I am a VBAC mom. The pride and joy of it is something only other VBAC moms can relate to. It means you’ve had a really difficult birth once, but managed to completely turn that around and get into the happy place that a truly natural birth entails: You need some spunk. You may need some guidance too. You certainly need encouragement along the process. For me that was Nina. Nina is the most positive person I know. It is also the most wonderful thing to have someone like that by your side when it comes to push (pun intended). Optimistic, resourceful and loving.
Let’s backtrack. My first birth was like a marathon really. Excruciatingly long, painful, back to back labour. Nina was there as a backup doula. Far down the long run when our spirits were waning, she was there, the person giving me sips of water along the way, easing the pain, knowing to switch from tens to a heat pack and back to manual technique. Yes, doulas know where to press to make back labour pain easier, the stuff they don’t teach you at nct. In a few days she would be back, as a night nurse, as we needed help. In my mind she was the one person in the whole world I would entrust my little baby bundle to. When I got pregnant again, there was no doubt in my mind. I wanted Nina there. And she was there for me for the full journey this time, supporting me along as I negotiated the ‘birth options’ at the hospital, trying to get the most natural birthing experience and minimal interventions, given my personal circumstances. For me in the end that was water pain relief and a midwife lead delivery. Nina helped me regain that trust in the process, believing in me, even at the times I didn’t, reassuring me to trust my body. And despite my husband moaning that I would end up having another c-section anyway, so why need a doula, she nailed it. My husband will be the first one to tell you now, that Nina’s help was truly invaluable: her calm and reassuring presence, holding and supporting me at the times when it was too much for him to take it all in; her professional approach when it came to the more gross aspects of birthing; and also the little touches, he will say, like her packed little energy boosters, or just holding my hair back, making sure everyone keeps to the birth plan. I really felt looked after, and as I got into that zone they talk about, I feel I have her to thank for it. I can wholeheartedly recommend Nina to anyone, couldn’t be any more happy.
Mother of Baby N, Born in Royal Free Hospital July 2016