Testimonials

 “We had a great birth experience with Ricky as our Doula.  We knew that we made the right choice with Ricky when she walked in our door and our extremely hyper and high strung dog immediately became calm in her presence.  It was her calmness that made us feel so confident that we would have the birth experience we wanted.  We believe that having Ricky on board was one of the primary reasons I was able to have a natural birth without pain medication.  She gave us a lot of ideas for keeping calm and dealing with the pressure of contractions.

I was scheduled for an induction after being a week overdue, and Ricky reassured me that if I didn’t want to go through with the induction there were other methods that could get the birthing process started.  I used some of Ricky’s homeopathic remedies and some of her recommended techniques and was able to begin labour without the medical induction.  Thanks to Ricky, everything went very smoothly from there and I had a short and easy labour and immediate recovery.

Ricky is very kind, knowledgeable, and reliable.  The birth story that she wrote for us is so beautiful it brings us tears of joy. We recommend Ricky 100% to anyone looking for a great Doula!”

~ Shannon & Chris Mikulin ~

 

I cannot begin to explain how vital Ricky was to our birthing process. I am so grateful for her experience in hypnobabies, her gentle and calming River, Erin & mewords, her understanding of womanhood, and her guidance she was able to provide my husband; together they were the best team I could ask for. I am a nurse who has previously worked in labor and delivery and now work in a neonatal intensive care unit. Needless to say, the birth process has been very medicalized for me! I have always believed strongly in the importance of natural birth while being respectful of the changes that modern medicine has brought to the safety of mothers and babies. I did a lot of research to find a doula that would help me to “demedicalize” the birthing process and help me to get out of my head (sometimes ignorance is bliss!). Ricky absolutely met all of my expectations, and then some. My labor was lengthly and my delivery was not how I had anticipated it might go but Ricky was at my side, helping me to utilize my hypnobabies skills and guide my husband to be the best partner he could possibly be. When there was a change in plans, Ricky was supportive and helped me to accept what my birth story would be. I honestly feel that I was able to leave “nurse Erin” at the door and just focus on being a woman and a mother. I certainly will be including Ricky in our birth for our future children and am forever thankful for the gift she gave me in enjoying the birth of our son.

~Erin & Jeff Burton~

 

“I am definitely going to use Ricky for any more babies that come our way! She was so instrumental in achieving my goal of not using pain medication. She knew all the right things to say, she guides you in breathing through contractions properly, and she knows all the right places for physical support  and positions to try as well. She is there for whatever you need.

One of my favorite things about having Ricky in the delivery room is that she makes sure you understand what the nurses and doctors are doing and helps you ask the right questions. You need someone like that because you are so focused on the pain and the task at hand. (Husbands are great but they just can’t quite fill the shoes of a woman who’s been through labour).

Even when I first met Ricky I could just tell that she has the perfect energy for what I was looking for. Very calm but very confident as well. She really knows her stuff and goes beyond the labour part of things. I’ve had to ask her several things about my baby and she always has information that goes beyond the typical medical response.

She is so passionate about her job and I am so grateful that she was able to help me in the birth of my special boy. Thanks again, Ricky!!”

~ Lisa Bryden ~

 Lisa, Ravidass & Asha-40

“Working with Ricky was a wonderful experience. From the first time we heard her say ‘peace,’ a common hypnobabies relaxation cue, we knew she was a great fit! We relaxed instantly. Without a doubt, we knew that she had the presence needed to hold a safe and calm space for our birthing time. Ricky came through for us in so many ways. She was generous with her time and knowledge before the birth and after wards through the postpartum period. Ricky is a wealth of information, she has a calming and relaxing presence, and she is an amazing birth support for both mom and dad. We were also deeply touched by the way she seamlessly captured fantastic photos, details about the day for the memorable birth story, and was with us every step of the way. We both highly recommend Ricky!”

~Lisa, Ravidass and Asha Miller~

“Ricky is absolutely incredible at what she does!!  Our goal was to have a birth with limited medical interventions and without the use of an epidural, and I firmly believe that it was because of Ricky that we were able to achieve this.  She has an incredibly calm, capable, empowering and positive presence, and from the point at which we met her onward, we found our attitude towards birth (as first-time parents) shifting from fear to excitement.  Any questions I had were always answered quickly, with a list of credible articles and resources I could refer to, and with a reassuring tone.  I felt strongly about not being induced, and thanks to Ricky, I had the resources I needed to hold off (since all my fluid levels etc. were still looking good), and successfully went into labour on my own.IMG_7862

I had a long labour – 44 hours in total, and Ricky spent 19 of those with me in my active birthing time.  From start to finish, she knew EXACTLY what to say and do to get me through each pressure wave – it was amazing, it was like she knew what I needed before I did.  She was a wonderful support to my husband as well, by reassuring him that things were normal and safe, and by letting him go and get a bite to eat without him worrying about leaving me alone.  Although it was definitely intense, I found that because of Ricky my labour was completely manageable without pain medication or interventions.  We now have a happy, healthy little girl, and are definitely hoping that Ricky is available when our next little one is on the way!  Thank you Ricky!”

~Amy & Matt Pals~

Editors note: Amy and Matt also took my Hypnobabies prenatal classes to prepare for the birth of their baby and though I would love to take all the credit (as Amy so willingly gives me here in her testimonial), she used her Hypnobabies techniques throughout her birthing time very successfully which also had a lot to do with how well things went for her.

 

“Ricky was the first doula we met with. As soon as we left the meeting, my husband and I looked at each other and immediately agreed that she seemed extremely knowledgeable, prepared, and calm. However, we felt we should do our due diligence and meet with 2 other doulas but no one compared to Ricky. Right from the start, Ricky was a great source of knowledge and support. She provided us with material to look into and read up on to help us prepare for the upcoming birth of our baby and she always replied very quickly to any questions I had. Unfortunately, due to complications towards the end of my pregnancy, I had to undergo an unplanned c-section. Although Ricky was not able to assist me in the traditional role of a doula, she was still an immeasurable source of comfort and support. She came to the hospital right away, provided many comforting measures that helped me relax while I awaited surgery , talked with me to explore my feelings regarding the rapid change of plans, and went over what to expect during the surgery. She also came to my hospital room post -surgery, helped me get settled, assisted with breastfeeding and baby care, helped me in any way I needed, and brought me a post surgery care kit. My husband and I both couldn’t agree more that Ricky being there for us at the hospital lifted our spirits and benefited us more than words can say. In all aspects, Ricky always went above and beyond and I would recommend her to anyone looking for a doula.”

~Erin & Mat~

 

“It’s hard to put into writing how amazing Ricky was during the birth of our daughter. She knew what I needed when I needed it and stuck it out until the bitter end. I don’t know what we would have done without her during our 42 hours of labor and delivery. We had an unplanned hospital transfer which she helped me accept and feel okay with, her presence wLeah, Darcy & Zoe 2014as calming when the terrifying possibility of a c-section was mentioned and she shared in our joy as we all celebrated the final natural birth of our baby girl Zoe.

At the hospital she made sure I understood everything that was about to happen to us and reminded us to communicate our wishes to the hospital staff. She helped my husband stay relaxed my laughing and joking with him and she also made sure to grab our camera every now and then to help capture the beauty of the moment.

Ricky will forever hold a very dear place in our hearts, more than these short few words here will ever be able to convey. I feel like I would be able to do it all again if I knew I’d have Ricky by my side!”

~Leah & Darcy Guderjan~

 

“Two minutes into meeting Ricky for the first time we knew she was the right Doula for us. She has an incredibly calming nature to her, but it’s backed with confidence, perfect for someone that’ll be beside you during the birth of your child. We got to know Ricky really well during my wifes pregnancy, as we were her first Hypnobabies couple; she had just been certified as the first Hypnobabies instructor in Northern Alberta.

We called Ricky a number of times during my wife’s pregnancy, and every time the information she gave us was spot-on, and when the delivery day arrived, she was right there with us.  A lot of people think the Doula is there for the woman, but Ricky was there for me as well.  When my hands were tired after massaging my wife’s back for (what seemed like) hours, Ricky was there to take over.  She was there to read the hypnosis scripts, make sure my wife was hydrated, and comfortable.  Our day was stress-free, the birth was great, and I know Ricky played a huge, huge role in that.

We’re extremely happy that Ricky joined us for the birth of our son, and we’ve already recommended her to our friends that are expecting. She’s awesome!”

~ Gord & Kat ~

 

I’m happy to share my experience with Ricky.  After researching and meeting with a few doula’s my husband and I Shauna, Troy & Josie McMartindecided Ricky was a good fit with us. She has a open minded approach that supported our vision but also provided us with information to make choices.  No pressure to go one way or another, she had open and honest conversations with us which made us feel confident and comfortable with her being a part of our birth.  We got to know Ricky better through her Hypnobabies course she facilitated.  This course was INVALUABLE in giving us the tools we needed to understand our birthing time and to prepare for the big day the best we could.  In my opinion a course like this was critical in feeling confident moving through this process of pregnancy and birth and had the added element of hypnosis which was a tremendous tool in coping with pressure waves (contractions) and finding the confidence in myself to make my way through an intervention free birth.

Ricky supported us during the birth, providing my husband tools to use with me and also did hands on techniques from our Hypnobabies course and supported us using energy work, positioning and breath work.  The Hypnobabies course along with Ricky’s  support was invaluable and I can’t recommend it enough.  She had a fun approach to the course, left it open for discussion, answered all our questions and we left feeling empowered.  Her doula support outside the course helped us to navigate the day and understand choices we would be making the day of, running through different scenarios and asked us important questions before we were in labour – when we could think clearly!

I 100% recommend Ricky as a doula and as a Hypnobabies course administrator and would highly recommend that as a new mother especially you seek out support and information from a doula to help prepare you for your birth.

~ Shauna & Troy McMartin ~

 

Ricky was our doula for the birth of our first child, and as soon as I became pregnant with our second, she was the first person I contacted!  She had made such a huge difference in our first birth experience, my husband and I knew we had to have her by our sides for the second.  Again, Ricky was beyond amazing.  I had hoped for another labour without interventions, and thanks to Ricky’s gentle encouragement and thoughtful and knowledgeable assistance (including an incredible back masage!), I was able to achieve a med-free birth a second time.  Ricky inspires confidence, IMG_0651peace, and strength.  Without her, I would’ve found it very easy to become overwhelmed and scared, but I found myself calm and feeling capable instead.  She knows exactly what to say at any given time, and what to do.  I think I mentioned this in my first testimonial, but she once again seemed to know what I needed before I did; for example, as soon as I started to feel hot, she already had a cold towel to my forehead.  When I began to worry about how far along I was, without my even saying anything, she told me exactly what I needed to not get discouraged.  She was so supportive to both my husband and myself.  Hiring Ricky is one of the best decisions we’ve ever made, and now in addition to two great birth experiences and two wonderful little girls, we have a wonderful friend for life as well.  Thank you Ricky!

~Amy & Matt Pals~

 

 

My first two births, a csec and an augmented vbac, “happened” to me. I felt powerless and was in pain I didn’t understand how to manage.  I didn’t know what could be different but for my 3rd pregnancy I prayed and started searching. Funny enough I found a “Birth Issues” sitting in my doctors office.IMG_3592_edited-2 I immediately felt God was tugging at me to pay attention to this magazine advocating for midwifery, doulas and hypnobirthing at home .. in pools.. without assistance from medical staff, pain medication or interventions if at all possible. I found Ricky’s name in an ad for Hypnobabies and read a story from a mother who had a birth using this method with a supportive birth team. Why couldn’t this be my story? My husband and I took the classes and were so floored by the detail and support from Ricky as a teacher that we asked her to be our Doula. She sent me everything I needed in terms of information to make better birthing decisions and talked over strategies to calm my fears and confront obstacles to my better birthing scenario. Her help and training was the reason I gave birth with confidence in each stage and what my body was doing and how to stay focused and prepared. Her support encouraged me to complete the classes, arm myself with knowledge and believe I was capable of a calm and natural, intervention free birth. It was so much faster and I felt much more in control and relaxed. What a blessing to have come across a woman with such a wealth of knowledge and experience. Thank you Ricky!!

~Becki Pawliw~

 

We had such a wonderful birth experience with you! We had a different doula for our first birth and were not impressed but you went over and above our expectations. Right from the beginning you made us feel comfortable and confident in our decision to have you as our doula. You read about a perfect birth experience and I never thought it was possible for me but with your guidance it was possible. It was such an amazing, peaceful experience. .. you held my hand throughout and provided massage and acupressure to help me achieve a short birth and no pain medication, even with an induction!!

Thank you so much Ricky! We will definitely recommend you as a doula to all our friends and family!!!

~Kerri & Chris Martens~

 

“I was very determined to have a natural, drug-free birthing experience and wanted to ensure I had a awesome support system in my delivery room. Hiring Ricky as our Doula was the best decision I had made. She educated and informed us of all possible variables (lots we were not aware of) and helped us formulate our birth plan. She was supportive of our decisions from the beginning and we also took her Hypnobabies class for extra education and relaxation tools. All in all looking back on my experience Ricky was awesome at the hospital. She was calm, helped direct my husband when he seemed at a loss, offered me water/juice, reminded me about changing positions or trying something new and most importantly supported me with her kind words. Ricky is an awesome person and doula and I am happy to say that I achieved a beautiful drug-free birthing experience. Ricky’s services are worth every penny and we will be using her again when we have more children.”

~ Tessa & Todd Blomquist ~

 

“My name is Alex, and I am a proud new father of a beautiful baby girl. When we found out Julia (my wife) was Stratis familypregnant, I was excited, but nervous at the same time. Julia did a lot of research about natural birthing methods, and decided she would like to use hypnobabies techniques. We signed up for hypnobabies with Ricky – it consisted of 6 weekly classes on the weekend, and was not only extremely helpful, but helped to put my mind at ease with the birthing process. About halfway through the classes we decided we would like to have Ricky as our doula. As a new father these words do not even come close to doing Ricky justice, she truly was amazing, I would recommend her to any new father having a baby! Julia was induced at 1 pm and started really feeling pressure waves at around 7 pm. I had been texting Ricky throughout the entire process. During the afternoon we didn’t feel it was neccessary for Ricky to be there, but Ricky cancelled her evening hypnobabies class just in case things started to progress. I sent Ricky a text around 7:30pm saying it was probably best she come, as Julia was asking for her. During this time I was massaging (well trying to anyway) Julia and trying my best to keep her comfortable. As soon as Ricky walked in the room she started to massage Julia, and using some hypnobabies cues. She was a very calming spirit in the room, and made me feel at ease just knowing she was there. There were a few times when Julia had said she might want some pain medication. Ricky was able to talk her through the pressure and discomfort, and keep going all natural. Ricky knew exactly the right things to say, and when to say them! I can say with 100% confidence that Ricky was the reason Julia was able to stay close to her original birthing plan, and have a baby the way she wanted. I was a little concerned about the cost in the beginning, however after being through the process, I could not put a price to the support Ricky provides, it was invaluable.”

~Julia & Alex Stratis~

 

My husband and I first met Ricky as our HypnoBabies Instructor when she and the course came very highly recommended to me by co-worker.  My friend, Chris, could not have been more right when he told me how wonderful Ricky is and how great the HypnoBabies course was.  After taking the course with her, we hired Ricky as our doula and she was priceless during the birth of our child; Ricky’s calm and confident demeanor and experience during the birthing process made me that much more confident.  Neither my husband nor I would hesitate to hire Ricky again and we both recommend her as often as possible. Ricky is so so awesome at her job and we are so happy we met and call her a friend.

Thank you Ricky! So so much 🙂

~Denise and Donavin~

 

“It is without hesitation that we would recommend Ricky as a great doula. She is kind, knowledgeable, and takes her job as your support system and advocate seriously. Our journey with Ricky started with her Hypnobabies class. The tools and techniques we learned helped us in our birthing time (to cope with discomfort) and in the weeks after our baby was born (to assist with sleeping, expressing milk, and staying calm). Ricky kept the class small which provided for a safe and personal experience. We had not planned to have Ricky as our doula originally, but after only a few weeks of getting to know her in the Hypnobabies class – and learning all she had to offer – we started to second-guess that decision. Then the bag of waters broke! With our original doula out of town, we contacted the back-up doula, but it just did not feel right. And, things were not progressing in terms of pressure waves and baby’s decent. Something was emotionally holding Monique back. After twenty-four hours of this on/off birthing experience, we knew it was time to connect with Ricky. Talk about a last minute request! Ricky did not even hesitate – this speaks to her commitment and non-judgemental nature. Her response and genuine care was such a relief, and the birthing got going. Ricky was a fantastic support for us! She helped to keep us calm, offered encouragement, and kept notes all along. She engaged with the care team to ensure our wishes were considered and assisted in keeping the room positive and conducive to hypnosis. However, we appreciated Ricky the most after our little girl was born. Things got a little scary as she was born with a few congenital disorders. Ricky was with us in that most tough and vulnerable moment, and has continued to keep in touch, always offering friendship and care. We feel so blessed that Ricky was our doula. “

~ Monique & Wouter ~

 

“I hired Ricky at the start of my second pregnancy as my first labour & delivery did not go as I had planned (I was induced, ended up having an IMG_3335epidural). I had so much fear and anxiety built up I knew I needed help this time around. After the first meeting with Ricky I knew I was in good hands. Ricky has a very calming yet powerful presence to her. Throughout my pregnancy Ricky met with me and sent me information to help me mentally and physically prepare for an easy. fearless birth. By the time my due date rolled around I had prepared for my perfect labour and was excited. I ended up having a super fast birth, we barely made it to the hospital! As soon as I saw Ricky I knew it would be ok. I truly believe that all my mental and physical preparation allowed me to stay focused, relaxed and with no fear, thus allowing an easier birth. I couldn’t have reached this state without Ricky’s help. I would highly recommend Ricky. The birth story and the newborn pictures that she took were bonuses to a perfect birth!”

~Dawn McAtasney~

 

“After extensive research into Doulas, we decided to commission the lovely Ricky as ours. One of our main reasons for the choice was the quality and quantity of information that she had included on her website, which  included her fees & the doula process. A few weeks afterwards, we also decided to commission her as our Hypnobabies Instructor.

This meant that we had the double advantage of having Ricky as our Doula and our Hypnobabies Instructor, an important thing for us as we needed all of care team members to understand our frame of minds about the whole birthing process.

Ricky is a highly experienced Doula who was a joy to work with and it was also clear that her easy-going demeanour meant that she worked well with our Midwife and the Sturgeon Community Hospital staff. We are truly grateful to Ricky for the attention to detail and to us throughout the pre-natal period and for the early part of the post partum time (as per her normal service duration).

Our daughter’s birth was a fully natural and quick one! Actual pushing time was 2 hours. The information we learnt from Ricky during the Hypnobabies class was fundamental in helping us to relax and enjoy the birthing time. Ricky and my husband took turns taking some beautiful and cherished photographs with our camera.

Immediately after our daughter was born, I was really hungry for a three-course meal and was about to ask my husband to go and get me some food, when Ricky offered to go and purchase it with our funds. She said she wanted us three to stay together and bond instead. A true helping hand indeed.”

~Funmi & Adrian~

 

We couldn’t be more pleased with the service and relationship we enjoyed from Ricky. Her calm and kind nature was only echoed by her reverence for CaitlinBolanoshow intimate the birthing experience is for a couple. She had open lines of support and communication during our pregnancy and leading up to our big day, providing helpful information on various pre and post-natal care.

During our birthing time, we couldn’t have asked for better support. She was very much involved with the whole process, while allowing the space for us as a couple to enjoy the experience as well.

Hiring a doula is maybe seen as an extra expense to take on for the birthing experience, but for us, it would be a must! My husband was able to support me throughout our birthing time with confidence, aided by the expertise of Ricky.

Thank you!

~Caitlin Bolanos~

 

Ricky was an indespensible source of knowledge, comfort, and reassurance. I am so glad she could be there to help guide me through the birth of my first child, She was there for me whenever I needed her throughout my pregnancy, she helped me and the other people present at my birth to give me the support I needed and make the journey as smooth as possible. I would highly recommend her to anyone I know.

~Robin P.~

 

“Ricky is what a Doula should encompass. A combination of by the book professionalism and relaxed energy in a Rebecca, Dan & Piperroom. Her professionalism helped me feel so safe and I could trust in her vast knowledge of birthing and her amazing calming energy eased my fears and worries throughout the whole pregnancy and birthing. Ricky was so committed to her role as our Doula in every way, from sending me helpful links to being by my side for almost two days of birthing. Her photography and birthing story that she wrote for us was icing on the cake. We were so blessed to come across her! I highly recommend Ricky Issler to any birthing couple! Many thanks to her and to her family for understanding that a doula’s schedule is very up in the air! ;)”

with love,

~Rebecca, Daniel and baby Piper~

“The moment my husband and I met Ricky we knew she was the doula for us. When we first met Ricky it was immediately apparent she was very experienced and answered all of our questions before we asked them. Ricky has a very calm and relaxed personality. Although time and distance limited us from taking any extra classes with Ricky we were able to benefit from her visits and informative emails. Ricky was always quick with responding to emails and texts. Ricky always was there to answer our calls.  When i was in labour Ricky was there for us from late at night to the early morning hours. She was our rock and support through it all. We were so comfortable with Ricky there. She kept us informed suggested ideas but never made decisions for us. Ricky helped my husband support me when he may not have known where to be or what to do. We are so thankful for everything Ricky has done for us and already plan to use her for our future births. Ricky made bringing our beautiful daughter into this world just that more amazing.  Thank you Ricky “

~Deah Neves~

 

When we first met Ricky we knew right away she is the perfect fit for us and i knew she was exactly what I was looking for in a doula.Her calm, confident demeanor had me right at ease with all the fear i had about childbirth.

During the birth Ricky kept me calm and focussed, which allowed me to sucussfully follow through with my natural birth plan

Ricky is sweet, kind and very knowledgeable.Ricky is amazing at what she does! highly reccomend her and will definatly be using her again as our doula if we have more children.

Thank you Ricky from the bottom of my heart. Your the best!

~Randi & Jeff Coole~

 

“Ricky brings experience with depth and breadth.

Her calm presence is like warm water running over the body, as energy is balanced. Amy and I experienced a unique path of pregnancy…full of the unexpected. At each instance Ricky was available and offered her insight to help us gain perspective on a multiplicity of complications. Even though our path led us away from our desired a midwifery/birthing centre birth, Ricky supported us through a natural as can be Hospital Birth. The pressure of a hospital environment can be quite demanding, shift work, agendas and best practices are met with the confusion of a first time birth. But, Ricky, advocate for women, families, babies and Comforting Hands Doula was able to help confused, over-tired, exhausted parents to be, to make wise choices.

We can’t imagine going through a birth process without an Angel like Ricky. (A + A + a)”

Amy & Andriko

 

“Ricky was recommended to us by a coworker and from our first meeting we knew we had the right doula for us.  SheTiffany, Travis & Baby Kellan Edmunds was kind, considerate and very informative, which was exactly what we needed being first time parents!  In addition to being our doula we signed up for her Hypnobabies class and it was a great experience!  Learning to relax and take control of our pregnancy and birthing was amazing.  The class left us feeling prepared, confident and ready to welcome our little one into the world.   In the days leading up to our birthing time we kept in touch with Ricky via text and email; she was always right there with words of comfort and encouragement!  Not to mention helpful suggestions to encourage little one to come out and meet us as naturally as possible – I was getting a little impatient at 42 weeks.  The (very early) morning of Ricky met us at the hospital and went straight to work; she introduced herself to the attending nurses and immediately helped set a calm mood with Hypnobabies music and relaxation cues.  Our birthing didn’t go 100% as initially planned but the Hypnobabies training and Ricky’s comforting presence gave us the courage to vocalize and discuss our concerns with the doctors while remaining calm and still feeling prepared for any situation.  Our baby was born happy and healthy, we couldn’t ask for more.

Thank you Ricky for all of your support!  If a baby brother or sister is on the way, you will be call #1.”

~Tiffany, Travis & Kellan~

 

“During my pregnancy Ricky was great at answering any questions I had and always sent me the material to back it up. I felt very prepared for my baby to come into this world because of her. This was my second child and unlike my first birth I wanted this one to be drug free with as little intervention as possible. My labour lasted 2 days and Ricky was with us in the hospital the entire time. I am so thankful for the support she gave my husband and me. She kept me focused through each contraction and I am sure that without her I would have had an epidural. Ricky helped me give birth the way I wanted to and I would highly recommend her.”

~ Amanda & Kelly Arbuckle ~IMG_4971

“My husband and I hired Ricky as our doula for both my pregnancies. She is very knowledgeable and always provides lots of information for you to read so you can make informed decisions during your pregnancy/birth.  I know without doubt that she is the reason I was able to have two natural births.  My first was in hospital and my second was at home by waterbirth so I have two very different experiences.  Ricky supported me fully both times and got me through each contraction by breathing with me and keeping me focused.  My home birth happened very quickly and was missed by our midwife,(by 5 minutes!) however Ricky was there and kept me calm while encouraging me to follow what my body wanted to do.  Our daughter was born in the water with Ricky there to catch her.  It was exactly the way I wanted it to be.  Ricky is not just an amazing doula, she is a beautiful person and we are truly blessed to have had her touch our lives and help us bring new life into this world.

~Amanda & Kelly Arbuckle~

 

“Ricky was referred to me by friends who also used her for the birth of their first child.  I decided to contact her and see what she had to offer, even though initially I wasn’t planning on using a doula.  Ricky changed my mind in our first meeting.  She was calm and confident about the service she offered and put me at ease immediately.  I not only decided to hire her to be my doula, but I also decided to enroll in her Hypnobabies program.  I had done a lot of research on birth preparation and I really appreciated the alternate approach and information Ricky and Hypnobabies offered.  I consider myself a planful person and I like to have as much information as possible to make informed decisions – with Ricky and her program I was able to completely engage in my own experience, making fully informed decisions every step of the way.  I not only entered my daughter’s birth time calm and confident, but even though some times were harder than others, I was able to work through the process and I gave birth to a lovely, healthy, gorgeous daughter.  Ricky was a wonderful support to my husband as well. I know that they also had to work hard for me and they were a terrific team.  I have such vivid, wonderful memories giving birth to my daughter.  This was made possible largely because of the support Ricky provided to me.  Thank you Ricky!”

~ Melanie & Justin Rousseau~

 

“I started looking into prenatal classes when I came across Ricky’s website. She offered Hypnobabies classes. I had Sorenson familynever heard of a Doula or Hypnobabies before but was intrigued. Upon further investigation I decided that I needed to have a Doula at my birth and I wanted a Hypnobabies birth. The moment I met Ricky I knew I had found the Doula I wanted to support my birth. Ricky has such a calming presence about her, I immediately felt comfortable and knew she would be the perfect addition to my support team. She took the time to answer all my questions and I was looking forward to working with her. We got to know her better once our hypnobabies classes started. Every week I would look forward to these 2 hrs or so dedicated to finding peace and listening to my body. Before Ricky and hypnpbabies I was very fearful of the birthing process as Im sure most first time moms are. But her classes took away all fear and left nothing but excitement and confidence in myself and my body. My birth day arrived quiet early, Ricky offered support via text message until I decided I needed her there to help with my hypnosis. Things started to progress quickly and we decided it would be best if she met us at the hospital. From the moment she arrived she got straight to work helping me achieve comfort with my hypnosis. My birth was long and didn’t go as planned, but Ricky was always there and seemed to know just what I needed. It took a lot of pressure off my husband and they were able to work as a team getting me through what was a difficult birth. Ricky was an amazing contact to have afterwards. She was able to answer any questions and help with breastfeeding. Being a Reiki master too she was able to do some Reiki on myself and the baby afterwards that really helped me find inner peace and come to terms with a birth that did not go as planned. Ricky was worth her weight in gold. I would hire her again and again. I am looking forward to working with her again for my next pregnancy”

~Katie Sorenson~

 

“Upon finding out I was pregnant, I immediately began searching out a doula for our first childbirth experience. I got a great feeling about Ricky the moment I spoke to her. She radiates calmness and serenity…that paired with a love of babies and a great deal of empathy makes Ricky an ideal doula for anyone!

Ricky was available for me to talk to anytime, and provided a lot of information throughout the pregnancy. At every visit I felt we got to know each other more and more, and it became easy to see Ricky being with us for the birth of our baby! I know that Ricky was there for us at anytime to answer any questions we had, and was a great source of information of all types. She stayed in touch regularly and is so good at bonding with people!

Upon finding out that I had a breech baby and low amniotic fluid, I completely panicked. Ricky was at the hospital with us and helped us through all the emotions, and was always there offering a cool cloth for my head and Reiki for my frazzled nerves. I had a c section, and she was there immediately, ensuring everything was taken care of, and helping us for quite some time afterward. I really appreciated that!

I highly recommend Ricky Issler without reservation to anyone who wants a calm, level presence during their birthing time. Ricky is someone you will never forget having with you during your exciting time!”

~ Shauna & Kris ~

 

“I always knew that I wanted to have a natural birth, but I was scared/nervous/anxious about the entire process. I Erin, Matt & Rylan Daly2read many books and knew it was exactly what I wanted to do but was unsure I could do it without a great deal of support. After researching doulas, I came across Ricky and set up a meeting with her to see if she was a fit for both myself and my husband. As soon as we met Ricky, we knew she was perfect. She has an extremely calming presence and was always there for any questions or concerns that either of us had. After being 2 weeks overdue, the doctors really encouraged me to get induced. This was something that I didn’t want and was not part of my birth plan. Ricky was always there to let me know the advantages, disadvantages, opinions but let me have my own voice in the decision making. The baby was just too happy in there, so after being over 2 weeks due and starting to get extremely uncomfortable, we decided to get induced. Ricky was there every step of the way and after 7 hours of labour, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy, naturally! Even though during the end moments when I desperately wanted drugs, Ricky and my husband were right by my side, encouraging me and trying every way to make me as comfortable as possible. I was so proud of myself in the end that I had delivered a 9 lb baby naturally even after the induction and slight change in our plans. Friends and family ask if having a doula is worth it in the end, and I always answer, I probably wouldn’t have been able to have a natural birth without her!! So if you are even considering having a doula, Ricky is definitely someone who will make you feel so comfortable and strong in your own abilities.”

~ Erin & Matt Daly ~

 

“Ricky Issler was not only our doula, but also our Hypnobabies instructor/doula. She guided us through 6 weeks of prenatal classes along with 3 other couples. We are very pleased with everything Ricky did for us with the Hypnobabies program and the doula aspect. Before we even hired her, she took the time to answer emails, phone calls, and come to our house as soon as it was convenient for us. She was not pushy whatsoever and very informative about what she offers. We didn’t really know what questions to ask since the whole ‘doula’ thing was new to us but she The Sailes Family 2012willingly shared information and stories with us. Closer to our baby’s ‘guess date’, Ricky was very supportive in all of our decisions and provided us with information about the decisions facing us in addition to our own research and information. Ricky helped make me feel confident in our decisions and was very good at keeping in contact with us as the days progressed leading to our birthing time. The day of our baby’s birth, Ricky came by our house even before we requested. She later met us at the hospital because we didn’t feel we needed her at home before we left for the hospital although she would’ve come by again if we requested. Ricky was so passionate and helpful throughout our birthing time. She was very helpful in suggesting various ideas to make our experience even better. Ricky helped us in making the birth of our daughter very special, memorable, and enjoyable. I highly recommend Ricky Issler as a doula. She is so passionate about what she does and has a way of making you feel very comfortable when she’s around you.”

~ Nicole & Chris Sailes~

 

“We originally contacted Ricky in our first pregnancy, but sadly were not able to use her as we lost our baby at 21 weeks.  Fortunately, a short time later we found out we once again were expecting and immediately made contact with Ricky due to our great news and the fact she was very supportive and helpful to us previously in our loss.  Although due to complications, we were not sure if we were going to be able to have a natural birth at first.  Ricky was very supportive, patient and accommodating while we waited to find out whether we could have a natural delivery.

When we met with Ricky to talk about what we would like in a birth plan, we found her insight and knowledge into birthing and Doula services very helpful to us.  Through the entire pregnancy and delivery we found Ricky to be comforting, reassuring, personable and professional in her approach to help us create the best possible birth experience we could hope for.

If possible, we were wanting to have the most natural delivery experience we could. With Ricky’s assistance, no medication was required for the delivery of our baby.  Having Ricky accompany us made our experience even more positive, as she brought a sense of calmness, focus and positive energy to the birth of our amazing and healthy little baby boy.  We found going through labour and delivering a baby to be one of, if not the single most profound and significant experience of our lives.  It was a pleasure having Ricky there with us and we would highly recommend her.”

~ Charlene & Darren ~

 

“I (We) were so blessed to have Ricky at our birth. She is a genuine caring and loving woman with a calming peace about her. She helped me have a positive birthing experience. Just when I thought I could not keep on she guided me through it ,with what I call her gift , to the arrival of a beautiful baby girl.

She is very knowledgeable and obviously has extensive experience as a doula. The amount of support she offers before and after the birth is also an important part . I definitely want her presence at my future births.

Thank you Ricky”

~Jolene Gach~

 

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“Hiring Ricky as my doula was the smartest choice I made regarding my pregnancy and birthing. She supported me during my pregnancy with a lot of information I would not have researched or known about on my own, and was always available to give advice.

During my delivery Ricky is was constantly by my side and seemed to know what I needed before I even knew. She helped keep me calm, so that I could give birth to my baby totally relaxed and peacefully. I will definitely be calling her for my next pregnancy! “

~Megan Skelton~

 

“As soon as I got pregnant the second time I knew I wanted to have a doula. The birth of our first son wasn’t a very positive or memorable experience. I wanted it to be different this time. I had an initial meeting with Ricky & I knew I liked her.

I had a roller coaster ride trying to find a midwife. From getting one and then being dropped from her care due to government restrictions to getting one again at 30 weeks. Ricky was there for a shoulder of support every time.

My husband and I took Ricky’s 6 week Hypnobabies class with 4 other couples that we have since become friends with. When Ricky read the scripts to us in class I could feel my body release as her voice is so calming and relaxing. (The same result wasn’t  achieved when my husband read the same script later at home)

Unfortunately my midwife discovered my baby was breech at 41+ weeks. This meant that I could no longer have a midwife deliver my baby or have the natural water birth I had been planning for. I felt crushed and defeated, like my body betrayed me. The next few days were filled with tears and disappointment that I know I couldn’t have gotten through without Ricky by my side.

I was induced as I planned to still try and deliver my baby. Ricky was at the hospital with my husband and I as soon as I called. She walked the halls with me, read me scripts from our Hypnobabies lessons, massaged my back, brought her exercise ball for me to sit on in the shower which was a big help. Most of the hospital staff wasn’t very supportive of my new birth plan but I was able to stay focused with Ricky’s guidance. My babies birth ended being via c-section.

If we have more children I know I will have Ricky as my doula. She was meant to be by a woman’s side for the most important and emotional day of their lives. It could have been my best friend there, she makes you feel that comfortable. I have a spot in my heart for Ricky Issler.”

~Amber Cardamone~

 

“I was lucky enough to be Ricky’s 100 birth! We had met and talked with Ricky a few times before my current birth (Jan 2015) as I had a couple miscarriages, prior to that. Ricky was so supportive and I knew I would be hiring her when it would finally happen for us. And that we did when we found out we were pregnant again. Ricky also suggested taking the hypnobabies class that she instructed and I am very glad we did. The classes were long but went by so quickly as there was so much to cover. It was a lot of work, but well worth it! Ricky was a great instructor but an even better doula! She was always there for me when I had a question prior to the birth and even after the birth. She was a great resource helping us get into contact with the right people when we needed something!Bexsyn-02.2015-39

During the birth, she was so extremely helpful and I seriously don’t know how I would’ve done it without her. She just stepped in right away and helped me find a peaceful place to know that I could do this birth. She helped guide me and keep me calm….from her touch on my back to the words she was saying, it just helped me relax. During the pushing stage her words of encouragement and knowing exactly what I needed was incredible. My husband was also very glad she was there as she helped him quite a bit and when he wasn’t sure what to do, Ricky stepped in right away. He was very happy to have her there.

I honestly cannot say enough good things about Ricky! I would hire her again for my next child in a heartbeat!!! Thanks so much for everything Ricky!!”

~Christina & Matt~

 

When i became pregnant I knew that I wanted to use a birth doula. Through some research I came across Ricky and from our first contact I knew that I had made the right choice . Ricky was a very positive presence in my pregnancy and birth and the information we learned thorough her Hypnobabies class was invaluable. The class was also a great opportunity to get to know Ricky as well as other couples who had similar views on pregnancy and birth.

My baby ended up being over due and throughout that time Ricky offered me support and even though I ended up having an unplanned induction I felt like I was in control and informed the whole time. When my birthing time came Ricky was in constant contact and was quick to arrive at the hospital once we said we needed her. Throughout my birthing time Ricky offered quiet and calm support to both my husband and I and her help enabled me to be able to have the unmediated birth I wanted despite the induction.

I would not hesitate to refer Ricky to anyone who was wanting a birth doula and anyone interested in Hypnobirthing.

~Kelsey Forbes~

 

“It took Kelly & I a very long time to become pregnant.  Lots of doctors, medicines and medical procedures.  I think that because of this I wanted my birth to be ‘natural’ and if I could, as free from medical intervention as possible.  I had it in my head that I did NOT want to have a C-section and, even though I would not admit it before hand, I did not really want to have an epidural either.  A doula fit into this picture to help me cope during my first labor experience.  I also knew that my husband had been overwhelmed with the medical aspects of our numerous attempts to conceive.  I wanted him to have an active role in the delivery of our child but knew that he would need guidance from someone.  I knew that I probably would not be able to give him guidance and wanted someone else to be there to help him help me.

Your first pregnancy/delivery is completely foreign territory as you have NEVER experienced anything like it.  You can talk to your friends all you like, but when it comes right down to it your experience is going to be unique and you are never truly prepared for it.  Ricky was a source of information for me and I appreciated the birth plan we made.  In all the books you are told to write up a ‘birth plan’ like you know what that is and I could not wrap my head around this vague concept.  Ricky’s questions really helped me focus to certain areas and actually come up with a tangible document that made sense to me.  She also gave Kelly specific instructions on massage techniques and suggested things to try to bring me relief.  She also provided information & was there to listen when I was convinced that I was going into labor 2 weeks before I actually did.  Had Ricky not been there, I would have gone to the hospital when I was experiencing false labor.

I was very pleased with our decision to have Ricky as our doula.  After all the turmoil we initially went through, the pregnancy and delivery were pleasantly uneventful.  I did not have a c-section or an epidural, despite having back labor for most of the time.  I also appreciated the Birth Story that Ricky wrote up for us and read it from time to time.  It is really amazing how quickly your memory of labor fades and I am glad that I have a written account to look back on.  Thank you Ricky.”

~ Sabrina, Kelly & Marcus ~

 

We heard about Doulas from friends and family and did our research to see if it would be a good fit for us. Our first meeting with Ricky went extremely well and we knew from that point on that we really wanted to work with her. It was because of Ricky that we learned and used Hypnobabies training. We had such an amazing and wonderful experience with Ricky and could not have done it without her. 

~Sis & Jeff Darrah~

 

“Having you there with me throughout the birth of my daughter made such an incredible impact on me.  I wasn’t sure what having a doula all entailed, and was extremely appreciative of all the support that you provided.  I had so many questions prior to and during my daughter’s birth that you patiently answered – which was so greatly appreciated!

During labour, I found that I was calmed simply by your presence beside me.  Having you there explaining things as they progressed was extremely calming.  I could literally feel my stress level easing-despite my intensifying labour pains.  When the pains became more intense, the therapy’s that you used on me helped make the pain much more bearable, specifically the back massage.  There are no words to express properly how grateful that I was for your presence beside me, but please know that you made what could have been the most stressful event of my life one of the most momentous.  I was able to feel peace despite the intensity of labour and was able to just trust you that you would see me through it.”

~ Rachel ~

 

“Though I was Ricky’s first client, having worked together as pharmacy technicians years before I was aware of her kind heart and calm demeanor and knew she would make a great doula.  Ricky respected my wishes to have an epidural, understanding I wanted to allow labour to progress on its own until a point when I deemed an epidural necessary.  At our pre-delivery meeting Ricky explained her role as a doula to my husband and I as well as the Reiki and Homeopathy services she’d also be incorporating if we so chose.  I am a visual learner and the chart on labour she provided was a helpful tool at home when the day came.  She showed us a few breathing and relaxation exercises, demonstrating to my husband Kyle how to massage me or use counter pressure techniques.  Upon leaving this session, I sensed my husband’s relief in having a coach to direct him in how to provide me support during delivery.  He was looking forward to the experience and appreciative she would be present.

A word to the wise, call Ricky as soon as you go into labour.  I made the mistake of labouring on my own through the night and by the time I contacted her, my contractions were too strong and close together for her to meet us at the house.  Ricky also offered to coach me over the cell phone on our way to the hospital, again I was too shy to take her up on the offer, boy I wish I had.  By the time we arrived at the hospital I was in excruciating pain and panicking.  We pulled up to the front of the hospital and Ricky was there waiting like a guardian angel.   She immediately put me at ease.

As soon as we walked through the entrance a contraction hit and Ricky immediately jumped into action breathing with me and comforting me by placing her arm around my shoulders and focusing on my face.   I found moaning during a contraction helped release the pain and by Ricky moaning right along with me I didn’t feel insecure doing it in front of others.  If Ricky hadn’t have been there I would have been trying to keep the pain in and would have suffered more.

Ricky acted as my advocate with health care staff.  From giving the admitting clerk information on my behalf while I was having a contraction, to explaining procedures to me that the nurses proposed.  Ricky would always turn to me and ask if that is what I wanted before any medical procedures were performed.

During the late active labour stage and transition when things were really tough, Ricky would remind me over and over how to breathe, to relax, and to visualize myself swimming (my happy place).  She seemed to know when I needed that visualization.  Between contractions Ricky recognized the importance of me staying hydrated and offered sips of water.   Ricky performed Reiki on me during downtimes and I felt a cold sensation and sense of peace when she held her hands over the baby in my belly.

Kyle has stated that a doula is “as much there for the dad as the mom.”  Ricky took the pressure off Kyle to act as my advocate and coached him on how to be supportive.  Men want to “fix” our problems and Ricky showed Kyle how to just be supportive without having to “fix” the problem of pain.  This is our second child and Kyle was much more relaxed and understanding this time around.  Ricky made suggestions to Kyle on how to massage my back and use counter pressure on my hips.  With her there I felt more comfortable telling Kyle what hurt and what worked without fearing I would hurt his feelings or make him frustrated.  Earlier on, when Kyle was out of the room, Ricky asked me if there was anything Kyle was doing that I didn’t like.  She was then able to suggest to him not to “rub” my back, but to massage the muscles.   At one point Ricky suggested a standing position where I was held by Kyle, holding hands, and our foreheads together.  This pose provided me with such a sense of support, both physical and emotional, and I am grateful for that moment which Ricky created for us.

I appreciate Ricky documenting our birth story which I will be able to relive and share with my daughters when they are older.  Initially when Ricky asked if we wanted pictures of the labour and the delivery, I had thought not.  Kyle took pictures of Ricky during the labour for purposes of her portfolio.  She forwarded these onto me and now I am so glad I have them.  It shows a different side of having a baby.  It was a painful time, but also rewarding as I was able to delay having the epidural as long as possible and to experience more of a true child birth experience.  I was capable of handling more pain than I ever could have without Ricky.  During the actual delivery Ricky was right there holding a leg and reminding me how to breathe properly to get an effective push during each contraction.  While the doctors and nurses were telling me when and how hard to push in a clinical manner, Ricky was cheering me on and coaching me in a more positive manner.  “You’re doing it, you’re almost there” and telling me how I was going to have a beautiful baby in my arms soon with just a few more pushes.  She was so positive and genuinely excited.

After the birth of our daughter, Ricky stayed with us until we transferred rooms. It was nice having a third person there to discuss our experience with.  When you go through something that intense you just want to share it with someone and I am so glad I was able to share it with a friend.

Ricky will be an excellent doula.  The nurse and doctor both commented on her abilities and how it didn’t seem like it was her first time.  She is calm and reassuring with a soft voice, yet can be direct when needed.  Her continuous support, both physical and emotional, gave me the confidence and strength to persevere and really appreciate this birth experience.   Thank you Ricky.”

~ Shanna and Kyle ~