I am so very thankful we had Melissa for the pregnancy and birth of our daughter. Her knowledge and passion for supporting families in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and adjusting to new family life is evident in every conversation.
For us she provided a private birth class in our home, a few meetings during the pregnancy to get to know us, learn our wishes for the birth and post-partum, and monitor how the pregnancy was going. I checked in after every OB appointment and she continued to echo our wishers and support as time moved closer to our due date.
Our due date came and went with a false start early on. Melissa reminded me what to watch for how to time contractions and what to expect when we went to the hospital. Her knowledge and experience with the care providers and hospital gave us irreplaceable insider knowledge during labor and delivery. She advocated for us and pointed out where we could ask questions and seek alternatives. She supported our birth plan and acknowledged when changes were necessary based on the situation. Labor and delivery did not go entirely as I had hoped due to a difficult care provider, and having Melissa there was another voice and supporter to do as much as we could and make it the best situation possible. The recap meeting after the birth was great to review and process all the events of the pregnancy and the birth.
Having Melissa as part of our birth team greatly reduced my stress when I realized that I did not need to know every possible option or technique to cope with labor, or what may come up as standard practice in a hospital setting. I could rely on her knowledge and experience to guide us and ask questions when the standard response may not be what we needed. While I will be seeking out a new OB/Midwife for the next pregnancy, I will have Melissa as my doula again.