Thank you so much for agreeing to be our doula for the birth of our dear darling girl. You offered the support, compassion and calmness that we needed. I wish I would have had you present for my first birth, too!
We first met you several months before B was due. I knew I liked you because you were great with our fussy almost-two-year-old when we met at Starbucks.
You have a presence, and it’s not just about being a physically strong woman. You are so knowledgeable and supportive. Most importantly, you listened.
At all our meetings before the birth, you listened. You listened to our first birth story and our wishes for our second birth. You took copious notes. You made suggestions, but you never told us how it “should” be or “needed to” be.
I knew that you wanted what we wanted: OUR perfect birth.
When I finally went into labor at 41 weeks and four days, you met us at the hospital and again offered your support and calming presence. I was excited but in intense labor, and I needed you.
My husband did much of the physical work as I wanted him to, but I appreciated your suggestions and levelheadedness. As my labor progressed quickly, you were there to remind me that everything was normal. As we learned that our baby girl was face up, you continued to remind me that I could do it. I could have a natural vaginal delivery like I did with my first child.
Hour after hour, as I labored at nearly 10 centimeters, you reminded me that I could do it. When I lost hope that she would come soon, you reminded me that I could do it.
As I moved between the shower and the bed, you continued to offer your support and suggestions.
After hours of checks and intense contractions, with no progression past “10 centimeters but with a lip,” you stood by us as we made the incredibly difficult decision that the safest way to get our baby out would be a c-section.
You reassured me that I had done all I could.
As I dealt with the internal struggle about how my body had failed me, you reminded me of what was most important: getting our sweet girl out. And even as I was wheeled from the room and I realized that you wouldn’t be next to us when she was delivered, you told me that you would be there when it was over.
Our beautiful baby girl was delivered by c-section at nine pounds. Her lips were so swollen from being pushed down face first. When I returned to the recovery room, you were there to tell me that it was alright that I didn’t have the natural, vaginal delivery that we had planned. Before and after the c-section, you spoke of your experiences and how you thought it was the right decision.
As you know, I have struggled with having a c-section. In the weeks after B’s birth, you visited, emailed and chatted on Facebook. You offered your support as well as resources to help me deal with the change in plans.
You let me know that it was alright to mourn the birth that I didn’t have. I could still love my dear baby, but I could grieve over the fact that her birth turned out so different than I’d expected.
Angela, there is no way to thank you enough without sounding cliché. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for supporting us and listening to us. Thank you for offering your insight and compassion. We are so lucky that we had you. You are an amazing doula. Thank you for sharing in the birth of our precious girl and for offering the support and insight that we needed before, during and after.
With our greatest love,
A and R