Willow was such an integral part of both my births! She is so knowledgeable, strong, and calm. She has an intuitive way about her that brought me to a perfect place of calm amongst the storminess of labor. She pushed on my hips for each contraction for what must have been hours and guided me through my journey in such a loving way. She knew exactly what to say when I felt I couldn’t go on (I could and did!). Willow was truly a gift during each of my births. I would recommend her a thousandfold.
When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were in the middle of a move across the country. We were extremely excited, but not prepared to say the least. While searching the internet for pregnancy support in Sonoma County, my husband found Willow’s website and informed me of her doula services. As I read more and more about doulas, I realized that it would be beneficial to have another person throughout my pregnancy/childbirth for support, knowledge, and general guidance.
I contacted Willow and she responded to my email immediately, and I knew right away that she was a good match for me and my growing family. She was kind, helpful, and extremely educated in all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. She even pointed me in the right direction to an amazing midwife. Much of my pregnancy was spent teaching in New York where I waited for the school year to end, so many of our conversations were through long and detailed emails. Willow was such a great support system for me and my husband. If we had any questions, concerns, or even complaints, Willow would listen, give advice, and/or inform us of any options we may have.
My baby was very comfortable in my belly. He was so comfortable that he didn’t want to make an entrance into the world, even two weeks after my due date. Even though I had my heart set on trying for an all natural birth, my midwife told me I had to make the dreaded appointment to go into the hospital and be induced. This was everything I did not want, and even though I knew it could happen, I was upset about it. Willow was incredibly informative, honest, and calming while explaining what was about to happen to me. I actually found comfort in her words as she explained in detail the process of induction. I would have never been as clear-headed as I was if it hadn’t been for Willow.
After many long hours of non-progressive labor, my husband and I had to make a decision… more interventions that may not work or a c-section. It was one of the hardest decisions we ever had to make, but we made it… with the help of Willow. Willow’s knowledge, experiences, and overall passion for childbirth is evident through her actions. She went over and above to make sure my husband and I were comfortable, informed, and prepared. Willow is an amazing woman and an outstanding doula. I would highly recommend her. If we ever find ourselves expecting another little one (I doubt it, but you never know!) I would make sure that Willow was a part of it.
As the birth of my son approached I started to get a little apprehensive about not having anyone there to support my Husband and I through the process. I did some research, but a lot of people I talked to in the area were very “hippie” and very much into natural and earth and inner strength. As a Christian I wanted to find someone who considered birth a miracle, shared my beliefs and I knew I could ask for prayer from. My husband wasn’t so sure we needed a doula and decided we could give Willow a chance and we agreed to meet. We were so nervous before she came, but we were worried for nothing. Willow is one of those incredible people that when you meet, you feel like you are meeting a friend for life. She is confident in what she knows, she looks you in the eye, talks through everything in a way you can understand and most importantly to me, she didn’t push her agenda or ideals upon me, rather she listened and encouraged me to research and decide what was best for us a family. As soon as she left we had no doubt that God brought her into our lives for this moment.
Whenever I had a question I would give her a call and she was ready and willing to answer me. I never once felt like I was inconveniencing her or that I was just a client, rather I felt like I was a friend.
My contractions finally arrived and I called her instantly with excitement and fear. Hearing her tell me before we hung up that they would be praying for me, gave me an extra dose of confidence. I could do this…that was until I started to throw up. I made my husband make a panic call to Willow that I was freaking out. She immediately calmed me down and came to the house.
My husband’s biggest fear of having a doula was that he would be pushed out of the scene and not be as involved. Willow was incredible at keeping him in the loop and allowing him to do as much as he wanted to without stepping on his toes. After it was all said and done, he said it was so nice to have someone there to tell him what was happening and what to expect. I wasn’t talking much so it helped to have someone else there to remind him of the stages of labor and helpful things to do.
At the hospital it was invaluable to have Willow there. She was another level of what I would call education between us and the doctors. They would offer us different pain medications and she would be able to tell us the side effects and remind us that we wanted as natural a birth as possible. I felt for certain that we would have the birth we wanted because not only did we have a birth plan on paper….we had a living birth plan in Willow who could communicate on our behalf.
My birth was an incredible miracle and I am so blessed that Willow was able to be the angel I needed at that stage in my life. Willow went from being my doula to being my beloved sister in Christ and friend! When baby number 2 came along there was no doubt in our mind that Willow had to be there. Not so much because we needed her, but more because we wanted her there. She witnessed one of the most intimate moments of our lives and we knew that God has given her this incredible ability to support women during this time.
Birth number 2 was way faster and was a little more complicated. I was being pushed to do a c-section because of the tearing I had with my first. We prayed, researched, and decided that we could do a natural birth again by delivering on my knees and that means no pain medication. My water broke with this second one and no contractions came for 24hours. I was discouraged. I walked and walked and nothing happened. I called Willow feeling utterly defeated. I cried and she cried with me in my frustration. I did not want to be induced because then I couldn’t deliver the way I wanted. We prayed together and then decided to head to the hospital. I still had no contractions at the hospital and they decided to give me a half dose of something to start the contractions….nothing happened. Finally they came and they came fast. Because they were so fast I could hardly catch my breath. It was not the calm wave of contractions like my first…it was an intense sprint. I started to lose it until Willow got in my face made me look at her. We talked about her being a gift from God and that I was soon going to be holding this precious girl in my arms in a matter of minutes. God knew exactly what I needed to hear and He used her as the encouragement. I was able to pull myself together and have a natural birth with no tearing! Praise God!!
I look back at both my births and I think the outcome would have been way different if we didn’t have the support of Willow. She was the calm, educated voice in the midst of the contraction chaos. She cared for us, loved us, prayed for us, and rejoiced with us in the birth of our little miracles! God blessed us so richly through Willow and we can’t thank her enough for the compassion and joy she showered us with. Willow is an incredible vessel of love through which God pours Himself through. She is a true treasure and we know without a doubt…when number 3 comes…she will be there!
I think about the birth of my son all of the time. I look back and I’m very happy with the way it went. It went just the way I wanted it to go. It was a completely natural childbirth, but it was more than that. I felt cared for, and I felt like my needs were met and my wants were listened to.
I wanted a birth with as little medical intervention as possible, but there was no way that my husband and I could have done it on our own. Willow taught me how to handle a contraction; how to find a place to go within myself to escape the contraction. And she supported me when I didn’t know how to continue. My husband was there to give me physical support (he rubbed my back and let me lean on him) and Willow was there to give me emotional support. She taught me how to labor and reassured me that everything was proceeding well.
When I look back on the birth of my son and I think about what it meant to me to have Willow’s support it occurs to me that this is exactly what Doulas are for – giving you the birth that you always wanted to have. Labor may only be one day of your life but it is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. I know that no matter what happens at the end of it all you will have a baby. But Willow has given me the ability to look back on my first labor experience with fondness.
I also believe that your labor is the start of your relationship with your baby. And having an easier labor allowed me to spend less time recovering and more time bonding with my baby. I know that you are busy doing more births and I’m glad to hear it. To me it means that others are finding out what a wonderful Doula you are.
My experience with Willow was everything I needed it to be. It was odd that I was so nervous to give birth to my second daughter. I had already had a successful natural birth with my first daughter, so why this anxiety was coming up I couldn’t quite understand. I needed almost more encouragement with this birth than with my first. When I met Willow, she was kind, patient, loving, but also, and most importantly for me, she was ever confident and assuring that I could do this. She was empathetic and understanding of my fears, but at the same time she had a gentle way of reminding me that I was more than capable of doing it again – she had enough confidence in my body for both of us. This was exactly what I needed, someone to be fearless when fear was all I could see. She would literally and figuratively hold my hand through this.
We shared our faith in Christ with one another and were able to bring the incredible gift of prayer into our meetings and my birth, and it was one of the greatest gifts any doula could have ever given to my husband and I. To be able to pray together about our time together, about the baby, about the birth, it was truly one of the most astounding spiritual experiences I have ever had, and without a doubt aided in the success of my birth with Kelsey. My birthing process was calm, and fear was not present. With my husband and Willow by my side, I felt safe, guarded and supported. Kelsey Nicole was born on April 23rd, 2013 at 9:56pm, with no complications or interventions, healthy and screaming, to an elated mother, father and Doula. Willow is truly a servant of God, working as His hands to support and guide mothers as they bring forth their babies, a faithful conduit of His love.
Willow’s support enabled me to have the confidence to live out my birth plan – to labor at home for longer than I would have been comfortable doing without her support; to labor without medication for as long as I was able (which turned out to be the entire labor, as I had hoped!); and to birth however it felt most comfortable for me.
Willow’s openness to suggestions and intuitive sense allowed her to support to me and my husband in a way that suited our desires and needs. She was just the calming presence we needed when my husband or I felt shaky about what was happening. She knew when to step in and when to give us some time alone.
I highly recommend Willow’s Doula Services….I feel like I had a good friend with us at Ian’s birth.