"I feel I should open this review by stating that Jennifer is a dear friend of ours. A new friend, sure, but one that quickly became part of our close-knit friend family. That being said, I want anyone reading to understand that pregnancy and birth are too important an experience to give a misleading review, so I hope you'll trust that the experience I share here is from as neutral a point of view as I can give.
Jennifer worked with my wife Cassie and I to educate and prepare us for our first, which would be a natural birth at Mercy Memorial Hospital. She heard our concerns and made sure we advocated for the sort of birthing experience that we wanted, and to not stand for people directing us toward inducement or a C-section unless medically necessary. Frankly, the way that women are disempowered all throughout their pregnancy, up to and including the birth, is insane. Between a hospital-sanctioned birthing 'class' elsewhere that taught people that Pitocin and epidurals are mandatory for any birth, and the strange tendency of people to want to share horror stories of their own experiences to a mother and father-to-be, Cassie and I were becoming emotional wrecks, expecting to be overruled by nurses and doctors when the day came.
Without the wise words and support from Jennifer to guide us toward confidence in what we wanted, I believe we would be telling a horror story much like so many others. Instead, her presence became a beacon of calm for both of us - and kept this husband from multiple panic attacks. Jennifer at times was more or less my own super-filtered Google search for all things baby-related, removing the horror stories and WebMD doomsday predictions to instead provide me evidence-based reasoning about what was really happening. The pregnancy became an experience of reassuring clockwork, moments of "Oh, yes, this is exactly what is supposed to happen" instead of me trying to apply dramatic Hollywood hospital scenes to real-life situations.
The ultimate experience you're getting from hiring Jennifer is a feeling of preparedness for your pregnancy and birth, something I don't think I have the words to underline enough. Support is empowerment. Empowerment is knowledge. Knowledge is calm. And calm is the absolute key to a natural birth.
After 12 hours of labor, our son Rowan was born at 7 lbs and 19 inches. Jennifer was there with us the entire time, helping with massage during contractions and mantras to remind Cassie of her strength. Despite everyone's top-notch work, we did encounter obstacles at the end. Rowan was born with some fluid in his lungs and developed a bacterial infection. This, I was told, is extremely common. He was put on oxygen while his lungs dried out and was given antibiotics to clear the infection. A stay in the NICU, no matter what for, is a stressful time. And again, Jennifer was always a source of comfort and reassurance any time we felt that we had failed or lost our way.
Cut to today, and we have a happy, healthy 6-week old boy. He's growing so fast, and I genuinely don't think I would feel as capable of doing all this without the services provided by Jennifer throughout. This review is really the least I could sing her praises, and if you're on the fence at all about hiring a doula for your own experience I hope my long-winded sharing has prompted you to do yourself the immense favor of hiring her."