Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Debra's Testimonial

This was my first experience of a private hospital as a doula. I met Debra only a few weeks before the birth on the recommendation of a mutual friend, but we connected straight away!

Debra had an unplanned Caesarean birth after attempted induction. I'll be writing my story about this soon, but here is her story:

Not sure if you can see it here,
but mom is on the ball!
From the time we conceived, my husband and I read books, watched DVDs and sought advice from close friends and family. However, since none of our family were able to make the delivery or help us adjust to life after the birth, we still felt particularly nervous about whether we were always making the best choices for our family. 

This is where the famous Leigh joined our family of 3! I had never heard of a ‘doula’ or birthing ‘servant’ but from the day I met Leigh, she played an invaluable double role as both a passionate baby specialist and devoted friend. 

Leigh spent hours with us, answering our many questions regarding different natural birth pain relief options, emergency hospital procedures, breast verse bottle feeding… All our concerns were addressed. This made us feel confident and completely supported, knowing we could make well informed decisions concerning the safety and care of our baby Mpilo.

On the 6th of September Mpilo was due to be induced. Just in case he decided to arrive early, Leigh made sure we knew where she was at all times. Even if my contractions happen to start at 2am, she guaranteed to be there for us. What commitment! 

Armed with games, snacks, massage oils, stories and a medicine ball, Leigh was ready for anything that might occur on our special day. After 6 hours of trying to prepare for a natural birth, the doctor decided to conduct a C-section birth, due to my increasing BP and the circumference of Mpilo’s head. I would have panicked if Leigh was not there to speak with the medical team, offer us sensible advice and show compassion. 

During the C-section, Leigh talked me through the effects of the epidural, what the doctors were doing, how to recover from the procedure and took photographs, all while holding my hand. While I was in recovery, Leigh had already updated my husband on the success of the surgery, checked Mpilo was okay and organised for him to be exclusively breast feed.

The next day, Leigh was back to check on my recovery, to patiently answer more of my questions and help me effortlessly connect with Mpilo. Since then, Leigh continues to keep in regular contact with us. What a beautiful woman! What an amazing experience! 

Mpilo Samuel Nala, the name of our handsome baby boy, means ‘God’s desire is to give us abundant life’ (1 John 14). This is our testimony of His endless goodness to us. After sharing our baby journey with Leigh, our very own special doula, I would sincerely encourage every expecting mother to do as we did.

Did you have a doula for a caesarean birth? Would you recommend it?

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