We did the "What’s Gonna Come Out of Where?" class with Rachel and Jenna, and I honestly don't feel like there is anything that could have prepared us better in only a few weeks! Before the class, I was pretty freaked out about childbirth, feeling like there's so much I don't know and that there was no way I was going to be ready to do this. But by the end of the class, I felt like I had a lot of tools to cope with labor and delivery, better resources and knowledge, and a good sense of what my options are and how I can advocate for myself. It's worth noting that I am planning to deliver in a hospital with an OBGYN, and I never felt like Rachel and Jenna had any agenda or that they hold some kinds of birthing experiences as better or more desirable than others - it was a truly safe space and they very much invited the unpredictability of birth into the room. They also had a lot of practical advice - they're clearly very knowledgeable about the different birthing environments in Portland, and the people who work in the space, and so I always felt like my questions were answered in a way that was very specific to my experiences and birth plan. I would HIGHLY recommend the class! Thank you so much Rachel and Jenna - my little guy is still cooking away, but I feel so much more prepared for and open to whatever the experience of labor and birth brings. Thank you!!
I can’t imagine my birthing experience without Ariana! She was with me through my whole two-day labor, offering various natural pain relieving techniques and fully supporting my decisions along the way. I had some specific needs in the hospital and it was important to have someone who could advocate for me. Ariana went above and beyond, even intercepting a technician who wasn't familiar with my birth plan before entering the hospital room with some equipment that could have triggered my PTSD. With each new staff member, she made sure they were familiar with my needs and desires. I felt heard at every stage—when formulating my birth plan and later on, when my labor wasn’t progressing any way I had imagined and I needed to make changes to my plan. Ariana captured some amazing photos of my labor and immediately after the birth. She also encapsulated my placenta and did a beautiful job of preserving my baby’s umbilical cord in the shape of a heart. Small caring touches like that are part of what make Ariana such a special doula. In the postpartum period, Ariana was a huge help. She is wonderful and competent with babies. As I struggled with a long recovery, it was a relief to know that baby was well taken care of so I could care for myself. Beyond her visits, she also researched and suggested ideas for questions/concerns I had about my baby, and helped to connect me with other resources. Whether she was helping me set up my breast pump for the first time, showing me ways to help baby’s gas pains, or texting me the validation I needed in a moment of uncertainty, Ariana’s support was invaluable.