We recently worked with Nicole for the birth of our first baby and had never truly considered what kind of birth we wanted. We intended to interview a bunch of doulas but the truth was that when we met Nicole, we liked her as a person and could see ourselves spending hours with her on the most amazing day of our lives. There was no reason to look elsewhere. She knew her stuff, she was sweet, friendly, and she seemed not-judgmental (that was important because we of course didn't know how our birth vision would evolve or be implemented on the day-of). We summarize Nicole's contribution as:
PREPARATION & INFORMATION: Nicole visited us and spoke with us at least twice prior to the big day. During those visits, she was so generous with her time. She helped us define our birth vision and educated us without us feeling like she was judging us for being so ignorant!! I don't think anything related to the labor process came up on the big day that we hadn't somehow discussed with her! Even in the hospital, she shed light on what was happening. At one critical point in the process, when the pain was becoming unbearable and Mom considered pain relief meds, Nicole wasn't judgmental but managed to find words and actions that kept Mom going. Within 45 min, we were pushing baby without medication when the doctors thought it might still take hours!
SUPPORT: Nicole was so responsive and supportive before, during and after. She even helped us install our car seat! On the day the water broke (at 4 am), Nicole responded to our texts within minutes. At the hospital, she was very attentive to helping Dad be useful and strong throughout the labor process. She visited us one more time after the birth and helped get us settled and answered the LONG list of questions we had - we needed that!
In a nutshell, we don't think we could have implemented our vision without Nicole. It was a huge pleasure working with her! THANKS NICOLE!!
~Maria, Lyle and Baby Elias
"I loved that Nicole of Sacred Journey Birth Services made my pregnancy such an educational experience. Not only did I *learn* about the physical part of pregnancy, but the emotional side as well. I was given Bradley instruction, and it went so far beyond anything I thought childbirth preparation was like. Not only did I learn about exercises to perform in order to holistically relief any discomfort or pain from the pregnancy, I also learned mental exercises to get through the hormonal waves and flat-out anxiety over the huge change I knew I was being blessed with. I was scared out of my mind, as a first time mom, but with Nicole's unwavering support and wealth of knowledge, I trusted her as my resource and sounding board. She always answered my questions promptly and listened with an open mind. There were times when she asked questions to make me think, and even if I chose a path outside of the normal Bradley methodology, I was thankful that she took each instance as an opportunity to educate. Whatever processes I chose, I chose them with confidence as Nicole made sure I was armed with whatever knowledge I needed to make an informed decision. I never felt silly asking questions, even the embarrassing ones! She made me appreciate pregnancy and birth as a BEAUTIFUL thing - something that should be respected and honored - I had never viewed it that way previously. It is quite fitting actually that the business name includes the word "sacred" - because that's how she treated my entire pregnancy and through the post-partum stage when I had difficulty breastfeeding. I appreciated not having to wait hours for a phone call back from a traditional doctor's office where I always felt rushed and faceless. I highly recommend consulting Nicole if you are planning a natural birth. Even if you aren't sure you are the "type" for a natural birth, you should at least chat with her. I truly believe I am a better, STRONGER woman, having been through her empowering doula programs."
~Racheal and Baby Gabriela
"I cannot say enough good things about having Nicole as our Doula. She attended and assisted with the birth of our second child. Nicole is so incredible because she knew exactly how to help. She was so involved when needed but she also stood back at the right times. She was encouraging but never pushy. She truly wanted me to have the birth experience that I wanted. One of the most important things she did for us all day was to keep me in the moment of each contraction (as opposed to thinking about how much longer labor would be). My husband was not initially sold on the value of a doula. After we gave birth with Nicole as our Doula, he told everyone how important it was to our birthing experience to have Nicole as our Doula. Thanks, Nicole!"
~Camille, Scott and Baby Hutchins
" My husband and I loved working with Nicole. In addition to having her as our doula, we took Bradley Birth classes with her, and are very happy we did. She answered all our questions, thoroughly discussed our concerns in a logical and level-headed way, and we felt very prepared for the birth of our baby girl. Nicole stayed with us throughout our 16 hour labor, following us from home to the hospital, and helped us get started with breastfeeding after delivery. We wound up needing to deviate from our birth plan, and she made both of us feel fully supported. If and when we have children in the future, we will definitely hire her again. "
~Melody, Sean and Baby Gracie
[Hannah was a client when SJBS worked as a partnership, so she had 2 doulas for her birth]
[Ruth was a client when SJBS worked as a partnership, so she had 2 doulas during her birth].
"I loved having Nicole and Laura as doulas for my second son’s birth. It made all the difference. Although I was initially induced, I eventually went into labor by myself, and was able to achieve a natural, epidural free birth which was very important to me. Both doulas were there for me helping to try and make the best possible decision for both me and my baby. Laura stayed until very late, helping me relax, and Nicole came at three in the morning. The support from both doulas and my husband helped me have such a positive birth experience. The doulas also helped me understand what I could say yes and no to when at the hospital. I was able to get the birth I wanted, the recovery was so much better, and I felt that I was able to bond better with this baby. Thank you Sacred Journey Birth Services!"
~ Ruth, John David and Baby Boy