written by Kendra
I met Amy when I was in middle school and instantly connected with her. I came to spend a lot of time with Amy and her family over the years, babysitting the kids and just doing life with them. Her family became an extension of my own.
When Amy started taking her doula classes, I remember mentioning to her that whenever I got pregnant with our first baby, I’d want her to be my doula. Not long after that, we found out we were expecting! Excitedly, I let Amy know and she agreed to join our adventure into parenthood and help me through the birth process. I knew I wanted to try and have the baby naturally, but didn’t have a lot of information or knowledge about it.
Throughout my pregnancy, Amy was always just a text message or phone call away. She was quick to respond when I had questions and patient enough to have a conversation when I just needed to know that I was doing everything right. At the beginning, I had major morning sickness. Amy would do her part to check in and help brainstorm ideas to curb the nausea. It is extremely helpful to have someone who can give you encouragement, reassurance or new ideas when you’re too tired and sick to think on your own. It is one of the many benefits I found in having a doula.
We didn’t live in the same city, but Amy always made an effort to stay connected and as the time got closer she readied herself to come to Cincinnati when we went into labor. What I appreciated about her in the planning process was that she allowed me and my husband to decide how our birth story would look. She didn’t push her opinions on us or try to take control. She simply wanted to provide support for us. She knew that it was important to me that Mike be with me at all times and she never overshadowed his role. During birth, she would help Mike support me better. Showing him ways to help soothe my body. She really took the time to make sure his roles as husband and dad were honored.
Labor is no joke. It’s painful and its tiresome. There were many times that I didn’t know if I could continue on. Amy would simply suggest trying another position or walking around, and if none of those sounded good to me she wouldn’t get offended. She would adjust to making me as comfortable as possible. She is great at redirecting your thoughts throughout labor. She would switch it up often, redirecting my mind while minutes and contractions passed. When I would ask for “the drugs” she would say, “Yep! You can have them, but just try this for me one time before we ask.” The next thing I knew, an hour had passed or I had regained strength to keep going. She did that so well that we made it all the way to pushing. While pushing, she held my hand and made sure Mike didn’t miss any sweet moments. She prayed over me and comforted me when I was weak. Then the baby came! There is no greater feeling of relief that you can experience than that. IT IS AMAZING. I’ve told everyone, it is worth all the pain to feel the INSANE wave of relief over your whole body. I remember looking her in the eyes and saying “I DID IT! I DID IT NATURALLY!” I couldn’t believe it. She made me realize how strong my body actually was. She reminded me often that I was made to do this, that my body and the Lord were in control.
After birth, I had a rare uterine complication and was whisked off to surgery, leaving my husband and brand new baby behind. The circumstances were scary and the doctors were unsure of my outcome. Amy stayed with my husband and Noelle. She comforted my family and even came to visit when we were in the ICU. Thankfully, all is well with me. I knew I loved Amy before, but after an experience like that, our bond grew deeper.
I would recommend that everyone should have a doula! Having an extra set of experienced hands on your team is crucial. When everyone is tired and needs relief, they are there to step in. They are an unbiased opinion when you need one. They are an experienced opinion. They are encouragement when you need it. The experience Amy has is highly valuable. She had tips and techniques that you cannot think of when your going through the pain. Amy was able to remind me of all that I had learned and prepared for when I was only thinking about the upcoming contraction. She kept me on track for what I originally wanted and helped me achieve that! We are so thankful for Amy and her skill as a doula, and when it’s time for our next baby we will call Amy to be our doula again!