Prior to getting pregnant I was not at all keen on giving birth naturally - I didn't want the pain and I thought it would 'ruin my body'. Once I fell pregnant and started researching, I became absolutely intent on achieving a positive birth experience - ideally a natural labour without drugs. We are really into health and fitness so it seemed a no brainer to have our own support person/coach to help us prepare for such a huge event in our life!
What I loved is that Cheryl talked us through both sides of different scenarios and options in an objective way, being caring and understanding while also being experienced, knowledgeable - knowing she was a midwife for so long and knew the ins and outs of the hospital system also really put me at ease. We did a lot of preparation with her in our home which was amazing - on topics such as a healthy pregnancy, labouring at home, the birth process, the hospital environment and different pain relief options, breastfeeding, the partner's role, the list goes on. She is a strong and confident woman - exactly who you want by your side particularly if a decision needs to be made and you aren't sure, or if someone is trying to push you toward a certain procedure/intervention.
Having Cheryl's support throughout and when I went into labour was absolutely invaluable! She helped my husband (through many text messages!) time our hospital arrival so perfectly - an absolute godsend as otherwise we would have gone to the hospital 4 hours earlier! We arrived, my waters broke, and our daughter arrived in 1 hour 27 minutes - we achieved an incredible natural labour without pain relief and a wonderful transformative start to our daughter's life. Cheryl's presence was so calming and reassuring - also after the birth she made sure we were looked after which was such a relief.
We really could not recommend Cheryl more, and greatly appreciate her encouragement and support through such an exciting time in our lives - it has made a world of difference for the three of us. If you are considering having a doula in your birth journey, I would say absolutely go for it! We would 100% have her with us for our second baby. Thankyou Cheryl, with love from Sarah, Ross, and Lucy x