June 7, 2017
"I can’t imagine
a better person to have
gone through childbirth with."
I have heard that a woman’s childbirth experience is greatly improved when she has the help of other experienced women. I thank God for the help of my doula Nethal, before, during, and after the birth of my first child. I knew that I wanted a few select people to help me in my labor. Importantly, I wanted someone in the room who could serve as an advocate as well as someone who shared my spiritual foundations. As I was looking into my options with these points in mind, Nethal reached out to me to offer her assistance. I knew right away that our connection was deep. She visited me several times before the birth. During these visits she sought a sound understanding of my birth plan. She came prepared with questions and suggestions each time. She also attended a prenatal appointment with me so that she could ask my midwife questions.
My labor began early on a Sunday morning. Nethal came to my apartment soon after. Her calm loving presence allowed me to go within and do the work I needed to do with confidence that I was in a safe, supportive environment.The labor escalated quickly so we went to the hospital as planned. There Nethal worked with the nurses, my husband, and mother in supporting me throughout a long labor. We did deep vocal breathing, and remembrances of God to get through the intense contractions. She was flexible with the course of events and knew how to support me without drawing me out of my rhythm.
When there were decisions needing to be made Nethal was my advocate and I was so grateful that I didn’t need to divert my energy to answer. Throughout the 36 hours of labor, I can’t remember looking up and not seeing her right there with me. Everyone who was present was extremely thankful and in awe for her work. Several days after the birth she came back to my apartment to go over what had happened during the birth and to work out the concerns she had. This was especially heartfelt because we had gone through such an intense, spiritual experience together. I can’t imagine a better person to have gone through childbirth with. I pray to have her present for my future births if God wills it.
August 21, 2017
I am extremely grateful for Nethal’s presence at both of my births. Both of my babies were born at home about 2 years apart. During my first birth she was exactly what I wanted and needed, very loving and comforting, but not hovering. She would come and go from the birth room. She would hold my hand and bring me food, then leave me alone for a while. There was even a time that I felt the need to be alone for a while, so I told her that I did not want her there, and she left with no further comment or hard feelings.
For my second labor I expected her to bring the same loving and comforting energy, but I was not expecting how present and stable she felt. This birth was much more challenging for me. I needed much more support and she did not leave my side. Between every contraction she gave me a massage and helped me relax, and she supported me during my contractions when my husband needed a break.
I cherish the memories of my births, and I love that Nethal is a part of both.