Let me tell you folks, a doula will absolutely help you feel like a goddess, a warrior, or any other empowering way you'd like to feel during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, postpartum, and beyond. They don't advocate for you, yet they inform you and support you to advocate for yourself. They make you feel comfortable when you're most vulnerable. Mainly, they are just there for you and ONLY you (well, and sometimes your partner!).
I was so lucky, along with my husband, to birth our second child on my terms, much of which wouldn't have been possible without Hillary Neilsen of Nurtured Birth, Doula Services for the Savannah Area. We originally didn't plan on hiring a doula, since I was able to have an unmedicated hospital birth with our son 2 years prior. But when we chose to opt for a water birth at the Midwife Group & Birth Center with our second, and when there was a very real chance that my husband might be deployed for the birth, we quickly began our search for the right fit. I remember feeling so comfortable around Hillary the first time we met, and I just knew that she was the doula we had been searching for.
Shortly after our first meeting, I had the pleasure of designing a full rebrand for her business. It was such a joy to design pregnancy and birth imagery for her brand during such a special time in my life. You could say I had the ultimate inspiration!
After all the brainstorming and drafts, together we created the perfect collection of design elements for her doula brand.
Not long after finishing her brand design and its launching, it was D-Day!
My water broke around 12:30AM on July 18, 2017, and she was one of the first people we got in touch with. After a few hours of laboring at home, my husband and I met Hillary and our birth photographer, Dusti, with The Art of Birth, at the birth center. Dusti brought us donuts, and Hillary brought me some milk, my gotta-have-craving during both of my pregnancies. And then the four of us played Uno, the Ninja Turtles Edition, no less. How many moms can say that?! I seriously had the best birth support team!
Yes, I was having FUN during labor, but I wasn't focused or relaxed, and my body knew that, so my contractions came to a halt. So Hillary suggested that everyone but Cam and I leave the birthing room, so that we could have some time where I might feel less anxious and get that oxytocin pumping. Speaking of, they then had me use the breast pump and ingest labor tincture to stimulate more contractions. And boy, did that alone time and pumping get the oxytocin flowing!
About an hour later, it was time to get in the tub. And 3 pushes later, Lark Ashley Rich was earth-side!
Long beautiful amazing story short, Hillary's knowledge and support was invaluable to our birth story! I cannot recommend her and Nurtured Birth enough if you're on the hunt for an incredible doula whether newly pregnant, far along, or postpartum. I'm so blessed I got to be a part of her business going forward!
You can watch the full video of birth story, courtesy of The Art of Birth, here.