My husband and I were having our first baby and hoped to deliver naturally in the birth center at OB-GYN North. As first timers, we felt that having the right support team would be a crucial component in helping achieve the birth we envisioned. I connected with Summer through the glowing recommendations of several midwifes and nurses at our OB-GYN practice.
I was drawn particularly to the fact that Summer is a massage therapist with many years experience in both prenatal massage and doula-ing, making her uniquely able to pride both physical support and a vast knowledge of child birth. We set up an interview, and after taking about her services and philosophy, I immediately knew that Summer was “the one.”
Throughout pregnancy, I had the chance to develop a relationship with Summer both through her counsel as a doula, and also through massage. I am a massage junkie, and in all of my experience, have never had a massage as wonderful and therapeutic as the ones Summer provides.
When my feet would swell or my back became extremely painful – especially later in pregnancy – my sessions with Summer were a magical, comforting balm that restored my physical and emotional vitality. In her capacities as a doula, Summer taught me and my husband reflection, breathing, and comfort techniques that we eventually used throughout labor.
When we were nearly two weeks past our due date, Summer provided guidance that I believe made it possible to have the birth we envisioned. Time had run out, and I opted for a Foley catheter to induce. The day before our appointment to get the Foley, Summer gave me an incredible massage and helped walk me through visualizations that were calming and reassuring. Then, Summer told me that, in her experience, the hardest thing about Foley balloons was that they made it difficult to sleep, and women who had them would often be exhausted from lack of sleep by the time labor started. She encouraged us to find a way to get a good night of sleep after it was inserted. Had she not told us this, I might have spent the night up, instead of taking measures to ensure that I slept as much as possible.
The next morning, labor began. In total it was was 24 hours long, with contractions no more than 5 minutes apart the whole time. If Summer had not provided this counsel, I doubt I would have had the stamina to make it through the long and exhausting labor without further interventions.
Throughout labor, Summer helped me in exactly the way I needed help in any given moment. If I needed encouragement to move around, or help changing positions, she was there gently providing and guidance and physical support. For every contraction Summer was there applying counter pressure or whatever else I needed to make it through the moment. She was a tireless, guiding presence, offering the physical and emotional support I needed with reassurance and grace, particularly when I was certain I couldn’t do it anymore. Our son arrived weighing 10 lbs, 3 ounces, and Summer stayed with us afterward until we were feeling restored and ready to go home. I think about the day Evan was born often– usually with a sense of awe and gratitude that everything worked out so beautifully.
For me, this amazing birth was shaped significantly by Summer‘s presence. She helped create the context that enabled us to bring our son into the world in the way we hoped, and I am so happy that she was there to help make and to share that experience with us!
Photographs provided by the client, Kacie G. 2015.
A Note From Kacie G. Postpartum
Every since Evan was born, I’ve had a dream of dropping by your studio to hug you and thank you in person for everything you and April did for our birth, but it turns out that being a new mom is a big job and I haven’t made it out of the house much at all. Today I realized with shock it has been almost a month, and I couldn’t let a day more go by. So, an email update will have to do until I can see you in person.
I just wanted to let you know that everything is going great and to thank you so so much for being there for us! Evan ended up weighing 10lbs 3oz, and was 22 inches long. We went home from the birth center just a few hours after you, and while parenthood has been keeping us busy and a bit tired, things have been rolling along smoothly ever since. Each day is a new adventure. Evan is an incredibly big, healthy and easygoing boy. This morning he woke up and decided to start smiling at Tom and me, and our hearts melted even more than they already were.
I am feeling great – almost fully recovered. I think about the day Evan was born often – usually with a sense of awe and gratitude that everything worked out so beautifully. For me, this amazing experience was shaped significantly by you and April’s presence, and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you did to provide comfort and support. You were amazing, and I am so happy that you were there to help make and to share that experience with us! I am planning to keep in touch and we’ll tentatively plan for round two in a couple of years. 🙂
Thank you again, Summer, for the beautiful and giving person that you are, and for everything that you did to help us on our journey!