When you work with someone so closely through their pregnancy, you are present to bear witness at one of the most beautiful, trans-formative life events a person will have; it changes your perspective on what being human is. Holding Space for someone in that moment is humbling. Women and birthing people don't need to be empowered. They are inherently powerful. We are just there to hold space for that awesomeness.
Here is what a few of the powerful parents have said about our work together.
Kennedy- Labour Support
Kennedy, born to the Griffins on
November 7, 2015
We absolutely loved having Jackie as our doula!! The best thing for me while being pregnant was having Jackie to talk to. Every woman has different fears and worries during their pregnancy and there is always the 'should I page my midwife or OB' moment. For us there were many. I found it so helpful to have a knowledgeable professional that I could talk to. Not just monthly or weekly but any time I was scared or nervous, or excited. There she was on the other end of the phone with excellent advice and a listening ear.
It got to the point where every time I mentioned a worry my husband would look at me and say 'what did Jackie say?'. Once I told him what her advice was, that was it - we we're doing what she recommended, because she was always right.
In labour she was there literally holding my leg while my husband stayed with me and held my hand. When she wasn't holding my leg she was bringing me drinks or food or helping my husband. She brought all the things we forgot, or never even thought of, and walked the halls with us coaching me through each contraction.
Having Jackie with me through the pregnancy made a rough pregnancy bearable, and made it feel like I really wasn't alone. I had the love and care of my husband, but you really can't underestimate the difference the care and support of a professional woman - who has been pregnant, pushed out a baby and is educated - can make. It's like being pregnant with your best friend - except she is trained in pregnancy and birth!! On top of it all Jackie has the most beautiful heart of any woman I have ever met. You really won't ever find anyone as invested in you and your babies well-being. Quite a relief in this world where our health care professionals only have two minutes for us. Jackie always makes time.
Our little girl calls her 'Auntie Jax' because she is family to us (I mean, c'mon - she held a leg).
No words could ever express my gratitude for having her share our journey.
From A Dad:
As a first time dad to be, I didn't think about hiring a doula very much. My wife seemed confident and was healthy, her Mom is a nurse and would be there during the labour, we did pre-natal classes with the health unit, and I had read a few books... I was just going to continue my role of spousal support through what I thought was the perfect pregnancy, and we'd have a beautiful baby soon enough, right? Wrong.
I soon realized that mom instincts trump nursing ones in a very bad way sometimes, and that those prenatal classes were inadequate. I felt I was in way over my head, ridden with anxiety when a very, very abnormal, tough, and extremely long labour started. My wife was not getting the support she needed, and quite frankly (as much as I hated to make ANYTHING about me during this process), neither was I. That's when I turned to Jackie, and I am SO grateful I did. She immediately took the bull by the horns, and the impact on my wife's (and my own) confidence was incredible. My wife went from being terrified, to feeling in control within less than an hour of our first hands on session. That's when I realized doulas are for dads too, and that the right one can be more effective than you'd ever imagine.
But, it didn't end there. The labour lasted over 5 days off and on (but mostly on) before my warrior of a wife was induced to get her cervix dilating properly. Complication after complication, my wife was exhausted, and so was I. But every single time an anxiety filled situation arose, Jackie helped turn it into a calm, logical one that she guided us through. After the 25 hour induced labour to get fully dilated, our little/big guy was not going to fit, no matter what they tried. So, why not continue the crazy train and toss a C section into the mix? That's exactly what happened, and it was not a good experience for my wife. Again, I did my best to support her, but I didn't fully understand what she was going through.
The final curveball was all of this leading to a "sugar baby" who didn't want to eat, and was hypoglycemic. There was talk of moving him to the NICU, and that had my wife in tears (which hurt, since crying post C section is not fun). Guess who walked me through what to try to avoid the NICU and calm down my wife? And guess who didn't wind up in the NICU?
Jackie was there for us through the whole ordeal, and post partum in a way I didn't even realize I needed to be at first, helping me help my wife emotionally, and physically.
I seriously can't thank her enough, and highly, HIGHLY recommend her to anyone considering hiring a doula. Stop considering, and just give her a call... You will not regret it!
A Birth Review: Candy and Derek, Strangers to Friends
I never expected that my labour and birth would be what it turned out to be. I went into my pregnancy having one solid "birth plan" and that was to get our son out safely. I was hoping to do a natural birth in the hospital with my husband, my midwife and my doula. I wanted an amazing team and that's one thing that definitely went the way that I had so hoped.
After 6 years of trying to get pregnant, I was. My husband and I were so crazy over the moon! There was just one thing that made any of this hard and that was that my best friend - my mom - had died three years prior to the same exact month that my son would be entering into this world. My mom and I were extremely close and we would talk about the future and the day I would finally bring a baby into the world. My mom was so excited and in our many discussions about babies, she helped me to choose names for a boy and for a girl. I love that she was part of such an important decision. So, now I have to become a mother without my mother here to guide me. It was a bit scary at times and it was hard wrapping my head around the fact that my mom wouldn't get to meet our son. I know she would have absolutely adored him.
I knew I needed extra support in my pregnancy. Although I have amazing people in my life, there was an obvious void and I wanted as much love, comfort and support as possible. So, I went in search of a doula.
I walked into Coffee Culture and there sat Jackie. Bright, happy and spectacular. She had a certain sense of style that I found beautiful and it didn't take me long to see that her soul matched her outer appearance. She was it! She was my doula. I instantly felt safe and comfortable in her precense. She had so much wisdom and insight. She wanted me to sit with my decision and make sure she was the right doula for me. I told her right then and there that she was.
So, that night my husband comes home and I tell him all about my doula. Derek (being ever supportive) tells me that he supports whatever I need and want in my pregnancy, but made it very clear that he doesn't necessarily understand the need for a doula. But like I said before - he's on board! Phew!
Jackie comes to the house for the first time to meet Derek and to talk about the pregnancy. Derek and Jackie instantly hit it off! We asked crazy questions, all of which Jackie would always have the best answers. Such a wealth of information! So many questions I wished I could ask my mom... I asked Jackie. She helped me figure out my options and decisions for all aspects of my pregnancy by providing me with all the facts that I needed. She brought understanding and warmth to it all and always heard me. For real. She heard me. Right down to the most important details, including making sure my mother's pictures were right where I could see them during labour. I appreciated that so very much.
So, the baby is almost two weeks overdue and it is time. We are so ready to meet this kid! I updated Jackie constantly around this time and she would check in with me too to make sure I was good and that I didn't need anything. Well, we ended up going to the hospital to be induced. I was disappointed that baby wasn't going to come on his own, even after trying to help him along with great suggestions from Jackie!
My water was broken and my midwife let us try to get my labour going on its own. Off Derek, myself and Jackie go to walk through the hospital to try to get things moving. Up the stairs, down the stairs, walk walk walk, grab coffees in the cafeteria, keep on walking. Push It by Salt & Pepa proving to be a true motivator in these steps. That along Jackie & Derek's voices encouraging me all the way.
We get back to my room and unfortunately I am not dilating enough. Pitocin is added to the mix. 6 hours of dilating through this and I came to the decision that I never wanted to have to make. I need an epidural. I'm exhausted, scared, and I feel like I'm losing my grip. 15 hours after the epidural was given, it is time to push. After 3 hours baby is not descending. We have to go in for an emergency c-section.
Bruce Thomas was born at 1:36am on November 25th, 2017. He was handsome and healthy and oh so loved!
My c-section unfortunately ended up with infection and 9 days later had to be opened and drained, creating a wound that has been packed daily for the last 6 weeks. My labour and birth experience was absolutely not what I expected at all. We made it through. Onward and upward! I wouldn't have been as strong through all of this without Jackie's constant and unwavering support.
Jackie is amazing. Seriously. She is a doula who truly loves what she does which is apparent from her dedication to all things doula. She answered a million questions, texts, concerns. Sometimes I just needed her to "hear me" and she did so easily and every time.
Through the pregnancy, the birth, and postpartum... she was there. But she wasn't just "there", she was actively present, helping and supportive. She was such an important part of my team. She didn't disappear when it became difficult, she was strong and kind and she (along with my husband) had a way of finding humour in a stressful situation.
I am so absolutely grateful that I met with Jackie at Coffee Culture that day. I went in search of someone who wouldn't fill the place of my mother, but who could enrich my experience with her support, her wisdom and her understanding. She is a person who reminds me of my mother's kindness and love, which is exactly what I needed.
I adore the friendship her and my husband developed. Derek is now a firm believer in the magic of doulas!
I will forever be grateful for Jackie and will speak and think of her fondly as she was there during the most important part of our lives. She is now one of my people. We will forever be connected. I never expected that when I met my doula that day that I was also meeting a lifelong friend. <3
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Hayden -Labour Support
Hayden Rowley entered the world on
December 27th, 2015 to Melanie and Steve.
Jackie supported my family and I throughout the pregnancy and birth of our son in December of 2015. As my due date approached Jackie met with my partner and I to discuss our birth plan and the expectations we had of each other, our families, and her as a doula. This process was cathartic and allowed my partner and I to prepare for our new little human and express our fears and concerns. Jackie made us both (and our 3 year old who was also present) feel comfortable and she was sure to include my partner in all areas of the process, which he really appreciated.
I experienced 3 days of intense pre-labour and Jackie not only attended my house twice to spend time with me and ensure that I was ok, but she walked theneighbourhood/hospital/stairs with me and was always my cheerleader. During my labour Jackie thought of everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!). She had essential oils that I enjoy, she had low lighting, music, food, and when I got sick she immediately offered me a mint. Jackie was able to use a variety techniques to keep me as comfortable as possible throughout my labour. She used counter pressure on my back (which was incredible!), encouraged me to change positions and used a birthing ball and birthing stool to keep my labour moving.
Throughout labour Jackie did an amazing job of matching my tone, anticipating my needs, giving me clear direction, making my family and I feel safe and supported, and holding space for our beautiful son when he entered the world!
My birth experience was everything I hoped for and
Jackie was a large part of that.
If you are looking for a personal experience with someone who is caring, open, knowledgeable and will make you feel like a birth warrior then Jackie is the doula you are looking for!
Charlie: Labour support,