My husband and I were smart enough to contract with Hayley early on in our pregnancy. As older first-time parents with very few other (recent) parents in our circle, we wanted someone with her knowledge and experience to support us and advocate for our wishes. We also knew that we wanted to try having a natural birth but also realized that doing so might be a challenge in the hospital environment we selected. Knowing that Hayley would be by our side put us completely at ease about the labor process and enabled us to enjoy the rest of our pregnancy worry free.
We ended up being two weeks past our due date. In the weeks leading up to that event, our doctor convinced us it was in the best interest of both me and the baby if we were medically induced. This intervention was the last thing we wanted, knowing it put us on a slippery path towards more drugs and medical interventions. But Hayley was very active the week leading up to the induction with countless suggestions for getting labor started naturally. Trying these methods gave us the focus we needed and helped to get the contractions going, which we were very thankful for.
When our stubborn boy couldn’t be coaxed out naturally by the time set for medical induction, Hayley was on hand to help us work through some hard decisions about which drugs to use and what the side effects might be. In the end, she helped us make the decision to stop the drugs entirely (I’d been on them for 20 hours by then with painful side effects) and give my body a chance to take over. That turned out to be the best decision we could have made because my body did take over shortly thereafter and we were able to continue with the rest of labor and birth without medications. We never would have been able to make that decision ourselves without Hayley’s valuable input.
After we stopped the induction methods, the labor itself was just as my husband and I hoped it would be. Hayley taught my husband how to provide me with various forms of pain relief (hip squeezes, back support, warm baths) and she and he spent all 14 hours of active labor focused on providing me with comfort and relief–all of which made labor more tolerable than I imagined it could be. And when my progress stalled, Hayley knew what positions to have me labor in to put pressure on my cervix to help it dilate–again helping us to avoid medications. Her constant support in what is surely a very helpless and scary time for partners gave my husband the confidence to continue supporting me in the ways I needed most. Without Hayley, we both would have been at a loss of what to do or how to proceed.
After the birth of our son, Hayley was super-helpful in answering our questions and getting us more comfortable with the new task of breastfeeding. Her keen observations and helpful suggestions were just what we needed to alleviate our concerns and ensure our son was getting the type of nourishment he needed.
Both my husband and I feel that Hayley was the key to us achieving the kind of birth experience we wanted for ourselves and our son. We definitely couldn’t have done it without her and recommend her highly to anyone wishing to have an incredible birth. – Katie and Jason Aldrich in Mount Vernon, WA
I don’t know what to say expect thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Aidan’s birth was the most intense event I’ve ever been through and I truly think I wouldn’t have made it without your support and encouragement. You are and amazing doula and person. Your energy is calming and your expertise inspiring. I will recommend your services to everyone I know. Thank you for helping me not give in to the exhaustion and fear that I started to feel towards the end. It means the world to me that I was able to have my son naturally, at the birth center, surrounded by strong women and my loving husband. I will never forget this experience or the help and support that you provided. You truly did make a huge difference! – Liz in Bellingham, WA
I don’t know how we could have gone through this experience without you. We really appreciate your support. Thank you for running on very little sleep to help us get through the birth of our baby. Thanks for everything! – Alex (Husband and new Dad) in Bellingham, WA
Hayley was referred to me by a friend who had used her as a doula. My friend said that she absolutely loved Hayley and that she had stayed with her, I believe, it was for 24 hours straight during her own delivery. Not only did Hayley have a fantastic referral from my friend, but her prices were comparable to other doulas in the area. Also, after meeting her I thought she was so sweet, strong and funny that I could imagine her working very well with my husband and midwives during our home water birth that we were planning.
About two weeks before his due date, we found out our son was breech. This was devastating because if we couldn’t get him to turn then the only other alternative was a c-section. My husband and I were absolutely heart broken. We tried everything we could to get our baby to turn, and Hayley was with me every step of the way. I tried burning moxi sticks at my pinkie toes, I used an acupuncture therapist that Hayley referred to me, I played music on my lower abdomen while hanging upside down from my ironing board. None of which worked. Also, our midwife found an OBGYN in Anacortes who offered to try to physically turn our son, and two mornings Hayley met us very early at the hospital as moral support to my husband and me.
When it looked like nothing was going to work Hayley shared an article with me that another mom had written about how her son was breach and how she and her husband coped with it. The mom in the article, like me, had tried everything, but ended up having a c-section. This article changed my whole outlook on the situation, and after crying my way through reading it the first time, and getting through it a second time I decided I would be OK with having a c-section.
Luckily, the OBGYN in Anacortes, who was now in charge of getting our baby out, allowed me to continue seeing my midwife for prenatal support, and she allowed me to go in to labor naturally -we didn’t have to schedule an appointment for a c-section.
Once I realized that my son’s safe passage to this world wasn’t about me or my husband, but about getting him here safe and sound, we really opened up to the experience of having a wonderful birth -even though it was a c-section in a hospital.
Our son came 4 days early, and Hayley was there for the birth of our son. I am so grateful to her for all of her support. I would trust her absolutely at home, at a birth center or in the hospital. She is a wonderful and caring support for such a momentous occasion as having a baby.
– Katy Stone in Ferndale, WA
Hayley, you were awesome! You were very supportive and respectful of my wishes. You were my voice when I didn’t have one and you worked hard to make my wishes known to the hospital staff, at the same time working with them as a team. You were flexible with me and so helpful with breathing, support during my pain, ideas to try, calming me when I was hysterical, and helping me cope when I first saw my daughter’s clubfoot. I appreciated you listening to my fears when we met and while I was deciding about whether or not to rupture my membranes. Thank you! – Bronwyn in Bellingham, WA
Hayley was amazing in how she supported not only me, but my entire family that was present. She was patient while we waited for things to happen. I really liked how she would discuss options as things changed. She reminded us that we get to decide some aspects of what would happen. I really enjoyed her enthusiasm and encouragement as we got into the final stages. Hayley’s help made an unpredictable labor a satisfying and wonderful memory. – Anonymous
While pregnant with my second child, I was interested in having a post-partum doula come to my home to help with childcare and housework after the birth. I hired Hayley and after my baby was born, she came for a few hours at a time the first couple of weeks to help watch my 2-year old while I got some much needed rest and bonding time with my newborn. She also did some light housecleaning to take the burden off of my husband and me. It was such a relief to know that I had someone like Hayley to help out during those exhausting first weeks with a new baby. Now that the postpartum period is over, I continue to have Hayley come about once a week to watch my kids while I get a break and do errands. Hayley practices attachment parenting and often has my now 10-month old in a sling while she takes care of him. I would definitely recommend Hayley to anyone looking for a doula or nanny! – Mary in Arlington, WA
As an indispensable part of my family’s postpartum recovery, Hayley took the 9pm – 2am one-month-old baby-holding shift and I consequently regained some measure of my sanity through a bit of unbroken sleep. I would recommend her services to any sleep-deprived postpartum family. Her calm and experienced manner allowed me to trust in her abilities and get the rest I needed. – Catriona Munro LM, CPM, LMP in Bellingham, WA