Baby Jimmy’s Birth Story by mother Tanya: Mai was amazing as my doula for my induced labor! From our first contact, she’s provided education. She supported me with pain management techniques, and went above and beyond. She guided me through breathing techniques, visualizations, aromatherapy, and acupressure. These provided a sense of centeredness along with pain relief. At one point, I even started dancing. Using the shower helped manage pain as well. Mai encouraged change of labour positions, some included me sitting on a birthing stool and a birthing ball. I recommend her services to everyone I know looking to conceive and/or deliver a baby. Mai is the total package. She even advocated for me to be moved to a room with mobile fetal monitoring so that I could move around, walk the halls, and ease the pain of every contraction. She made sure my questions were answered and helped me to understand the pros and cons of my options. She wanted me to understand all the risks and benefits of my decisions. She even helped me with postnatal care to heal and offered tips about my newborn. Mai is truly one of a kind. She made my labor period, actually, a fun experience by her just being there to assist my mom and husband with supporting me in a positive atmosphere of quiet. She also trained my husband on massaging my hips to remove pain of back contractions. The list goes on & on, so I’ve written a chapter giving her kudos in my upcoming book. Again, I would refer anyone I know for her services.
Zora Madison Heath by Mai: At 36wks + 2days gestation with my first born, I noticed about 1/4c of fluid from my vagina. It was 7am and my sleepy husband insisted that this was likely as times before, just increased vaginal discharge. However, I felt this was different. I had just seen my midwife the day before for my GBS testing, which takes 4 days to culture. I called the midwife, ended up meeting her at the hospital where she confirmed my PRoM, premature rupture of membranes. “Baby is only 5 days shy of being full term, certainly I can still get ‘my’ home birth.” But that was not the case.Though I insisted on running home to pack a bag (!) I was “committed” to a hospital birth. All this and my mother no where in sight! After all, baby was on the way 4 wks before expected and 2 wks before grandma was expected to arrive from Georgia, USA. I had only just met my doula (and only just learned of the term) 5 days before. The midwife gauged the timing of my induction to be as gradual as possible. My doula arrived, very surprised at the course of things, but proved to be a woman to care for me and think of things I could not. She also gave me reassurance that helped me endure the marathon of birth. Zora was born early morning of February 4, 2010. My husband and midwives encouraged me to eat as I desired, rest as I desired, and be as I wanted to be. That freedom was key to meeting my ultimate goal of having a vaginal birth experience.
Clarke Lilian Mae Ree Heath by Mai: I felt much more prepared for Clarke’s birth. She came at 40wks+5days. I had it in my head to deliver at home (finally). It was September, and I could roam around my neighbourhood with my husband and weather contractions in the fresh air and sunshine. After many hours of weathering contractions, I finally decided to be transported to hospital for pharmaceutical pain management. Even there, my doula & birth team (mom made it up in plenty of time for this birth!) ensured that I had a warm, comforting birth experience. This is the first time I was introduced (by my doula) to the amazing powers of physical healing and comfort, as her touch on my hips and shoulders provided relief each contraction. And though she taught others supporting me, no one quite had the touch and experience she had. Again, my little one came early in the morning and before you knew it, I was back home with my bundle.