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Experience Story  Fr. + F. Baby Berend

After three major deliveries, we were again pregnant with our fourth child. And by each of the previous births we had vacuum deliveries.

Therefore, this time we knew one thing for sure: we wanted this delivery a whole different way. We went looking for a "coach" who could help us in preparation for and during labor. Through www.Doula.nl we found at Doula Ivonne. After a pleasant interview we decided to experience our birth with Ivonne.

During the following month she visited us several times to discuss how to improve on the previous experiences, what we might do differently this time, and what her role would be during labor. We recorded all of this down in a Birth Plan which gave us peace of mond before the birth. Doula Ivonne was our continuous support while the staff at the hospital came and went with their shifts.

At the time of the first contractions we called Ivonne midnight to come. This time it was again a very difficult delivery, but because of the support of Ivonne our baby came entirely on its own came into the world. After a long day of looking after mother and baby well. Ivonne was able to go home satisfied.

 A few weeks later, we had Ivonne at the door to admire our baby again and offer to write a report the birth. This enabled us to relive our heavy but successful delivery infinitely and later read to our child exactly how he made his first steps in the world!

Experience Story Petra & Paul

During pregnancy, we thought a lot about childbirth and how we hoped that it would happen. Our experience in the midwifery practice was not that great (they were always in a hurry with little personal attention). Especially since it was our first pregnancy, we felt that we needed a kind of back support, a safety net or the like.

We had never heard of a doula until we heard someone talking about it at a party. The next day we immediately did some internet searching and we were very excited about what we read. A few days later we had found our own doula! All of our questions and uncertainties were gone. She listened to us and everything was taken seriously. We felt so supported and that was exactly what we needed, and so the experience of the pregnancy was even better! Contact was by phone, mail or personal visits and was very pleasant. We did not have to wait long for reply. Everything that was promised was fulfilled!

In addition, we made a birth plan as suggested by our Ivonne. This was quite difficult at first, especially having to imagine childbirth ... but gradually we succeeded. It gave us a sense of certainty, a feeling that we do not have to hand everything over because we don’t know everything that should (or could) happen during childbirth. By preparing for the birth through the birth plan we no longer felt that we had to just surrender to what was happening around us.

During birth, doula Ivonne was there mainly for the support and assistance only when it was needed. It was very nice to know there is someone in the house so we could just focus on the birth. Ivonne took care of the other things that were happening. What was also very nice was that after the birth she stayed with us as long as necessary, she was in no hurry to get away and that made the atmosphere relaxing.

After delivery and evaluation, she was still there for us for our questions and willing to chase up the answers when necessary. She also had wrote a report of the birth that we were very happy with because even a few weeks after giving birth we had forgotten quite a lot of the details. The report will be fun for our little one to read when she grows up.

Experience Story Bregje and baby Annika

If you decide to have a baby on your own, it is immediately clear that some things need to arranged before a natural childbirth. Although it is a beautiful and attractive idea to retreat like an animal into a quiet place to give birth, a few birth stories soon put this idea our of your head. My friends and family live far away and anyway, I didn’t think that it was suitable to have this experience with them. So I was so glad when I read on Doula.nl about the solution of asking a doula to join me in the labor!

Doulas are still thin on the ground in the Netherlands, but I was lucky, Ivon works in my area and lives a stone’s throw away. It's a bit odd to call a doula knowing that you are inviting someone to a very intimate situation, but what I saw and read about Ivon raised my confidence and we made an introductory appointment. In the months that followed, we saw each other regularly building a bond that would be necessary during the childbirth. We drank tea, talked about my pregnancy, Ivon brought books and her knowledge of health during pregnancy, experience of childbirth and impending motherhood. And me, I was under the influence of hormones and sat dreaming about the baby in my belly….” It’s a girl, I'm sure ...!” Ivon brought these things with her, but left it open for me to decide what I wanted to use, which is nice and relaxed because I followed my feelings through much of the pregnancy and I found that to be enough.At work I read and think a lot, for the pregnancy I just wanted to feel it! Ivon understood and supported me with this.

The weeks and months flew by. With Ivon, I made a birth plan. Within it were my wishes and ideas, what I mainly wanted was the peace of the pregnancy to keep driving during labor. A home birth was planned – and we were all set!

And a few days before the due date: it happened. I wasn’t to know it as I sat watching a series on DVD after coming home just having visited the midwife. Practice contractions apparently started and the midwife told me it could be days before it anything really begins, and I accepted that. I started with episode 1 and by episode 6 in the DVD I had to pause the DVD  every five minutes, to get up and distract myself a little by walking. I thought : Gosh, strong practice contractions, imagine what the real contractions are going to feel like! (the birth stories you read give you an enormous expectation of pain). Finally after a few hours of “ practice contractions” I followed the advice of my mother who lives in  France and called the doula, and of course Ivon came very quickly.And then it immediately became much more serious. I remember one last cup of tea and Ivon that helped me in dealing with the contractions. Meanwhile, the midwife arrived. Just in time, because I got the urge to push and ..long story short ..I appeared to be fully dilated we had to go to the hospital because the baby (I knew already that the baby would be a boy) had appeared to have defecated in the amniotic fluid. Ivon was at that time - literally and figuratively - a supporting rock! She drove me quietly to the hospital, talking to me to me encouragingly. Generally, the transition between home and hospital went smoothly, except for having to try not to push.

Not long after, my daughter Annika was born. What a treasure laying on my belly, as if there was no doula, no world, nothing, just her and me. I called a good friend / Annika's dad, then my mother and loved ones who were desperately in need to be informed of the good outcome. Ivon was always in the area, to give me to drink, and she helped me to process all new impressions. Just by being there. Later, people sometimes asked me whether it was not awful to be all by myself for the birth. I can honestly say that I did not miss my family and friends during labour. With Ivon's powerful, yet humble presence and support I look back on a good experience which gives me great pleasure to think back on.

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