I first met Shawna at a book club and instantly felt like she was someone I wanted to be around. I was pregnant at the time and we started talking about what she did as a doula with Babeeze In Arms Doula Centre. She told me that she was a labour and postpartum doula and that she helped women and their families plan, prepare for, and achieve a positive birth experience. Since I wanted to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and was thinking about hiring a doula, I asked her if she would be interested in taking me on.
We met a few times prior to my due date to discuss what my expectations were and what I wanted to accomplish. Shawna introduced me to her partners at Babeeze In Arms and asked me many questions that challenged my rather strong beliefs on childbirth. Because I had had such a difficult experience with my first child, I was determined not to let anyone tell me how things would go. Shawna talked to me about my options, gave me exercises to help me prepare, and she made me think hard about things I had never even considered. Because of this I ended up with a birth plan that was much different than I had expected; a birth plan that I was actually excited about executing.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I discovered that my previous incision was not holding up well and because of the added risk to myself and the baby I opted for a planned c-section around 38 weeks. As luck would have it, Shawna was out of town at the time and unable to make the birth. But because of her unwavering support and complete flexibility with regards to my needs, I still felt totally supported. I asked the birth team at the hospital for what I wanted, and found that they were very eager to make my needs met – something I never even would have asked for had it not been for Shawna. Although I did not get the VBAC I originally wanted, I truly feel that I did get the birth experience I had always wanted.
Before my experience with Shawna I would have never thought that a doula could be beneficial for someone having a c-section. I also would have thought, that having been through labour and birth already, that there wasn’t much for me to learn. Shawna showed me that this was not the case. She helped me feel in control of the process which resulted in having an empowered birth experience. Something that I didn’t think was even possible without a vaginal delivery. She helped me enjoy my second delivery, and heal emotionally from my first. I cannot recommend or thank Shawna enough.
Reviewed by Melanie Morgan for Wundermums.com. All rights are reserved.