"When we found out we were pregnant with our second child, we immediately thought back to our first labor experience. Despite our training with the Bradley method and our use of a "husband-coached" childbirth, we ended up laboring for 64 hours before meeting our sweet daughter. Our desire had been for a natural, unmedicated birth, yet my fatigue at 60 hours required the use of Pitocin for the final four hours of labor. In hind sight, we realized our ignorance about the laboring positions I was using, many of which offered me some relief from the intensity of back laboring yet inhibited the baby's progress down the birth canal, elongated the labor unnecessarily. With these memories in mind, we knew we would benefit from the knowledge a doula could offer in our second birth experience. Not only did we need the guidance of a doula for choosing productive laboring positions, but we also wanted the comfort of a fellow "unmedicated birth" advocate with us in a hospital setting. While doulas are not medical practitioners, they are well versed in the various medical augmentations used during labor and when, if at all, they are appropriate or necessary. We wanted a doula as part of our team in order to provide feedback for any suggestions the medical staff made during the labor process. Finally, we wanted a doula because of her knowledge of the stages of labor and her ability to gauge (better than we can!) just how far along we are in the process. Since we weren't confident in our hospital's support of an unmedicated delivery, we wanted to labor at home as long as possible, going to the hospital only to deliver the baby.
Each of our three goals were met in Meagan. Her demeanor is unassuming and kind, and her partnership in our laboring was instrumental in achieving our goals. Her two prenatal visits allowed us time to build rapport as well as to express our preferences for laboring and delivery. She also shared a variety of "coping" techniques, one of which became key to getting me through each contraction. With my toddler running about during the meetings, Meagan was incredibly patient and understanding, helping me to focus on this new baby when everything else seemed to be demanding my attention. When labor finally began, she joined us at home, as we requested, and seemed to pick up very quickly on my laboring style and how she could best support us. She immediately integrated herself by providing counter-pressure on my lower back while allowing my husband to continue his role as verbal coach and encourager. When he needed a break, she continued her massage while also filling in with verbal encouragement, spoken as a mother who has experienced the pain of labor and the thrill of finally meeting your baby. Her words were just what I needed to hear. She worked tirelessly, remaining so calm and consistent and ever-present.
At no point did Kyle nor I worry about when to go to the hospital. We trusted Meagan's ability to "read" my contractions and the stages of labor. She managed our time and positions, ensuring a nice balance between "relative" comfort and baby's progress down the birth canal. We arrived at the hospital at 9cm, 90% effaced, and met our little boy just 45 minutes later, after only 10 hours of laboring. Seeing Meagan at the postpartum visit provided one final opportunity to celebrate the intimate act of birth and to replay the birth story together. Her gentleness and sincerity of interest showed as she marveled at our little man and listened to my thoughts and feelings. Her knowledge of breastfeeding was also key to minimizing the pain I was starting to feel, as I was using the wrong technique for attaching my son to my breast. She watched me nurse and provided specific pointers that became key to helping me work through those first few weeks of tenderness.
We have absolutely no regrets about choosing to share the intimate and miraculous experience of childbirth with a doula, and Meagan in particular. We would hire her again in a heartbeat, and I brag to all my friends about what a difference she made in the laboring experience."
~Susan D., mom of 2, Alexandria, VA
"Meagan was with us for the birth of our second child and oh how I wish she was there with the first one. There are a few things that made my two birthing experiences different. The main difference, is the support we had the second time around. Meagan was awesome. She was committed to helping us have a natural birth. We gave Meagan very short notice, yet she arrived at the hospital not long after we did. We didn’t have a doula the first time and weren’t sure what it would be like, but Meagan was fabulous. She was extremely supportive, strong, helpful, and genuine. She was there to help us welcome our princess into the world, but it wasn’t about her. It was almost as if you didn’t know she was there but there is no doubt that things would have been much more difficult without her. My husband was especially nervous about having a doula because he was unsure and lacked confidence that he could be of good use.Meagan encouraged him and gave him that added confidence that he needed. I highly recommend Meagan’s services and we are grateful that she was with us during one of the most special days of our lives."
~Rebecca H., mom of 2, Arlington, VA