Chole & Arthur
Katherine was my doula almost 3 years ago now! She was a really wonderful support for both my husband and I, and having her massage therapist skills was a really wonderful asset to choosing her! I really appreciated that Katherine was able to help me through making a birth preferences list, and make the best choices for me and my son. She was always quick to send evidence based information my way for any question I asked her, and was also just there with a listening ear if needed. Hopeful to use Katherine again sometime in the future!
The Walton-Duhamel Clan
Our journey with Katherine started on the internet. Searching for a Doula. Searching and searching, and searching. I was starting to feel anxious. Afraid I wouldn't find someone that worked for us. I started to feel like a Doula wasn't in the stars. All I wanted was the stars to align. I was feeling incredibly upset. I needed a Doula.
Then, I found her. Katherine. Which by the way is my mother's name and my oldest daughter's middle name. So it was meant to be. I knew that before I met Katherine, that she was the one. After contacting her and making an appointment to meet her, that's when my nerves got to me. I wanted this so bad, just a Doula. I knew in my heart that I NEEDED a Doula for my second birth.
I had so many things going through my mind. I wanted her to like me, I wanted her to like my partner. So then the day came for Katherine to come to our home and meet our family, including our then 2 and a half year old daughter Zoe and the two of us.
I needed the house to be perfect, and for Zoe not be cranky and for me not to be so darn nervous. Minutes before Katherine arrived, I was pacing and my hands were sweating. When the door bell rang, I almost ran to the door, took a couple deep breaths and there she was. This beautiful soul, with a soft voice, and overall pleasant demeanor.
Once Katherine got settled in, I was anxious to know what she offered, I had so many questions for her, but of course I blanked out!!! Thankfully though I was very early into my preganacy, so I knew I had a lot of time to get to know her and ask as many questions as I could. Some time went by during our visit, we chatted and got to know each other a bit. But I already knew that when I opened my door, she was our Doula. MY Doula. I was thrilled and excited.
After our first visit and through out the rest of my pregnancy, Katherine checked in to see how was I doing. Pregnancy was going well, we kept in contact, filled her in on the check ups. We chatted and got to know each other a bit, had some play dates together. Katherine was so helpful in helping me feel more comfortable and feel confident in giving birth in a natural, drug free way. I was incredibly nervous for my second birth. I was a high risk patient and was nervous that I maybe induced again, and possibly go through a cesarean. I did not want that.
Katherine was my constant motivator, always rooting for me and always letting me feel empowered.
When the time came to my due date, May 9th, 2014. I had an appointment and I knew my blood pressure was up, even on medication. I just knew that I would be induced. I was admitted into the hospital on my due date and induced. During this time, Katherine was always answering my texts and calls. She was always reassuring me that everything would be fine and not to worry.
The time came when I was finally moved to my own room and had several attempts to get my labour going. My baby was not ready, but I was not letting the doctors go any other route other than to let the Cervadil work. Katherine educated me on the many ways I could be induced and to make sure I was an advocate for myself, my body and my baby. I made sure to use her information to good use and ask the questions many other woman didn't even know to ask, or have the confidence to ask.
Saturday came, almost 24 gours since being induced. Still no baby. By this time, I have caught a cold in the hospital, I am feeling awful and exhausted, my labor hasn't even started, not one contraction, and I am not allowed to go home.
What was Katherine doing? She was answering every single text and call, reassuring me I can do this!!
Finally, my 3rd round of Cervadil started to work. I finally started to have contractions. Nothing grand or anything, but it was something!! My partner, Neil and I were in the waiting room. After walking up and down the stairs, and hallways for two days, I sat down and said "Lets watch the hockey game". That's when they started, I finally had to concentrate through them, I knew that things were progressing. By this time it was getting late, around 9:45PM. I knew it was going to be a long night.
I let Katherine know things were progressing and she was right there ready for me. She offered to come then, but we both knew she didn't have to be there. It was going to be awhile for active labor to start. but who was I kidding, I wanted her there, I needed her there.
A short amount of time went by, I asked her to come, I felt awful, knowing she would be there for quite some time and away over night away from her own children.
When Katherine arrived, all of my fears and anxiety went away. I think that was the same for Neil. He knew he was able to get a break and some rest. He was exhausted. Katherine set up the room with candles, aromatherapy and some calming white noise, which is what I relax with at home. The room was transformed into this sanctuary, a calm bliss that was ready for anything.
Through out the night, my contractions started to be quite painful and I was definitely in active labor. Katherine and I worked together to find some comfortable positions. Finally we did and she massaged my lower back through every single one. With out that, I would have not been able to handle it. Little did I know, while I was in active labor and Neil sleeping in the corner of the room, Katherine was sleeping between contractions, bless her heart!!
Once things started to get a bit much I needed to change positons and try the shower. Katherine was always encouraging me through every contraction. So was Neil, he got his rest and was hands on. Katherine empowered me. She was my ultimate cheer leader. Always offering me something to feel more comfortable. She reminded me to drink, and eat.
Once I was in the tub, my body and tummy submerged under warm water, I felt more relief. This was transition. The holy mother of mary contractions. I will never forget this time of my labor. It was incredibly intense, almost unbearable. As Neil continuously poured water over me, Katherine was by my head the entire time, helping me get through every contraction. the words she said empowered me, made me get to the next one, and the next one.
There was one time I remember asking for some pain meds and she was there not to tell me no but to remind me of how far I have gone with out any drugs and on my own and that the end is almost near and that I can do this, that we can do this. It was at that moment that I felt like a true woman, a warrior. And she got me there. She reminded me that I can do the job that I was made to do, to give birth. Naturally.
That's what I did. Once I got out of the tub, it wasn't long before Georgia was born, she was born on Mother's Day. Katherine was right beside Neil and I. Still to this day, if Katherine was not my Doula, I would have opted for pain medication.
After giving birth, Katherine stayed for a little bit to make sure I was well and got some cuddles in with Georgia. Katherine was sweet, endearing, kind, gentle and overall compassionate. She got me and Neil through this beautiful and empowering birth.
After Georgia was born, I was dead set on breast feeding her as with our first, I struggled and gave up. With Georgia, it was natural. It happened instantly. She had a great latch and we were both happy. Until I had taken Georgia for a check up at the health clinic. I got a call from the clinic stating that I am to start Georgia on formula immediately and that she was not gaining enough weight, there was no concern for me what so ever from the nurse, she was incredibly rude and made me feel like I failed.
I filled Katherine in on this and she was there to help me, guide me through it and encourage me. With out her support and many other breast feeding moms I know, I would not have been able to get through it. I nursed Georgia. No formula, no bottles.
Our journey with Katherine will forver be in my memories. I will always remember her words and her touch. She touched my family and most of all, my heart