I was wanting to hear from doulas who hired a doula for their own birth. Thanks so much to Shanda for answering that call and sharing this with us today! There's no question Shanda put her money where her mouth was by choosing doula support for her second birth despite the knowledge she herself had about the birth process.
The day I met Emily was the beginning of an amazing journey. It was the weekend before my wedding and I was, instead of working on wedding things, attending a DONA certification workshop with Amy Gilliland. My husband and I were trying to conceive, and during the process I learned about doulas. As I explored more about what doulas do, I fell in love and knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. What I didn't know, was at that training, I would meet Emily.
Emily was at the training, not to become a doula, but to observe the trainers because she was learning to train new doulas. Something about her drew me to her right away. Around her, I felt confident, and strong. I was excited when I was paired with her for a few activities, and before the day was out, I asked if she would be my doula when my husband and I got pregnant. She, like the amazing doula she is, said that she would be happy to meet with me and my family when the time came to make sure she was a good fit. Fast forward a month and a half and I got the positive pregnancy test. I was ecstatic. After confirming with the doctor, I told my husband I was contacting Emily. He never second guessed my choice.
Every meeting with Emily was lovely. She understood my need to talk about the pregnancy and my excitement. My mom had died when I was a little girl and I didn't have a strong female to fill the role of a caring, supportive female. Emily was the perfect fit for us. We knew we wanted to hire Emily to help with our daughter, who would have questions and concerns through the process, and potentially with some help for me if needed.
The day I went into labor I had a lovely time attending a baby shower for a dear friend due a few months after me. Arriving home, my labor was picking up but I was laboring wonderfully with my husband. It wasn't until about 10 pm that I knew I was ready for Emily. Contractions were getting more intense and my daughter was peppering me with questions when I wasn't able to answer them.
Emily was a ray of light when she arrived. Without question she managed to finagle my daughter into bed and timing couldn't have been more perfect as my husband got sick. My husband getting sick wasn't something I was prepared to deal with buy Emily never missed a beat. She gave my husband the security to know I was being helped, so he could go rest. If he had had any doubts about the benefits of hiring a doula, even though I knew all the information, this was a great reminder that you never know what will happen, and having a strong support system is vital. Without Emily, either my poor husband would have had to suffer through the night and been worn out by the time our son was born, or I would have labored alone. She gave my best friend the confidence to labor with me when she felt like a fish out of water. It was how, in the morning and when my son was born, she was by my daughter's side, reassuring her everything was perfect.
For my birth, it wasn't just about the positions she could suggest, counter pressure or knowledge. It was her presence and personality as we labored through the night to welcome my son into the world. It was her belief in me and my ability to birth my baby. She was beyond invaluable. Even doulas deserve a doula.
From Shanda: I believe that every woman should have the option of choosing her birthing journey. Every woman's pregnancy, labor, and birth journey are unique to them and therefore they will have different needs and desires during this time. It is my goal to work with families to create a serene, loving and safe space. I believe that every woman deserves the chance to embrace her inner power during this journey. No matter whether it is their first birth or 4th, they deserve to be supported and nurtured as they navigate this life-changing event. My goal as a birth doula is to provide women and their partners with the information and support they need to capture their own strength during this special time in their lives and walk away feeling empowered and blessed. I'm certified as a birth doula through DONA International, and a trained Hypnodoula. I currently work with Beautiful Birth Doulas in Madison, WI and the surrounding areas.
Shanda Frydenlund CD(DONA)
Beautiful Birth Doulas
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)