Heidi served as doula for the births of both my sons, and I can’t imagine having anyone else by my side throughout both pregnancy and birth.
I first met Heidi in 2008 when I interviewed her as a doula. I felt immediately confident that she was the right person for us. I knew I wanted an unmedicated birth and I was already working with a midwife. Heidi was very professional, and it was clear that she was very knowledgeable about birth and was able to connect immediately with me on my preferences & wishes and encouraged me that I was on the right track to have an informed birth that was right for me and my husband.
I believe I was around 4 months along when Heidi began working with us and she was an important part of the process from there on out. Heidi was both knowledgeable and available to me throughout my pregnancy. I called her often with questions and to ask her opinion on any number of topics. As our due date drew closer, Heidi helped me to create a birth ‘wish list’ of sorts. With her blessing, I didn’t want to be married to a birth plan and feel disappointed if it didn’t work out, but we created a wish list and talked through what an ideal birth would be like for me. She asked many important questions and helped me think through the details. We wrote all of this down and I presented it to my midwife.
As my due date approached and passed, Heidi assured me that her calendar was clear and she was ready to go at the drop of a hat. She encouraged me through those difficult days of waiting for baby and again, offered her opinion on my many wild ideas to get labor started. She was a mainstay throughout. When labor finally kicked in, Heidi was available in the earliest hours of the morning and said she was ready to come help as soon as I said the word.
I arrived at the hospital at 7 cm and Heidi was there to meet us. She gave my husband instructions on how to massage my back and she stayed right in front of me using her soothing voice to assuage my fear. I was afraid during my first birth and it was difficult for me to let go and let my body take over. Heidi was there talking me through each moment. She talked to me about what was happening with my body and gently encouraged me that it was safe to surrender to the labor. Her constant checking in and talking me through each stage gave me comfort and power. When I progressed to pushing it took another four hours to push my son out. After two hours, my midwife told me to she was giving me one hour to rest. I don’t remember most of that time because I was essentially asleep, but Heidi stayed with me and continued to support me when the contractions came. When the hour was up, Heidi and my midwife worked together to be more firm with me and remind me that I was capable and if my wished-for birth was to become a reality, I would have to let go and begin working with them. Thank goodness she was there. My son was born an hour later and I was overwhelmed with a rush of endorphins that wiped away all of the exhaustion I was feeling.
Heidi stayed with us, helped me establish breastfeeding, listened to me prattle on, filled me in on details that were foggy, and continued to go back to the basics of being educated and knowing what to expect. She visited with me four more times, and again offered her special brand of support over the next few months as my son became very fussy and colicky.
Heidi is a special person. I remember talking to her after the birth of my first son and marveling at her ability to be with a mother through anything that might come along. She said she sees herself as a servant. She sets herself aside so that she can be fully present for the mother she is working with. I will never forget this idea of service. Heidi was absolutely a servant to me. She came in with all sorts of experience, knowledge and passion for the work, and then she used all of that to hone in on my experience and what I needed to provide the best service to me and my new baby.
Heidi is passionate about birth. She is always working to become more knowledgeable and take in new information that will serve her practice. She knows how to connect with mothers and fathers, Midwives, Obstetricians, Nurses, and all of the people playing a role in her client’s birth.
I can’t say enough about her skill and the person that she is. I’m so glad I had the pleasure of knowing Heidi as long as I have.