I wish I could find all the words to describe what an amazing, rewarding and unforgettable experience I had with Shelia. Shelia is just simply a unicorn – wonderful, magical and the light that guided me throughout this journey. I could write an essay about about how she will forever hold a place in my heart for being there on the most beautiful day of my life 🙂 From the moment we met Shelia, she was an advocate through and through. She provided a constant flow of knowledge to me to enable my understanding and comfort of my upcoming birthing experience. I knew that I had always wanted to try for an unmedicated birth and was looking for the right doula who could help me achieve my goal. Shelia was so grounded and supported me from the first day we met all the way to the day that I gave birth. When I went into labor, Shelia arrived at our home late in the evening and stayed with me through all my early contractions until the early AM. My goal was to get to the birth center/hospital as far dilated as I possibly could – and Shelia helped guide me the entire time. She was there for every breath I took and recommended certain positions that supported and progressed me through labor. If it wasn’t for Sheila’s guiding light, I don’t think that I could have achieved my desire of an unmedicated birth (after 35 hours of labor). Sheila’s wisdom and nurturing ability to provide support in one of the most empowering chapters of my life is something that my husband and I will always be grateful for. Sheila goes above and beyond and captured a birth story and timeline that I look back on every once in while with a smile on my face. She captured all the details that I’ll have the opportunity to remember forever and will one day share with my daughter. If you’re looking for a doula who will advocate for you, be there on your big day and be a guiding light- Shelia is the one. I hope I am lucky enough again to have her as our doula for our second child 🙂
I cannot say enough positive and wonderful things about Shelia’s skill as a Doula. Shelia is such a warm and comforting person who confidently helped my husband and I through the childbirth process. She was there every step of the way– from the first trimester to the moment our daughter joined us. We literally could not have done it without her! I was terrified of childbirth — the pain, the process, everything. I told Shelia about my fears early on and she provided me the support but also the confidence I needed to endure my 29 hr labor. She was the right mix of loving support and a little tough push when I needed it. She said all the right things, supported my husband when he needed it, helped with hands-on support through the toughest parts of labor, was my advocate through and through, and took the most beautiful photos of the birth (photos I didn’t even know I wanted until after I had them!) She immediately helped with breastfeeding and got me a meal so I could rest and recoup. She also was there for 2 post-partum visits in those early days/weeks.
I would highly recommend Shelia. She is skilled, knowledgable, and provides such a warm and confident presense during such a challenging time. We love her!
Shelia is simply the best. I could not have asked for a better individual to have on our team for the birth of our son. Shelia was with us every step of the way. What stands out most is how her presence and support helped us to feel safe. Her steadfast support of our desires and hopes brought peace and confidence in this experience continues to be unwavering, weeks after our son’s birt. Her spirit is gentle and kind, and our transition to life as a family of three has been as smooth and sweet as it is because of Shelia’s guidance and support. We hope to have her part of our future births. Her desire and value for our story as a couple and family of three shines in how she cares, loves and supports. We can’t thank her enough!
After my first child was born via c-section, I began a journey to ensure future children would be vaginally, despite being told this made me high risk, I knew my body was capable of giving birth with the right support team in place. One of the largest parts of ensuring a successful VBAC and positive birth experience was hiring a doula. I met Shelia and instantly knew I wanted her by my side during one of the most intense and empowering life experiences a woman can go through. She respected my candor about my birth expectations, and I felt confident in her calming demeanor, vast birth experience and warm personality. Sure enough she was by my side from start to finish when my labor started spontaneously. She labored with me at home, helping me feel safe and cope through unmedicated labor. She followed me to the hospital and continued to provide incredible support as I labored there as well. She helped ground me when things got intense, helped me advocate when I had questions about my care, and was there to discuss my choices when my original birth plan had to change due to unforseen circumstances. At one point she was literally spoon feeding me yogurt, I couldn’t have asked for a more attentive, caring human to make my birth amazing. She also gave my husband the freedom to experience the birth without feeling like he was overwhelmed. This made the entire room feel calmer, more secure and in control. My son was born at 2:07am, and she was attentive and by my side for over 20 hours without hesitation. My successful VBAC experience was largely due to her support, I couldn’t recommend her more highly as a doula.
Shelia was an incredible doula and both my husband and I are so grateful we found her! We had 2 visits with her prior to our son’s birth and she was both extremely knowledgeable and really helped put our mind at ease about a lot of things. But most importantly she really listened to our preferences and we both felt fully supported and prepared going into this experience. On the day of, Shelia was amazing. Even the nurses commented how great she was! She was so encouraging and always made sure we had what we didn’t even realize we needed (water, snacks, breathing and pain assistance!). Shelia was so great we ended up hiring her to do some post partum work for us. She really connected with our son and having those hours where I could nap/shower and know my son was being well taken care of was invaluable! I can’t recommend Shelia enough, I can’t imagine going through this wild experience with anyone else!
I absolutely loved my birth experience and it’s in large part because we hired Shelia as our doula. Here are some reasons we would absolutely hire her again and recommend her to anyone:
Compassionate support: her calm, supportive presence was just what I needed to work through my intense contractions. She helped me focus, stay grounded, try different positions, and applied the right pressure/physical touch so my husband could provide emotional support. Her support allowed my husband and I to stay connected throughout the birth. It was beautiful. I have no idea how women give birth without a Doula, especially with one as amazing as Shelia.
She empowered us and helped us understand what we wanted: Instead of telling us what she thought we should do, she armed us with the information we needed to make informed decisions & have the kind of birth that we wanted.
Continued advocacy: She helped us make sense of the things that we didn’t know any better about given it was our first labor. She helped me understand that my epidural was too strong and so we were able to lessen it, which allowed me to have more effective pushing & feel my daughter come out, all without pain. When we were all trying to sleep after I got my epidural, whenever a nurse or doctor entered the room, she was up and at attention, ready to translate the medical talk into language I could understand. She also helped me understand that I could ask for an anesthesiologist not a resident to place the epidural, and that I could request fewer people in the room while I pushed— both of which made my experience much more comfortable.
Incredible photos: The photos she took during the birth bring tears to my eyes every time I see them. It’s like we had a professional photo shoot.
Post birth support: we appreciated that Shelia came to our house post birth and was available for phone calls too.
We absolutely loved working with Shelia. When choosing a doula, we were looking for someone who was not only experienced and friendly, but also interpersonally skilled and sensitive enough to support us through an emotionally complex labor and birth of our second child after the recent passing of our toddler son.
She was very open and committed to helping us realize our birth plan, while also helping us to adapt to things that did not go as planned. When my epidural malfunctioned and did not provide pain relief for almost two hours after placement of the catheter, Shelia kept me grounded and helped me cope through very intense contractions. At one point, her voice and her touch were the only things I could tolerate; she was the perfect combination of gentle, calm, steady, and encouraging. When I felt weak and out of control, she helped me find my center and emerge feeling strong and empowered. Shelia often intuitively knew what I needed and also left plenty of room for me to assert my preferences and requests.
Soon after the birth, Shelia sent us the most incredible, professional-looking photos of the labor and delivery, in addition to writing up the loveliest birth story. We are so immensely grateful to her for a most perfect labor and birth experience!
We’re first time parents who live far from our families. Since it was important for us to feel well supported throughout my pregnancy and the birth process, we decided to hire a doula. It was the best decision we made, and we couldn’t have found a better addition to our team than Shelia. She offers her clients an incredible balance of warmth, calm, knowledge and humor. We had lists of questions, each of which she answered in great detail and by offering additional information and resources. She asked helpful questions that guided us further in our decision making, always with a focus on ensuring that we, as a team, were on the same page about our preferences for the birth. She worked with us to learn what our priorities were and to help us identify the coping and comfort mechanisms that would bring me the most relief. When I said I wanted to be as mobile and do as much dancing as possible, she was game to talk about our playlists. She even danced with us during labor!
Shelia was a steady, reassuring presence who expertly guided me into different positions and through coping techniques as my needs changed in labor. I felt truly cared for and valued. I also appreciated the care she took of my husband during my labor, ensuring that he eat and take occasional breaks so that he could remain present and supportive of me when I needed it most. She helped us be better advocates for ourselves when we reached key decision points during labor. And the gorgeous photos she took and birth story she wrote for our son are things we’ll always treasure.
After our son was born, Shelia also provided invaluable support to our family, helping us navigate early challenges with breastfeeding and sleep. It’s an understatement to say that I can’t imagine how different our birth experience would have been without Shelia. If we have a second child, we will hope to have Shelia on our team again!
Shelia was absolutely integral to the successful birth of our baby girl. We quite literally could not have done it without her.
Having recently moved to Seattle from the east coast, we wanted a familiar face in the delivery room, knowing family from home might not make it in time. Shelia provided that constant for us and so much more.
After being admitted to the hospital 2 weeks early and having to be induced, Shelia arrived to support me and my husband through the night. She helped to execute on our birth plan and, as labor progressed, provided the calm support we discussed in our earlier meetings. She also worked incredibly well with our doctor and the nurses on staff, with all parties agreeing that we had the most awesome doula!
In addition to providing unparalleled labor support, Shelia managed to take amazing photos that we will treasure forever, and write a beautiful birth story that we can’t wait to share with our daughter one day.
We feel very fortunate to have found Shelia and can’t imagine our story without her.
The birth of our first child went exceedingly well and I would credit that 90% to Shelia. She was knowledgable and confident from the first meeting. Every question about labor and birth, she could walk us through or direct us to sources who could. Our interview and 2 pre-birth meetings probably did the most to reassure me that the birth would go well, even if not exactly as planned.
Shelia was at our house within an hour of a phone call when I realized I was in labor. She gently offered coping strategies and positions. She was respectful of me saying, “No, this isn’t working” and immediately had another idea to try when I was open to it. During much of the active labor, Shelia was the face and voice I fixated on. My husband said later it was a relief to have her there when he reached the end of his knowledge and didn’t know how to support me through the pushing.
When things got a bit hairy and the ob recommended a vacuum, I felt like I had messed up somehow. But again Shelia was there, walking us through it, giving us confidence in our decision to go with it. The vacuum helped move my son down the canal and I ended up finishing with a natural birth and a beautiful healthy son.
She has visited us since the birth to be there as we processed the labor and birth events. It was neat to have her perspective as well.
I don’t what we would have done without Shelia. If we decide to have a second child, she will be my first call.