From a most wonderful mom whom I've had the privilege of supporting through two very different births:
As I have said before, I am not sure how you thank someone for birthing your babies with you It is one of those experiences where words are insufficient. And I think that is the case this pregnancy/laobr more than the last. This labor was the challenge of my life. I feel like i relied on you immensely this time - showing me how to breathe, kicking my ass when i needed it, mourning my unexpected roadblocks.
I've also said how everyone needs a doula-but that is not just for your first birth. Every birth is a new surprise, but the need for extra support is constant. and regardless of having the best husband on the planet, you really need the support of a woman in birth. Its just one of those things.
Your presence mattered to much to me I truly can't thank you enough. It will always be my example of the best ways that women care for one another.
- Kerri U.
Why do you need a doula? Simply becuase giving birth requires a lot of support! It is a process that requires someone beyond your spouse/partner. You need a support person for your support person! During our 40 hour birth, I needed all the care and attention I could get.
Why do you want Jess? Because she is the right woman, with the right sense of respect, kindness and expertise to get you through your birth.
Excerpt from a forum on mothering.com in which a pregnant mother was searching for suggestions for a Doula in RI. Here is part of the conversation...
The post: "A friend of mine needs your help. She has decided she wants a doula, but can't find the right fit. In her words she wants someone "gray and crunchy". I think she's fallen in love with Ina May and wants someone with a lot of experience and very natural in their approach. Any suggestions? TIA!"
The response: "My doula wasn't grey, but definitely au natural. I had her for my no-intervention ABC birth and she rocked. Not Ina May, but a younger, hip version. Look up "Soft Touch Doula" online for contact info. Her name is Jess Fuss."Type your paragraph here.
Dear Jessica, I wanted to write and thank you for the amazing gift that you gave to our family as our Doula. You were present for labor and birth, and you provided suggestions and hands on help that got me through an almost 24 hour unmedicated labor. But even more than that, you were present in our lives during my pregnancy, when you provided emotional support, offered practical information and gave us the feeling of well- being we needed to prepare for and visualize the birth of our son.
My VBAC was the most powerful, fulfilling, thrilling and tender moment of my life. I will never forget the warmth and care that allowed me to follow the process of birth down the path that was right for my body and for my family.
Thank you for supporting our decisions and for reminding us of our goals. Thank you for guiding me through my birthing experience as a fellow woman who has experienced it for herself, and for reminding me of the strength of the women who have come before us and who have done the same.
You sent me a card after we first met that said "Trust Birth" on the front. I did hang it up where I could see it every day - and I did trust birth. You instilled feelings of reassurance, empowerment and respect for the birth process and for our right to make choices and have those choices respected. You have touched our lives deeply, and I will be forever grateful that we chose you to be our doula. Thank you Jessica
Sincerely and with Love, Sheri, Sean, Emma and Finnegan
I still remember it was around 11pm that I called Jessica in November 2006. I told her that I think I might be in labor, I’ll go to the hospital first, and if I found out anything I’ll call her. Jessica lives 45 minutes away, and she came to the hospital to be by my side right away without me calling. I didn’t have a short labor. My labor was 28 hours long. Jessica stayed by my side encouraging me, and telling me what a great job I was doing.
If it wasn’t for her, I think my labor would feel like forever. I’m glad that I had a Doula for my delivery, and I’m very glad that the Doula was Jessica.
Testimonial from a Mother of Twins whom I supported through her 40 hours of labor:
When I found out I was having twins, I knew I needed a doula. All of the hype around this "high risk" pregnancy made me sure that we needed someone on our sides helping to protect my, and my husbands, experience of the birth of our first children. We saw Jess on a low day of my pregnancy when we'd decided at 18 wks to change docs but we weren't sure what to do. Jess talked us through all our options and actually got me in touch with a new doc directly over email. Needless to say we hired her! Through the rest of my pregnancy Jess was a quiet support for me. Always there in the back of my mind when fears or in securities about the birth arose.
Of course my birth wasn't what I expected. I had to be induced and I couldn't rely on many of the methods I'd planned to use to manage but I never felt frightened. Jess offered us so much love and support - being gentle when I needed it and pushing ever so slightly when the time was right. It was a long labor and Jess stuck with us when everyone was operating on no sleep and crummy coffee! My docs were also extra ordinary but having Jess there and through the pregnancy really allowed my husband and I to have the birth experience that we are so proud of. Pls excuse typos - written while tandem nursing! ;)
My Daughter Jillian gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby. As soon as Jillian and her husband Joe found out that they were expecting a baby, they began to plan for his/her birth. They attended Bradley birthing classes and researched and read everything they could find to plan the type of natural birth experience that they would like to have. I was thrilled when my daughter asked me to be an assistant coach. After a few months, Jillian told me that she also wanted to have a Doula attend the birth. I had never heard of a Doula, and I didn't quite understand the role of a Doula. I trusted Jillian's judgement. She is very intelligent and always researches and puts lots of thought into her decision making.
Jillians water broke before she went into labor. It was a very long day of waiting before she began to have contractions. By evening, Jillian was experiencing stronger contractions. Joe called Jessica in the evening. Jessica spent all night with us. Jillian's plan was to labor at home for as long as possible, and then deliver at the ABC at Women and Infants.
As we went through this long evening of labor, I began to understand how wonderful it is to have a Doula present. Jillian labored with grace and beauty. She listened to her body, and responded naturally with each new phase. It was amazing! You could feel the transfer of strength she received from her loving husband. She instinctively took strength from each of us, Joe, myself and Jessica. She seemed to know exactly what she needed from each of us. Jessica took the anxiety of the unknown out of the experience. She was very familiar with the protocols of the hospital. She would softly explain what could happen next, and the different options Jillian would have to deal with each new situation. I know that Jessica was a comforting presence for Jillian and Joe, but she was also a wonderful comforting presence for me.
Jessica added this layer of warm, comforting reassurance that I can imagine a baby must feel when he is swaddled.
I understand now the meaning of a Doula. I am so thankful to have been part of the beautiful birth of my grandson, and also very thankful to have shared it with Jessica.
-From the Mother of a woman I supported through childbirth
Having a Doula is a Wonderful Thing!
When my wife approached me and said that she wanted to have a Doula, the first thing that popped into my head was: What is a Doula and how much is it going to cost?
Fortunately for me and my wife we soon found out that having Jessica as our Doula was one of the best decisions that we made during my wife’s pregnancy and subsequent delivery.
When I first met Jessica I instantly could tell that she was a kind and loving individual who is sincerely committed to her profession. Jessica’s support of my wife during the months leading up to and during the delivery was outstanding. She definitely went well above the call of duty to ensure that our delivery experience was one of the best. Jessica helped us stick with our birth plan and provided extra care for my wife during those difficult times of hard labor. In all honesty I don’t know how we could have managed without her. I would highly recommend her services to all expecting parents, especially first timers. Her level of knowledge, care and love will make the birthing experience great for everyone involved. Jessica’s loving nature greatly reduced all the anxieties that come along with having a baby. Having Jessica as our Doula was a wonderful experience and I am thankful that we had her services during our daughter’s birth.