I had heard of the many great benefits of having a doula but little did I know just how much Sandra's support would impact my own birth. My pregnancy was unplanned therefore I had little idea what birth actually entailed, other than the unrealistic expectations that I had from movies and tv.
My partner and I would meet with Sandra once a month to go over all the ins and outs of the reality of birth. After our second or third meeting, I had the confidence to change my original plans and opt for a home birth. Sandra helped me create my dream birth plan and kept me educated about all my options. She took the time to meet with my birth team and was amazing at informing everyone on what to expect and ways to help.
When the big day arrived Sandra was my hero! Having her there created such a calm and easy labour. Right from when Sandra arrived she began comforting and supporting me and setting my birth team to work. I spent a lot of time labouring in my very small ensuite which meant Sandra really had to work hard to fit in. Having Sandra there meant I could relax, just knowing she had the knowledge and experience to support me in my journey. It also meant my birth team and my partner remained focused and didn't have any need to worry as Sandra kept as all reassured as my labour progressed.
Her massage and breathing techniques were incredible and I can't imagine how I would have coped without them. When I was in the birth pool and it was time to push, with each contraction I felt the pressure of someone's hands on my lower back. It was such a welcome relief and I had no idea who was doing it until I watched my birth video later. We had opted for the biggest birth pool available (1.5m wide) and in the video you see Sandra stretching across the whole pool to reach my back, it is amazing she didn't fall in!
I had the most empowering birth and I wholeheartedly put that down to having Sandra's support. Even just after the birth, I lay in bed nursing my newborn while Sandra gave me a foot massage and helped me with feeding techniques. She would then come and visit us at home regularly bringing with her food and helping me with any questions I had. She is an incredible woman with so much knowledge to share.
The best advice I could give to anyone who is about to embark on this journey would be to contact a doula! We tossed up about spending the money on calm/hypnobirthing birthing course but honestly felt we got all the same information directly from Sandra. There is no price I could put on the service she provides and the gift she gave us of a calm and beautiful birth. On top of that, we have gained a life long friend and I can't wait until my son is old enough to hear all about how his parents came to know the wonderful Sandra.