The story of Britta, Didzis & the birth of Nellia.
Maura was great throughout my pregnancy, labour, and postpartum. She provided me with knowledge, visualizations, massage, support, and encouragement. She also provided practical items such as maternity and high quality organic baby clothes, breast pump, breast pads, co-sleeper, and so much more that all greatly relieved my stress, fear, sense of being overwhelmed, and anxiety leading up to the arrival of my daughter.
I hired Maura so that I would have someone I know and trust in my corner that is well-versed in childbirth. I chose
to hire a doula because I thought a doula would help me prepare mentally, emotionally and practically for pregnancy and all the things a new baby requires. Also, so that during labor my husband could be fully present in his journey. It was my hope that having a doula would help ensure I received the intuitive and empowered birth that welcomed me into motherhood.
Before contractions started my waters started to break slowly. My midwives wanted to transfer me to the hospital, and the hospital staff wanted to induce me. Upon hearing my wish to not (yet) be induced, Maura reminded me of my right to choose, and helped reaffirm to my midwives that it was my decision to be transferred to the hospital or not. She also put me in touch with another midwife who was an expert in stepping outside protocols, who provided me with evidence based information I needed to make an informed decision. I was able to make my own decision
to stay home, knowing me and my baby were both in good health (confirmed by a visit to the hospital).
Once labor started, things went FAST. After laboring at home with my husband for a couple of hours, Maura joined and commented that it was starting to "smell like birth". Her calm presence put me at ease and she delicately traced the room hanging affirmation cards, taking intimate pictures upon my request, and applying counterpressure on my back. I needed a lot of physical support, which Maura embraced fully. Allowing me to bear hug her, squeeze her hand, moan into her chest, and just feel her physical presence. I did not want to be alone for one second during labor, and between Maura and my hysband they made sure that didn't happen.
After my water broke, the midwife noticed meconium in my amniotic fluid. Because of this, the midwife made the call to move to the hospital. This was disappointing, but we all agreed it was the safest option. Maura helped retrieve all my items and assisted me down the stairs and on the car ride to the hospital. Her calming presence and voice coaching me to let the contractions pass over me like a wave instantly put me at ease and I embraced it even during this chaotic time when my husband was likely speeding in the car. When we arrived at the hospital the staff put a CTG on me and I immediately went into the shower. My husband was with me and I went through transition in there over the next two hours. Maura checked in on me several times but mainly let me do my thing as I was very in the zone at that time. When I felt the urge to push Maura encouraged me to listen to my body. A final vaginal check confirmed I was 10 cm and it was time to get in the other room to push. This was one of my proudest moments during my labor. I had no idea what to expect in labor or even what a contraction would feel like, and "getting to 10" without pain meds was a HUGE accomplishment for me. The labor had only been about 6.5 hours, and it wasn't nearly as painful as I had imagined! I felt absolutely relieved and elated.
The second stage of labor was vastly different from my first. I went on the bed to start pushing, but ended up on my back and staying in that position. It was extremely difficult, as the midwife instructed me to pull my knees to my shoulders, lift my head, hold my breath, and push. I could only take it for so long before I instinctively almost rose up to move (which is what i had wanted originally, but as Maura was almost reading my thoughts she told me that the baby was malpositioned. At that point I put all my trust in the midwives and Maura to coach me to get the baby out the best way possible.
Although it is widely known that pushing on one's back leads to more strenuous and lengthy pushing stages, neither Maura nor my original midwife, felt space to suggest anything different than what the hospital staff were instructing me to do. The way I was pushing unfortunately made my labor very uncomfortable, as I could barely hold my legs up and I wasn't able to push her out successfully. This led to eventually placing my legs in stirrups to keep them up. We did try another position on the side, but that also did not succeed in bringing her Earth side. There was hospital staff entering the room during this period to check the monitors of another ongoing labour, and although I barely took notice of this at the time, I do feel it disrupted my flow, as the room was quite chaotic. Thankfully, Maura asked some people to leave. Even though I was not receiving any coaching or suggestions from Maura during this time, she was right next to me, holding my hand, getting me water, applying essential oils, giving my husband a break and some rest, offering me words of encouragement, and reminding me that I can trust my body and do what I wanted to do.
After about 45 minutes of this arduous and coached pushing/breathing from a hospital midwife, something in me told me she needed to be born. I looked at Maura and told her this, and in that instant my baby's heart rate started to decline. The gynecologist stepped up, asked to give me an episiotomy and to perform a vacuum assist to get her delivered. Within minutes, I felt a great relief from the episiotomy and vacuum as she left my body and went straight onto my chest. As I was in total complete shock from the ordeal, Maura gently pointed out that my daughter was looking at me, and we shared a beautiful moment of locking eyes for the first time.
After the birth and during the golden hour, Maura remained present but discrete, there if we needed anything but also allowing us the privacy and intimacy with our newborn. Her presence consistently put me at ease and made me feel like I was in good hands. She waited until we felt comfortable enough to leave, and declined my offer to hold my daughter as she knew and respected the importance of a new baby being held by as few people as necessary.
A few days later Maura made a home visit to check on me, cook a beautifully delicious meal, give me a foot massage, and lend me all her teas and tinctures and healing techniques for my episiotomy and post labor vagina. It was absolutely incredible! I felt like a queen! Maura also took care of my placenta, making beautiful pieces of artprints with it, which she later delivered to me, carefully wrapped. Something I will forever treasure.
Maura was present afterwards to discuss anything I needed or that was still on my mind, which I was so appreciative of. Even months after when I needed to discuss the pushing stage again, she welcomed to revisit the experience and was also open to learning and growing from it herself to ensure she is the best doula she can be for her clients.
I look back on my birth as positive and empowering, but also feel that I've experienced firsthand how easy it is to be influenced by midwives that are trained to practice outdated breathing techniques and encourage you to push on your back for their visual benefit. During labor we are most vulnerable and, especially as a first time mom, it's so difficult to advocate for yourself or know what to do. Without Maura I'm not sure how my labor would've ended, but I'm confident her support reduced my chances of a c-section which many babies that are stargazers end up as.
"and for that, and so much more, I am endlessly grateful.
Thanks to the support, kindness, and delicate care from Maura throughout this experience, I am inspired to become a doula myself. I can honestly say that I describe the months postpartum as the happiest of my life."
De geboorte van Izzy, door Marlies
Het is dinsdag 21 juli. De uitgerekende datum, maar het is nog rustig in mijn lijf. Ik ga die dag voor controle naar de verloskundige. We blijken tijdens het gesprek een groot verschil in visie te hebben op 'overtijd' zijn. Ik voel me opgejaagd en niet meer prettig bij het idee dat zij de bevalling gaan doen. Ik bel onze doula Maura, om mijn hart te luchten en raad te vragen. Ze luistert, stelt me gerust en biedt aan om eens rond te bellen in haar netwerk. Een fijne caseload verloskundige blijkt onverwacht plek te hebben. Overstappen in week 41, ik moet toegeven: dat was best wel even spannend. Maar het voelt alsof ons geboorteteam nu is zoals het moet zijn. We doen het en daarmee keert de rust en het vertrouwen direct weer terug.
Het is een voorbeeld hoe Maura ons heeft geholpen om de regie te nemen over het geboorteproces. Het was heel prettig dat zij de weg weet in een wereld die voor mijn man en mij nieuw was. Door haar kennis met ons te delen gaf ze ons vertrouwen en de kracht om keuzes te maken die voor ons goed voelden.
Onze dochter Izzy wordt met 42 weken gezond geboren in onze huiskamer. Ik mag het doen op mijn manier, met hulp van mijn lieve man en twee kundige vrouwen als ik erom vraag. Zo had ik het gehoopt, maar niet durven dromen. En wat een cadeau dat Maura erbij was. Eén moment in het bijzonder zal ik nooit vergeten: na een lange persfase moeten we concluderen dat het niet gaat lukken zonder epi. Na de knip wordt Izzy snel geboren. Ik voel opluchting, blijdschap, maar ook een gevoel van falen. Waarom lukte het me niet op eigen kracht? Maura voelt dit feilloos aan en praat het gelijk uit mijn hoofd. En daar ben ik haar nog steeds dankbaar voor.
Ook in de kraamtijd was het zo fijn dat Maura er was. Eerlijk gezegd begreep ik van te voren niet zo goed waarom dat belangrijk was. Maar achteraf gezien waren haar heerlijke eten, massages, tips en luisterend oor echt heel erg welkom (en nodig, haha).
Dank je wel, lieve Maura, dat je ons hebt begeleid in de geboorte van ons eerste kind. We kijken er zo positief op terug en daar heb jij een heel belangrijk aandeel in gehad!
The birth of Michael, by Kinda And Nizar.
Maura was very cooperative, compassionate, encouraging and supportive. She gave us a lot of tips that were very helpful since this was our first child, so we had no experience.
I had a difficult birth, without Maura it would be even more difficult. We were blessed and happy to have her with us since we had no family here. She helped me to deal with the pain during my labour,
and she supported me and my husband as well.
Maura was more than useful, she helped me to learn how to support
my wife during the labour, and practice some exercises which could make her feel better. She gave me very important advices.
She was helpful and extremely needed, she helped me and my wife
a lot during the labour and after the birth, we were glad to have
her with us.