"Birth by chocolate...We covered my deep desire to have a completely drug-free experience (since I was essentially denied that with my daughter's birth), my eternal love of chocolate, and my seemingly silly desire to celebrate the birth with a pint of Guinness. The day of my son's birth, Vanessa was there to support me, encourage me, and keep me full of chocolate through the whole process. It gave me the energy to push out my 8lb 15oz baby boy in one hour. Knowing that I was able to bring him into this world as I had always envisioned and with the support of this amazing woman and my partner came the most immense rush of positive emotions. But then to be handed a glass full of Guinness pushed this experience over the edge into perfection. This is the way childbirth should always be.”
To make a long story short, my husband called at 5:15 asking Vanessa to come quickly. She arrived at 5:45, and my son was born at 6:52am, 20 minutes after our arrival. My labor was fast and intense! I don't know how I would have done it without Vanessa as my husband was on logistics duty trying to get us out of the house and into the car to the hospital. One of my favorite memories from that morning was being stowed into the back of our station wagon on all fours as we drove to the hospital. Vanessa was right next to me holding my hand the entire time. She never let go and always had a confidence in her voice that made me believe I would actually make it to the hospital and not birth our child in the car. Another funny memory is of her feeding me chocolate and a breakfast burrito about an hour after the birth. I was high on hormones and STARVING and nearly bit her fingers off! She stayed long enough to help me get settled in and left soon after so that my husband, baby and I could bond. She also came to visit a week postpartum so that I could drill her with questions about the birth which was wonderful because I'd already forgotten so much. Vanessa is so knowledgeable and nurturing with a wonderful sense of humor which (I believe) is incredibly helpful during childbirth! I wholeheartedly recommend her and have told every pregnant friend in SF to consider her as part of their birthing team.
I tell anyone who asks (and some people who don't) that we had the ***most*** wonderful birth experience, and it was really thanks to Vanessa. First of all, it was so relaxing and calming to spend the last few weeks of my pregnancy knowing I was in such good hands. On the big day, there is no way it would have gone as smoothly and wonderfully as it did without her. She helped us think through choices even in difficult moments. She had the in-the-moment suggestions that made things hugely better, she is a rockstar pushing coach, and she really has that magical quality of being able to tune into where you're at and help you through it. She really has a gift. If you're wondering if you should have a doula at all -- do it! We wondered the same thing, and now my husband and I are both, so grateful that we did.