by Ellen Essex
I am a first time mom and didn’t know what to expect about labor/birth. A friend recommended Elaine as a doula, and I thought I probably wanted a natural childbirth, so I decided a doula would be a good idea. Even though I wanted a natural childbirth, I was open to the idea of an epidural, if I really needed it. During my labor, I experienced contractions at home from about 4pm – 3am. My contractions were still about 5 min apart and I thought I had a long time to go. The pain was getting worse, so I decided I wanted to go to the hospital so I could get an epidural. My husband and I checked into the hospital and got to our triage room. Soon after we got into triage, Elaine arrived. She had arrived very quickly, and I was so happy and relieved to see her. I found out in triage that I was 6cm, farther than I thought, I thought that maybe I still wanted an epidural, but with Elaine there, the pain was much more manageable. Elaine encouraged me in dealing with the pain naturally, but was never forceful about me not getting an epidural, because she knew I might want one. As time went on, I continued to progress and realized that the epidural wasn’t going to happen. Elaine was essential to my managing the pain of contractions. I have a wonderful relationship with my husband, but he could not have helped me with the pain! Each contraction, I would turn to Elaine and just having her there was a huge comfort and help. Elaine allowed me to labor in my own way and she was there for exactly what I needed. Looking back, I realized it was so important to have her there as someone who could focus only on me and help me in a way my husband couldn’t. She allowed me to relax so that my labor could progress and I was able to push my baby out with no epidural or pain medication. This experience was the most fulfilling and confidence-building in my life! Thinking about it gives me such a feeling of joy and accomplishment. Elaine played a huge role in allowing this to happen for me. So far, my experience with my baby post partum has been very good as well. The joy and fulfillment from my birth has helped me to deal with the stress and change of being a first time mom. Thank you, Elaine!