During my first birth experience, things didn’t go as planned – our daughter was breech and required a c-section delivery. At the start of my second pregnancy, I set to researching everything I could about VBACs and the factors that increase success. A repeated suggestion? Hire a doula! My mind immediately jumped to Susan, who had masterfully led our Bradley class. Both my husband and I not only liked her immensely, we trusted her implicitly. As a bonus, we knew she had experience with other VBAC deliveries and was also a regular presence on the UNC L&D floor.
When the day finally came, Susan far exceeded our already extremely high expectations. What I appreciated most about her was the perfect balance she maintained of being both a comforter and a taskmaster. Toward the end, Susan had to repeat the same reminders at every contraction – quite literally! Yet all the while, her own tone was so gentle and full of compassion, even as she too was fighting exhaustion after a long night of active labor support. Her words and actions were so tender, like my own mother, and when I couldn’t submerge my belly in the tub because lying on my side was unbearable, she scooped warm water into a cup and poured it over my tummy again and again. I felt incredibly loved and supported!
After two grueling hours of pushing, I had the joy of watching my husband (!) catch our son and lay him on my belly. Not only was Susan the one who suggested we consider a “daddy catch,” she captured all of it on camera for us to marvel at later – truly, a moment neither of us will ever forget! Our little fella is nearly two months old now, but we cannot stop raving about our birth experience to family and friends – or even strangers! Susan played an irreplaceable role in our son’s safe arrival, helping us achieve an unmedicated, vaginal birth after a cesarean. So whether you are counting down to your 1st birth or your 5th, do yourself a favor: include Susan on your birth team!