. The noise in the room never rose above a normal speaking voice (until pushing, that is). Additionally, Melissa was a great liaison between the nursing staff and my wife and I, keeping us well-informed throughout the whole process. Finally, she paid a visit to our home once we all got settled in, and not only did she "rescue" my wife with a few indispensable tips about breastfeeding and infant care, but she also provided us with a journal of the day, detailing the time labor began all the way to when our sweet baby girl finally decided to join us. I can't imagine having another baby without a doula present for practical and spiritual support, and we will be calling Melissa again. She's amazing, and you owe it to yourself -- and to your baby -- to have her on your team.
We were so lucky to have Melissa help us. She was there when we arrived home from the hospital and immediately started tending to our needs, anticipating things that we didn’t even know we yet needed. For the next 8 weeks she came and cared for our daughter at night, and was always smiling even when our daughter launched 2:00 am triple poops! By the time she left, our daughter was only waking once in the evening to feed and is still to this day a wonderful sleeper. Melissa was always happy to answer our questions. We were sad when the eight weeks ended, but know that Melissa is now off helping other families when their babies come home from the hospital and she continues to check in on us and how our daughter is growing.