Although we didn’t experience the birth we had planned, I know that my experience was still wonderful because I had the extra support of these kind, loving, and knowledgeable doulas!
Hiring Marci and Laurel was one of the best decisions my husband and I made when preparing for our baby’s arrival. We were on the fence about needing a doula, but after learning about the positive outcomes of having a doula’s assistance during birth, and then meeting these awesome ladies, we both agreed it was what we needed to complete our birth team. Our original plan was to have an unmedicated birth at a local birth center, but with a breech baby who had no intent on turning (many futile attempts were made) we had to reconsider our options. Both Marci and Laurel provided us with advice and gave us the opportunity to make the best informed decision for our family. I especially appreciated the emotional support I received as I grieved the loss of the birth I had diligently planned and prepared for. Once we made our decision, I had no regrets because of the support I felt in making this difficult decision for our family. Marci was our doula the day I went into labor (baby decided to come early before we scheduled a c-section) and I was worried she may not make it because they were going to get us into the OR soon after our arrival at the hospital. She arrived quickly and I couldn’t be more thankful to have a friend and supporter in this unknown territory. She gave me the confidence to let our wishes be known to our nurses and doctors, and she was ready to accompany us to the OR, although they didn’t allow us to bring her :(. Our belly birth went well, and when we got back to our room Marci was such a comfort to have during the whirlwind of emotions. She made sure to take pictures of me and my son when I got to have my first real look at him after surgery and they are some of my favorite pictures of us together! I was contacted and visited by both doulas in the days following the birth and with no local family, it meant more to me than anything else to have people offering their love and support during this brand new phase of life. My relationship with both ladies continues, even months after the birth. Because of them, I have had the opportunity to connect with local mothers and I have had a network of great new parenting resources. Although we didn’t experience the birth we had planned, I know that my experience was still wonderful because I had the extra support of these kind, loving, and knowledgeable doulas! Thank you Laurel and Marci!!
Even though labor isn’t easy, I felt supported and encouraged the whole time, not afraid.
I hired a doula because I wanted someone present who could normalize the whole process — someone who could help me when I was meeting the unfamiliar and in pain. And I’m so glad I did! The birth process went unbelievably smoothly, partially because we had Laurel there, keeping us centered and calm. Even though labor isn’t easy, I felt supported and encouraged the whole time, not afraid. There were several moments during labor when Laurel specifically encouraged me to ask questions and to take my time making my own decisions where possible. This was incredibly important, and a big factor in the smoothness of my labor, I feel. Sometimes, when we’re in hospitals or with doctors, we get intimidated and forget that our bodies are telling us things, but having a doula there helped me listen to my body, which helped me avoid extra anxiety or confusion.
I would absolutely recommend hiring a doula. Not only was it worthwhile to have an advocate and a support during labor, but I loved having both Laurel and Marci available as resources to answer my questions. This was true before birth, and it was true afterwards, too! They both came to check on us postpartum (partially because our original hire was out of town during the birth because of the holidays), and we felt so supported as a new little family. I really enjoyed how both Marci and Laurel’s whole focus is on helping the individual have the experience they hope for. They aren’t there to dictate their own views or to convince, but rather to offer support and knowledge in a life-changing process.
The investment was absolutely worth it. Of all the many bills we got from the whole process, it was the only one I was actually happy to pay. I know that the person I hired deserved every cent of what we paid, and that I’m supporting this service in our community. For only a fraction of our total cost of having a baby, we had someone present before the birth to answer our questions, someone there during the hours of labor and birth, and someone visiting postpartum to make sure we were doing well. It’s actually a bargain, when I look back on it.
Marci’s genuine belief in me gave me the extra strength I needed.
I am so thankful for Marci and the vital role she played in making our birth such a positive experience. She was not only encouraging and supportive to me as I was laboring but also was a support to my exhausted husband. Marci’s genuine belief in me gave me the extra strength I needed. I love that she respected my faith and unique birth experience. Even after labor she was intentional about coming to meet our son and answer our new parent questions.
Laurel is also wonderful! She met with us before the arrival of our son, was an excellent communicator, passed on helpful resources and helped calm our nerves during early labor.
During birth, [Laurel] was like an extension of my husband.
Laurel is beyond an excellent doula. Before the birth of our first child, she helped make sure even the smallest of details were taken care of, like where to send our dog for a while and other things that never crossed my mind. She was there to attend appointments with our midwife and always answered my questions quickly and thouroughly. During birth, she was like an extension of my husband. When he was cooking food, she was massaging my head or putting pressure on my hips. When I needed my husband, she was making sure I was sipping water and had everything I could possibly desire. When I had complications after birth, she quickly and calmly took our newborn to the couch and put him skin to skin with her until we were available to take him. She wasn’t available for our next two births and her presence was definitely missed. I’m happy to have her back with our babe due in December. I would highly recommend her services to anyone looking to have a strong support system in the birth of their choice. She is pro-mom, and pro-baby to the core!
As always, there is no way of knowing what your experience will be like, so it is so reassuring to have a calm, supportive presence when you and your partner need it most.
Marci was excellent to work with. She was confident, kind, and knowledgable. We were not dead-set on a specific labor/deliver experience, so when we had ideas, questions, or concerns, it was great to run them by Marci and receive an informed response with no agenda. She also helped us work through decisions as the delivery moved forward. We did not expect to need an induction, but when the doctor suggested it, we were able to feel comfortable with the process. Ultimately, she was just the support we needed. As always, there is no way of knowing what your experience will be like, so it is so reassuring to have a calm, supportive presence when you and your partner need it most.
She was so enjoyable to work with (and just chat with) before, during, and after the delivery of our little girl. Highly recommended!
[Laurel]’s conscientious of the needs of the whole birth team and is willing to go above and beyond!
Laurel was the first woman to introduce me to the idea of a doula. I knew as she shared her birth experience and the doula participation that I would want one when the time came for me. Four years later, I called upon Laurel to be my doula for the birth of my twin daughters. The traits I needed from my doula was someone who would be a team player with my husband, someone who was on board with my birth plan, and someone who was aware of risks associated with a high-risk pregnancy. Laurel fit the ticket, and then some! Prior to birthing day, she was available for any questions and concerns that popped into my head. Spending almost two days in the hospital before active labor began, Laurel was there the whole time, providing whatever my husband and I needed. Whether it was a peaceful environment, ideas for speeding up the labor, or simply distracting us from the less than ideal situation. Her professional demeanor with all the hospital staff made any of their doubts about her presence quickly disappear. It was a wonderful time had by all!
Even though I’m done with child-bearing, I would highly recommend Laurel to any expectant mother. She’s conscientious of the needs of the whole birth team and is willing to go above and beyond!
Marci inspired and fostered trust and confidence in my body and between my husband and I, so that I could focus on the work at hand.
Marci came to us as a backup doula; our daughter came two weeks late and our doula was going out of town, so we met Marci a few days before I went into labor. My husband and I were instantly comfortable with her quiet, confident, easygoing demeanor.
I went into early labor 10PM Thursday night and kept her updated throughout the night. She was immediately responsive to all of my texts. By the morning I felt that something wasn’t quite right as labor wasn’t progressing. Marci came to our house at 8AM to work on repositioning the baby. With a few simple exercises something shifted and my labor started to change. She stayed for a few hours to make sure all was well–at which point my husband and I agreed that just that small intervention was more than worth the doula fee!
By 2 AM on Saturday we were ready to go to the hospital and Marci met us there. She quietly helped us interface with the hospital staff by making sure that they understood our birth plan, and rummaged the birth center closet to find us the good stuff–birth ball, peanut ball, squat bar, etc. She is excellent with bodywork and comfort techniques, but the best thing about working with Marci was how she worked with and supported my husband so that he could be there with me 100%. By the time I was ready to push, the three of us felt like a team. Marci inspired and fostered trust and confidence in my body and between my husband and I, so that I could focus on the work at hand. At 3PM Saturday I delivered a healthy baby girl after a totally natural labor.
Marci stayed with us long enough to make sure all was well, and then came to check in on us a few days later. She also works as a postpartum doula, and I was able to reach her by phone, text, and email with questions. In addition to setting the tone for our labor experience, Marci absolutely smoothed the transition to bringing our daughter home. We would wholeheartedly recommend her!
From anticipating labor to actually bringing new life into this world, [Laurel] was there for me every step of the way.
I’ve already told all my friends how great having a doula was. Bragging about how wonderfull my birth experience was. I honestly believe Laurel was a huge key part in that. I can tell she realy enjoys what she does, she puts her whole heart in getting to know you, not just as a client but as a friend. WIthout her help and support I can’t emagine how different my story would be. Even meeting her last min near the end of my pregnancy, she was sure to make time to see me in person multiple times before birth. She had no trouble driving out to my house out of town, or meeting me at my doctors apointments. Beyond that she supported me exponentially over the phone. Whenever I had a doubt or question about ANYTHING I was never afraid to ask and she was quick to answer. WAY better than just googling any of your concerns. Laurel always explained situations in an unbiased manner and supplies plenty information from multiple points of view. From pregnancy symptoms to my emotional well being; from questions about her nursery to decisions about vaccines and procedures, Laurel is so educated on every aspect. She even explains helpful ideas to me that i would never have thought of on my own. From anticipating labor to actually bringing new life into this world, she was there for me every step of the way. Coming straight to the hospital when she was on her way back from drill. After a 6 hour drive she arrived still in her uniform and boots ready to serve me all night long. Even after my daughter was born, when she had unexplained breathing problems Laurel had still been a life savor for me and my family. Laurel continues to check up on us to make sure I am not having any troubles with breastfeeding or the unenviable lack of sleep. I cannot explain enouph how big of a support she has been for me in such a plethora of ways. I am just so thankfull that I got to meet such a fun, smart and caring person and had the honor of sharing this part of my life with her.
Given all that happened, I’m convinced that Marci played a huge role in the fact that I still look back on my experience positively instead of remembering it as negative and traumatic.
We hired Marci to be our doula because as a first time mom with a complicated medical history, I had a lot of anxiety about labor and delivery. At first I wasn’t sure a doula was right for us because I was pretty certain I was going to get an epidural and heard from several people that doulas are mainly for women planning a natural unmedicated birth. I voiced these concerns to Marci during our consultation appointment and she provided us with all the information we needed to make an informed decision. I learned that doulas are birth specialists for all kinds of births, from vaginal to c-sections, and their expertise and support applies to all birthing situations. We ended up experiencing this first hand when a failed induction ended in an unplanned c-section.
From beginning to end, Marci was there to help us process what was happening and offered unwavering help and support in every aspect of my labor and delivery. Not just for me but for my husband as well. I honestly dont know how I would have gotten through hours of active labor without her. Her encouragement, skills, and guidance for how to walk through that pain instead of fighting it were indispensable.
In the end, my labor was rife with unexpected complications. Given all that happened, I’m convinced that Marci played a huge role in the fact that I still look back on my experience positively instead of remembering it as negative and traumatic. As my doula, Marci empowered us with evidence based information that allowed me and husband to make the best decisions for us during an extremely stressful time, every step of the way. We cannot recommend her enough.
Laurel was my rock.
I cannot speak highly enough of my experience with Laurel as my doula. During my pregnancy, Laurel was always available and checking on me, full of solid advice, and offering me support, options, and solutions to my questions and concerns. I went into labor with my son early and ended up having an emergency c section at Gritman, during which I almost lost him. His cord was wrapped around his neck and chest multiple times as well as being knotted. His heart rate was down to 50 and he was blue and non responsive when they got him out. I remember Laurel showing up at 5 am in jogging gear by my side, calm, present and focused. She was an advocate for me during the entire process and has a real talent for communicating with medical staff in a soothing and direct way. She stood right by my side in the or, and told me everything was going to be okay. She helped make sure my son was latched on and I breastfed while still on the operating table. She stays completely calm in a crisis and is hilarious to boot. After my procedure and in the days following, she made sure I was aware of all my options and understood everything despite being on pain meds. She was always available for post partum advice and suggestions, and just to talk and share in the year following Dean’s birth, and continues to do so today, now that he is 3. Laurel was my rock. I would use her services again in a heartbeat!
Marci helped us get through those intense hours; I don’t know what I would have done without her help.
Marci was an AMAZING doula from start to finish. Our pre-labor meetings were fun and informative, and she was sure to make sure she and I both understood my goals and values with regards to my birth. Marci met us at the hospital when we were in active labor (about 6 cms). She was such a comforting presence, and rubbed my back almost the entire 12 hours of labor! She also brought these lovely LED candles with her and made sure my husband and I could have some time to ourselves in the jet tub in our hospital room with only the LED candles for light – it was so incredibly peaceful and soothing. Marci was also extremely helpful in walking me through some of the medical decisions that came up through the course of the labor. Informed consent was one of my top priorities for my labor and birth process, and Marci helped faciliate communication between the nurses, the doctor, and me and worked really well with everyon involved. I had a pretty tough labor – I was at 9cms for 6 hours, and then pushed for 3 hours after that! Marci helped us get through those intense hours; I don’t know what I would have done without her help. She helped me get into all the different positions we had discussed in our pre-labor meetings (and I really needed that help, as I was deep in labor brain at that point). She was so encouraging when things got even more intense during the end of the pushing phase. Really, I do not know what we would have done without her. But the most important role Marci played in our birth was one we never could have anticipated – I ended up having a seizure right after my daughter was born, and Marci was ready on the spot to assist our doctor with getting me hooked up to oxygen before the nurses arrived to help and she was an incredible support to my husband when he was scared and didn’t know whether or not I was ok during and after the seizure. I cannot recommend Marci enough – in normal birth and in an emergency, Marci was the best support we could have!
I did not realize how much emotional support I would need to rally up my spirits to make it through the last few hours of labor, but Laurel was there, encouraging me the whole way.
When it came to birth, I was not sure what to expect and wanted someone to help guide my husband and I through the birthing process; I wasn’t sure if or when family could be at the birth, and I honestly wasn’t even sure I wanted family there. Having a doula seemed like a good middle ground for finding someone who was experienced, professional, compassionate, and supportive, as well as available when the unknown hour of birth came.
A lot of things didn’t go as planned–like a birth that came two weeks early and took 41 hours from my water breaking to delivery–but having a doula there was an invaluable and much appreciated reassurance. I originally contracted with Marci, but she was attending another birth, so Laurel came to my birth. The three of us met together well before the birth, in case something like this would happen, so I had already met and felt comfortable with Laurel–and she was exactly who I needed. I did not realize how much emotional support I would need to rally up my spirits to make it through the last few hours of labor, but Laurel was there, encouraging me the whole way.
I would tell a friend to get a doula! Especially for a first-time birth or a birth where they felt they needed more than just their partner for support. With Laurel there, my husband could go grab food, run a quick errand, or take a break without feeling like he was leaving me alone or abandoning me when I needed help.
My birth was a really long one, and Laurel sacrificed time away from her family to be there with me every step of the way–this commitment to me and my birth was the most valuable part of having a doula. Having a doula helped me have the birth I needed.
Marci helped my husband and I feel prepared, confident, and supported as we got ready for the labor and delivery of our first child.
We are SO happy we decided to hire a doula and SO happy we found Marci. Marci helped my husband and I feel prepared, confident, and supported as we got ready for the labor and delivery of our first child. I felt overwhelmed reading all the information online about having a baby and Marci eased my concerns at our first visit. It was important to me to have a drug free experience and Marci helped with tools and techniques during labor to get me through! She was accessible and supportive through the entire process (from the initial meeting clear to our post partum home visit) and I would strongly recommend her!
[Laurel] is so easy going and so easy to get along with, and she knows exactly what to do to keep you grounded and focused on what needs to happen.
I am a first time mom, so I wasn’t sure what to expect really. I was not really nervous about anything, I really just wanted someone there who had been through the birth experience before and was able to keep me on track. I had planned a water birth and we had the birthing pool all set up. I spent some time in it, however my labor stalled in the pool. I ended up on my massage table for a while and finally gave birth on the birthing stool. Laurel kept me grounded, and made sure I kept my voice low when going through contractions instead of my voice going high. She made sure I had water and calcium when needed, and was an overall gem to have on hand.
If my best friend was considering it, I would tell them to absolutely get a doula. If they are in my area I would absolutely recommend Laurel as their doula. She is so easy going and so easy to get along with, and she knows exactly what to do to keep you grounded and focused on what needs to happen.
100% return on my investment in doula care. It was so wonderful having Laurel, whom I’ve known for a few years now be able to keep me grounded and invested in giving birth to my daughter.
I loved how much [Marci] empowered my partner and made sure we were both supported and OK!
Marci was amazing. She was wonderfully supportive throughout the whole pregnancy and birth process. She checked in with us, gave us pointers and was invaluable when the time came. I don’t think my husband nor I would have had such a positive birth experience without her. I loved how much she empowered my partner and made sure we were both supported and OK!
My care was worth so much more than we paid-priceless really because of how confident & relaxed I felt going in & how supported I was during labor & delivery!!
My biggest fears were ending up w/an unecessary cesarean, not knowing what was going on & being afraid. Laurel answered my questions & kept me informed which calmed my fears & helped me stay calm (ish) during labor so I could make it to a vaginal delivery.
If a friend were considering a doula, I’d tell them you don’t have to try to figure things out yourself-A doula can answer your questions & guide you through. So you just focus on your part in labor & delivery w/out so much worry or insecurity.
Laurel was great answering questions w/evidence-based info beforehand & did not pressure me in any direction I didn’t want to go. I got to know her a bit before labor & felt she understood & would support my decisions. That helped me trust her during labor & delivery.
My care was worth so much more than we paid-priceless really because of how confident & relaxed I felt going in & how supported I was during labor & delivery!!
I cannot praise Marci enough, she made my daughter’s birth empowering and positive for me and my family.
Marci was incredibly accommodating from the start. Our first meeting was at an indoor park so my toddler could play. I wanted a natural hospital birth, and Marci was fully supportive.
She met at our home before the birth and made sure my husband felt included and important in the process. I think she really helped him to feel like he was a part of the process.
When I got impatient and scheduled an induction (which she knew I didn’t actually want) Marci helped me to encourage the baby into a more ideal birth position. I went into labor that evening and was able to avoid induction or augmentation of my labor.
Labor was very fast, and Marci helped me to stay relaxed and in tune with my body. She worked well with the hospital staff, and it never felt awkward or uncomfortable, it really felt like a team effort.
My young daughter was present for much of the labor process and if Marci hadn’t been there it would have probably been scary for her. Since Marci helped me to stay calm, my daughter was calm as well.
I cannot praise Marci enough, she made my daughter’s birth empowering and positive for me and my family.
I felt very supported and loved and truly believe that [Marci’s] positive energy allowed me to be my best self during a really emotional time.
My husband, Andrew, and I were so lucky to work with Marci for the birth of our second daughter. She was calm, positive, knowledgeable, energizing and absolutely professional. Our first birth experience had caught us by surprise with our first daughter coming at 30 weeks, so we were considered a high risk pregnancy and knew that we would be delivering in the hospital. I really appreciated Marci’s respect for the role that hospital staff would play in our birth, which may have been cultivated by the fact that Marci comes from a family with several medical professionals. We met a couple times before the birth and it was so nice to have a conversation about what we were hoping for, fears that we had and expectations about how the whole birth would go. Andrew was open to the idea of having a doula, but wasn’t totally sure how it would affect his role as my birth partner. I think he agreed because it was important to his very pregnant wife! But Marci did a great job of supporting BOTH of us during the labor. She was very in tune with what we needed at different times throughout the day and we appreciated having an extra set of hands to help. As my contractions got closer, Marci had good ideas for different positions and was incredibly encouraging of me listening to and trusting my body and asking for what I needed. She was an incredible cheerleader and I know that the nurses at Gritman also really appreciated having another trusted person for me to depend on. It was also good moral support for Andrew to have someone there for the whole experience. I appreciated that Marci really helped us have our birth and didn’t try to preach or push her own idea about how birth should be. I felt very supported and loved and truly believe that her positive energy allowed me to be my best self during a really emotional time. We would recommend Marci without any hesitation!
Mary Ellen B
I felt and feel really supported, and empowered from my experience rather than traumatized.
Marci and I met twice before my labor to discuss birth plans, pain control and coping techniques for me and my husband. She immediatly made me feel at ease.
Marci and the midwife met me at the birthing center. Marci immediatly applied pressure to my hips, rubbed my back and helped me find positions that I was comfortable in during contractions. When I started to loose focus she really helped me regain a foothold. She gave suggestions to my husband to help coach me through. She seemed intuitively to know when I needed her help and when to step back and let my husband take over.
Suddenly my calm labor turned very chaotic. My baby was in a breech position! I had to be transported to the hospital while “crowning”. Instructed not to push, Marci coached me through breathing and helped me FOCUS and keep my rising panic under control. When we got to the hospital she was at my side holding my hand. I remember one particular moment Marci looking me in the eye and helping me recenter and gather myself before the serious pushing started.
I was terrified of a hospital birth, and having her there was a boon. Marci also noticed my poor husband off in the corner, frightened and feeling left out. She asked me if I wanted him near me and then was able to get the medical teams attention to have him come over. So thankful for this. After the birth of my daughter I was exhausted and they were doing some resusuitation on her. I remember Marci talking to me coaching me to look at her and talk to her. She stayed with me until we were all settled and comfortable after the birth. She has also made a follow up visit with me to help me talk about and process my labor when it was everything I didnt want ina birth experience. I felt and feel really supported, and empowered from my experience rather than traumatized. I really dont think I could have done this without her support.
Frank breech birth, first time mum, no pain meds. AWESOME!
Marci provided the strength, emotional and physical support, and friendship that every pregnant and birthing mother NEEDS!!
I was committed to having my first baby (and still only baby) at home. The more my husband and I found out about birthing at hospitals, c-sections, drugs given during birth, etc, the more we were commited to our plan. I was extatic when Marci said she was interested in being a doula and that she would be a doula for our baby’s birth. She took such great care of me far before I went into labor. Talking with me about my birth plan over tea at a coffee shop, touring the birthing center at the hospital with me just in case I ended up there, making healthy food and setting up meals to be made for me by my friends, being an incredible support for a first-time mom-to-be in every way possible. As the predicted delivery date grew near, she cleared her schedule and I was the first priority. As soon as I knew the contractions that were to be the start of a very long and hard labour had started, I called Marci and my midwife. Marci was over right away.
I will say again, I had a VERY hard and LONG labour. If Marci hadn’t had been there to help my husband push on my hips through contractions for over 20 hours, remind me of the hopes of my birth plan, coach me to breath, and be a huge support in every possible way, I am sure I would have ended up going to the hospital (which is what I wanted to do when I was in the middle of it all). My husband and Marci were a most amazing birth team for me. Marci provided the strength, emotional and physical support, and friendship that every pregnant and birthing mother NEEDS!! I recommend her whole-heartedly and am sure there is not a better doula out there anywhere!!