I had wanted a home water birth since my second son was born in hospital 17 years ago. I met Hannah at Zumba a couple of years ago and we had become friends. After she had been a doula for two of my closest friends, it felt only natural to ask her to be our doula when we found out we were expecting our baby.
This was my husband’s first baby and because it had been a long while since I had my youngest, I bombarded Hannah with questions, but she patiently answered all our queries and was a mine of information about pregnancy, birth and beyond. She helped us to write a confident birth plan as well as providing a birth pool and Tens machine.
I had a few days stop/start labour, during which Hannah was on call encouraging me to be patient and relax, reminding me that my body and my baby were getting ready. It was her reassurance that saw me through – I wanted to avoid induction and although I was uncomfortable, thanks to Hannah I was able to find the patience and to enjoy the rest of my labour. Once labour was established, Hannah was on the other end of the phone until I felt we needed her with us. By the time Hannah arrived, I was in the pool woozy on my natural endorphins. Hannah quietly stayed in the background, taking the odd photograph, replenishing my iced water and generally leaving my husband and I to enjoy the labour together in our protected birth space. As the second stage approached and took over, Hannah remained in the background and I only noticed her when she joined me in Ujjayi breathing during those times when I lost it.
I wanted an undisturbed birth so I asked Hannah to call for the midwife only when I began to push. Shortly after my waters broke, our daughter was born into her daddy’s hands. He passed her between my legs whilst Hannah photographed the moment I brought her to the surface. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful birth – everything about it was absolutely perfect. It was important for me to have a natural birth and to feel and enjoy the experience; the protected birth space and the peacefulness allowed this. The midwife arrived 7 minutes later.
We are not planning any more children after Elowen-Fae, but if we did decide to do it all again, there would be no hesitation in asking Hannah to doula for us once again. Having Hannah as our doula enabled me to have the confidence in myself, my body and my baby to have the birth we hoped for and I will always be thankful for having her help us achieve this, she is an absolute star.