At the point I decided I wanted to have a doula by my side during birth, I had so worn down my husband that he was pretty much saying yes to everything. ("You want frozen yogurt... now?" "You need to use the bathroom here? This very instant?" "You want to give birth where?") Afterwards, though, he willingly and readily admitted how wonderful it was to have Pam with us.
We chose Pam because we had already gotten to know her through the birth classes that she taught at the Women's Health and Birth Center in Santa Rosa. The way she conducted the classes showed us that she was knowledgeable, kind, attentative, approachable and spiritually attuned to all things pregnancy-related. I felt I could immediately trust her with my thoughts, questions and fears - and she proved worthy of that trust.
Pam made herself available to me at all times throughout my pregnancy and through labor. We obviously saw each other at her classes, but we also met a few times outside of class to talk. We had her home and cell numbers if we needed to reach her with a question. When early labor started, I let her know; and when I decided I needed her at 5 in the morning, she was there! More amazingly she was by my side from that morning til my daughter was born *the following day* - nearly 23 hours of work!
Her presence was just what I needed: a calm, quiet strength with an intuitivness into what I needed at whatever point I was in the process. My husband took his cues from her and was able to be the strong support that I needed (and that I know he so wanted to be).
When I look back on the road that I walked, from the beginning of labor to the birth of my daughter - how long it was - its highs and its lows - I know I have Pam to thank for walking it with me. I do not think I would have been able to follow through on my goals for a natural birth without her encouragement. My heartfelt thanks will be with and for Pam always!