It was less than a month prior to my due date when my husband and I decided we wanted to hire a doula. I had heard of the benefits of a doula during childbirth, but in all honesty, we did not want to spend more money during labor and delivery than the usual prenatal hospital care. That month before my due date, Providence intervened. In a 24 hour period, we had 3 different people, in unrelated situations, tell us to consider hiring a doula...so we went out in search of one.
Being in the medical field and being high strung, I knew that the doula we hired would have to be not only a good fit not only for me, but also for my peaceful husband and my wonderful ob/gyn, since that would be my birthing team, helping me through my first childbirth. I knew that the doula would have her work cut out for her, but what I did not know was that I would meet a doula who would surpass all of my expectations. We chose to work with Patti Crawford after meeting her for the 1st time and we have NO regrets. She was "peace of mind" for me, a helping guide for my husband and, while I cannot speak on behalf of the medical staff, I am confident they were impressed with her too.
First, her personality was what I sought in a doula. She has such a calming presence and voice. As my husband noted, she always remained calm and peaceful when a contraction would happen. She would make gentle recommendations to help me in the most comfortable positions and ensure I was doing the right things. (i..e. staying hydrated and eating here and there.) She worked well with the hospital staff-she was not pushy but did make the right recommendations. She always put my baby and me in front of everyone else. She was like an angel watching over us in labor-a gentle presence in the background-not trying to flaunt her knowledge (which boy does she know a lot when it comes to birthing and beyond) and not trying to step in between my husband and me. She encouraged us and helped us work together-it was such a blessing!
She incorporated useful, relaxing imagery into the labor and encouraged our faith by praying with us. I felt like she was really working with who I am to create the best birthing experience-and "best birthing experience" it was! Let's just say by the time we got to the hospital I was 10 cm +2 -almost ready to push. To this day I do not know when transition occurred :) Then she was there with her camera (which we forgot) to take a picture of one of my favorite memories of labor---dancing and twirling with my husband (with smiles on our faces) in the L & D room and, of course, the birth of our baby girl! Would I request that Patti Crawford be a doula for us again-In a heartbeat!
-Theresa and Charles Fraune