Today I have the birth story that I’ve always wanted to be able to tell, thanks in a huge part to my doula, Vonda Bartlett. I first met Vonda at a “Meet The Doula event. Personally, I felt like a big challenge during labor would be remaining calm and Vonda’s voice alone was calming. Since I was already 37 weeks when I hired my doula, I worried that we wouldn’t have time for her be able to have a big part in my pregnancy. I was completely wrong! Vonda was extremely easy to connect with and share our anxieties and excitement. She made a home visit, attended my Hypno-Birthing class, and a prenatal visit. By the time I was in labor I felt as though she had been with me through my entire pregnancy. Vonda was extremely knowledgeable; I learned several things from her. She gave me some vital information that helped shape some of my decisions in my birth plan and she shared some of her personal experiences which put me at ease. As a first time mom I wasn’t sure what to expect out of labor, so when I started to experience surges for the first time I reached out to Vonda. She gave me some helpful tips to relax. One goal was to labor at home for as long as possible. I kept Vonda updated of my progress and when I was ready asked her to come over to help me through the rest of labor. She kept me calm and reminded me to relax my shoulders, which helped relieve stress and pain. Vonda told me in the beginning that she would try to get me to the hospital around 7 cm dilated, thankfully she was right! I was 8 cm when they checked me. Vonda was most helpful during the pushing phase for me, reminding me of what I learned about breathing. One of the nurses commented on how well Vonda helped me get through the contractions and pushing the baby out. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthing experience or a better doula! Vonda, thanks so much for making a once in a lifetime experience an extremely positive one!