Amanda Jesse

 

“Hiring Renée was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy.  It was a joy to work with her throughout the pregnancy and birth of my first child.

In our prenatal appointments, Renée combined expert knowledge with a calm, positive coaching strategy to prepare my husband and me for the labor process. In one meeting, she mentioned to me what a gift it is to experience childbirth. She told me it would take me to what might feel like my limit and instead of fearing that I should embrace the opportunity and really prove to myself what I am made of. As a former professional ballet dancer I was used to pushing my body to its limits, so Renée’s advice really struck me, and as a result, empowered me to decide to proceed with a natural birth.

My plan for a natural birth became more challenging when learning my baby was in a posterior position in the womb, and also because my water broke before actually going into labor (medically termed PROM, or Premature Rupture of Membranes). These factors traditionally influence hospital birth practitioners to encourage pregnant women to opt for various forms of medical intervention during their labor process, which is what they immediately did with me. More importantly, after arriving at the hospital I realized too late that they, and the practice I had chosen were not aligned with my plan for a natural childbirth. Realizing this, I knew a birth on my terms would be a challenge to achieve. I made the decision that avoiding an epidural was my best shot at not having any of the subsequent unnecessary interventions the doctors were encouraging. I was extremely adamant about not having a cesarean section, which was what I feared an epidural might lead to. Renée was particularly encouraging and helpful in assisting me in maintaining my will to carry out a natural birth in the way I had planned to. And although the labor process wound up taking a considerable amount of time, ultimately things unfolded almost exactly like I’d envisioned.

When Renée met us at the hospital, I was in full active labor and my husband and I were both completely drained and exhausted, and frankly a little scared! Renée’s presence instantly changed the atmosphere of the delivery room and helped restore our energy and confidence. Upon her arrival she introduced several helpful techniques like aromatherapy, massage, breathing suggestions, position changes, stretches, and boundless positive encouragement letting me know I COULD and WOULD get through it. She came when my husband and I needed her most and tirelessly worked to get me through the final hours of labor naturally, all while being sensitive, calm, and never overbearing.

Though I may have doubted my strength and resolve at various points throughout the process, Renée never doubted me. She believed in my ability to have the birth I was hoping for, and through her coaching, knowledge, and experience, my birth story is one that I am incredibly proud of! I am sure things would have turned out differently had we not hired Renée. She is an incredible doula and person. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of working with her, and because of it I am left with an amazing, positive memory of my first birth experience.  Not to mention a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  Thank you Renée for your kindness and assistance, I couldn’t imagine having done it without you!”