As my husband travels a lot for work, I was really concerned that should I go into labour early or late, he might not be around for the actual birth (spoiler: thankfully, that didn’t happen!). The fact that he would miss the birth of his first child would be awful enough in itself, and the thought that I would be on my own without any support was even worse! I knew that I wanted a Doula so that this worst case scenario could be made better, and even if my husband was able to be present, I thought that having a Doula would provide some much needed support to us both.
I met a couple of Doulas at various events but felt like they were not a good fit for me personally. I was looking for someone who believed in me and didn’t try to force the fact that I “needed” a Doula, as if I was completely incapable on my own, both during and after birth. It was then that a friend recommended Louise Atkinson, so I got in touch with her hoping that she would be the perfect fit.
From the moment I met Louise over coffee, I immediately felt at ease. She was friendly, positive, and, most of all, reinforced my sense of self-belief. Her passion for helping women was evident, and I knew from our conversation that for her it wasn’t just a case of ticking births off her list. She genuinely cared about each and every one. It’s the only time I’ve been in a meeting with someone and not been bothered about them having their phone on, because she was on call! Moreover, Louise was very familiar with Jasmine’s hypnobirthing classes and the two ladies stay in regular contact. This really made me feel that I had a team behind me and that we all have the same thoughts about birth.
Louise met my husband and (most importantly!) my dogs, as it was my intention to labour at home for as long as possible before heading to the hospital. We had great conversations over WhatsApp and Louise has shared valuable resources and advice without telling me what to do. I changed my mind about some things so many times, and yet it was never an issue as she understands that this whole process can be incredibly overwhelming, especially in the UAE where we are almost spoilt for choice over things such as hospitals.
When I had a small scare shortly before Dylan’s birth when my husband was away, I felt reassured that things would be ok after speaking with Louise, and I know she would have been by my side if anything was to happen. Thankfully, I was allowed to go home and was even able to chat through the experience after, which helped me to relax and process everything.
I had no doubts that with my husband and Louise by my side, that I would be in the best of hands when the big day finally arrived, and as it turned out, my birth was a wonderful experience thanks to their support.