I feel so privileged to have had Janet be a part of my birth team. Having someone with her knowledge and experience was so helpful. She gave all three of us the belief that we were in control, she gave us the autonomy to stand up for what we wanted and encouraged us to take time and make informed decisions right through pregnancy, delivery and parenthood.
Janet was hugely encouraging in our decision to deliver our baby at home. We both attended the birthing classes and had private sessions with Janet, she has extensive knowledge of different techniques for birthing from yoga to Mexican riboso and massage to nutriton. All of these sessions and expertise allowed us to feel totally at ease and at 37 weeks we booked in with the home midwifery team. We really loved the fact that from that point onward all the visitations and check-ups were done in the comfort of my own home. Both Janet and Georg were able to meet the team and go through the birth-plan. Janet was indispensable throughout writing birth-plan.
I felt very confident and ready to deliver Bernadette. The birth room and pool were ready, the freezer was stocked with ice snacks and coconut water. At 41+6 my waters broke, Janet and Georg were beside me and collectively we decided to give myself time (at least 24 hours) to get into labour, I felt ready for a long birth. But sadly the home-birth team that I had been in contact with were not available and a very different energy and presence entered the delivery space, the pressure was on to make me go to hospital. It was not conducive to achieving my birth plan, and sadly that put both Janet as my doula and Georg as my birth partner in the position that they had to fight for my right to have the birth I wanted. They both did an amazing job of keeping me calm and away from the negative presence of the midwife team. Taking turns as my bodyguards as well as taking me through the labour. Sadly it became very tiring to keep this up and after 54 hours of labouring at home I was at the end of my energy reserve and I was taken to hospital to have an epidural. As happens often I then dilated very rapidly, 7cm in 30mins, and it was time to start pushing. Despite herself also being exhausted Janet stayed by my side encouraging me. Just half an hour before Bernadette was born meconium was seen and directly the Consultant wanted me to have an emergency C-section. I was very firm that I did not want this and I was given the option of being prepared for a c-section but with 3 mins before surgery to try and push her out and she would then be Kiwi-ed out. It felt very important to me to have a team behind me, people that were in my corner and would stand behind the decisions I made. Bernadette was born finally after 62 hours, vaginally. And despite the fact that it was a far cry from the home birth I wanted, I felt that I achieved a lot and I believe all the challenges we met the week after in hospital were easier because I had laboured long and hard but at home in a safe space supported by those around me.
Janet was and has been indispensable postpartum as well. Especially with breastfeeding Her advice and general attitude towards child rearing is inspiring. She is so flexibel in her attitude. I never felt told how to look after my baby, I always felt supported and encouraged to learn from my maternal instinct. Even when Janet wasn’t there I felt she left me with confidence to trust myself and my partner.
Both Georg and I are so thankful for Janet's calming, assertive, assuring and constant presence. We cannot recommend her doula services enough.