When I fell pregnant with my second daughter I knew I wanted her birth to be different. My first daughter’s birth began with an unnecessary medical induction and ended with an emergency caesarean. I thought I was well informed and well prepared, but in hindsight I realise that as a first time mum navigating the hospital system I really wasn’t. How could I be? What I learned from that experience is that to have birth you want, you need to have the right support – and Cheryl is the best support you can get! I wanted to birth in a hospital and the safety of knowing medical help was available if we needed it, but I wanted as little intervention as possible. When I saw Cheryl’s years of experience as a nurse and midwife, but also her passion for natural birth, I knew that she was just the person to help me achieve my ideal hospital birth.
From her advice in the early days with finding a VBAC supportive obstetrician, to helping me prepare mentally for labour, to the awesome support at the birth itself, Cheryl was invaluable every step of the way. My husband was sceptical at first about the idea of a doula – did we really need to pay someone to provide support? But once we had our birth prep sessions with Cheryl he agreed that it was the right decision. Richie says that Cheryl was worth every cent, that having her on our team took away the fear that comes with the unknown. Instead of feeling uncertain, Richie felt confident and could relax and be part of the experience with me.
My labour went from fairly slow to very intense in the blink of an eye and I started to feel overwhelmed and out of control. Cheryl was there immediately to meet us at the hospital and helped calm me down and keep me focussed. Without Cheryl’s support I would have given up on my intentions for an epidural free birth, but Cheryl was there to remind me that I could do it and to provide the kind of support that only someone with Cheryl’s experience can. It was an amazing experience, when little Georgia was born I was able to bring her immediately onto my chest and truly enjoy those first moments of her life together with my husband.
The truth is though that this birth was ideal not just because it was the natural birth I hoped for, but more importantly because it was an informed and empowered birth. I cannot recommend Cheryl highly enough whether you are a first time or fifth time mum!!