We decided to work with Willeke for the birth of our second child.
Our first was born in the hospital and during the birth I had gotten very overwhelmed and elected to take medication for pain. Our first was also born with the use of vacuum suction. I had decided after this birth that for our second I would like to find a Doula and try a totally natural birth.
From my first meeting with Willeke I knew we could work together. She is warm and professional and extremely knowledgable about birth. I always felt supported in my choices along the way and appreciated her insight into my birth plan and ideas for the birth. I had it in my mind that we would have our second in the hospital, I think my reasoning comes from growing up in the USA where everyone has their baby in a hospital. I am very grateful that Willeke helped to guide us in the decision to have a home birth.
The Netherlands is built for home birth (unlike the USA) so I had to open my mind a bit but once I asked all the questions and verbalised all my worries I was confident that we could do this, a natural birth at home!!!
I am so glad that we did it this way! The birth was very intense and happened in a short period of time but I knew I was supported and able to move freely during the entire labouring process. As it turned out my husband was caring for our three year old during much of the labor, this was not planned but in the end I was so glad we were all together as a family and I was very happy to have Willeke there to support us so no one had to be left alone for very long.
I cannot say that natural birth or home birth is the right decision for everyone but for me it made complete sense. It was a wonderful experience and I am truly proud of myself for being open and able to do it. I do think that working with a Doula is something every family should consider for birth. The role of a Doula is not to add another medical person into the mix but rather another level of support for the team giving birth. Willeke had discussed with me all sorts of tricks we could use during labor to make things less painful or progress further. I didn’t end up using these things but it was calming to know that I had someone on our team who knew some tricks and had been present for many, many births and came to the table with all sorts of experience. Our birth experience was wonderful, we have a healthy baby and my recovery from the birth seemed to go by fairly quickly and easily.
I know that much of the work during labor was done by me but I have to thank Willeke for her support & guidance which helped me to reach my goal and have the confidence that I could do it!