Choosing Shelia to be our doula was the best decision we made for our baby’s birth. Thinking back to that time almost a year ago, I don’t remember many specifics of the laboring, but Shelia’s calming and empowering presence alongside my partner, and, of course, the pure joy of meeting our son are still my most vivid memories.
I’m an introvert and a planner, and didn’t know what to expect when beginning our doula search. Would having someone else there feel intrusive? Would the support feel “woo”? Shelia was the first person we met of three promising candidates from doulamatch, and we clicked immediately. Her attentiveness, warmth, emotional intelligence, open-mindedness, and depth of expertise and experience shone through from the start. We didn’t need to meet anyone else before making our decision.
And as our doula? I was going to be a first time mom without the in-person support of family, and her support gave me the peace of mind to enjoy the pregnancy. At the hospital birth, which unsurprisingly didn’t go as expected—starting with my water breaking 2.5wks early—Shelia had an almost uncanny sense of knowing exactly what was needed, when it was needed. From helping me make sense of my options at each juncture and knowing just the amount of nurturing and space I needed, to the attention to detail like setting up candles for the tub to avoid using the harsh fluorescent lights or knowing where to get food after hours, she made me feel safe and cared for. My partner reported feeling more relaxed and present too. And I truly believe that it’s to her credit that I didn’t have to have an emergency C-section. On top of all this, she captured profound moments on camera and wrote our birth story.
Shelia is wonderful, and our hearts swell with love and gratitude for her time with us. We can’t imagine our journey without her.