Candase & Chris Wolff
I will make this simple… if you’re looking for a Doula, hire Ricky.
I can’t recommend her enough! I have a VERY involved husband who did more than I expected in the birth prep as well as my birthing time and yet there were moments where I told him I didn’t want him, I wanted Ricky. She has such a calming voice and demeanor about her that she was the best person I could have had in that room with my husband. One of our biggest requests was that we had a doula that would allow my husband to be 100% involved and she definitely did that! She went above and beyond so many times and made sacrifices when my birthing time took 4 days from start to finish!
She was my advocate, I trusted her and I would hire her again in a heartbeat and not think twice
When I hit transition, and cried because I thought I would have to get an epidural (I was petrified of them) she calmly reminded me that there were other options to try first. She helped me have the birth I wanted (for the most part, the parts that were in my control) by believing in me and being my advocate.
Long story short I could write a novel about how incredible this woman is and how she treated both me and my husband with absolutely zero judgment and total support. Hire her, you wont regret it! I would pay $5,000 for a person like her, her rates are a bargain for the woman you get to have by your side on this incredible journey.
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.