Nadia Sanger, Damian Samuels & Baby Boy Akin
My experience with a doula during pregnancy and labour attests to the absolute need for these amazing women who teach, support, encourage and affirm new mothers. My feminism has been enriched because of this relationship.Thank you Joy King for being totally awesome in teaching me and my partner Damian Sean Samuels to feel confident in our new roles as parents to our beautiful son, Akin. Thank you for holding the space, holding me, in the hours of baby Akin’s emergence into the world. Mothers-to-be, you can’t not have a doula as you experience one of the most intense engagements with your body, mind and spirit that you’re likely to encounter.
Cassie, Sean & the gorgeous Coral Mae Bassett
Thanks to my doula and friend Joy King and my midwife Sandy Standish, I was able to have the birth I wanted and have the most treasured memories of it. I am blessed! Every birthing mum should be given respect and be helped to know what she really wants…it makes such a difference! Because our birth experiences are so very important. May all my preggy friends and future preggy friends have the births they want and need
Ashley, Simon & JP Smeddle
“Today marked the last home visit by our midwife Sandy Standish (top photo). Both she and our doula Joy King (bottom pic) have been like BFFs to me these last few months, culminating in being the ONLY two other people besides Simon and myself in the room during JPs labor and birth. I feel
deep and pure in my heart for them both. God blessed me richly, fulfilling unspoken desires of my own heart, when He purposefully and dramatically crossed our paths with these two strong and beautiful women. I could sing their praises all day!
I have been encouraged to write out and post my birth story, and when I do you will hear more about the way we found Sandy & Joy, and the roles they played in facilitating the peace and delight we felt as JP entered our world. I highly encourage you to consider their services if you are preparing to give birth. They are the loveliest.”
Read more about Ashley’s journey here – http://myhighwaytozion.blogspot.co.za/#!http://myhighwaytozion.blogspot.com/2016/03/facing-fear-story-of-my-son-birth.html
Lauren, Darren & Rebeckah Tuck
Thank you Joy and the amazing Birth Options Midwifery Team. I couldn’t have done it without you! – Lauren
You were all absolutely incredible. We are so moved by how much love and experience you all brought into the room with us. We will never forget this amazing day, and I’m sure we have made new friends for life! Thank you so much!! – Darren
Kate, Kevin & Arlo Ewert
We originally planned to birth our son at Al-Nisa Maternity Home, we had planned this as I am from the UK and it was important to me to have a midwife led, active birth rather than an over medicialised consultant led experience.
At 36 weeks pregnant we found that the policies had changed at Al-Nisa and that they couldn’t offer us the experience that we wanted, we discussed with the midwife that was leading our antenatal classes and decided on changing our plan to a homebirth. We met our new midwife who recommended that we have a doula present during the birth and suggested we speak to Joy. I was quite nervous and unsettled from the late change to our birthing plan.
So we first met Joy when we were 37 weeks pregnant and instantly felt a calming connection to her, she came to visit us at home and spent some time discussing our wishes and hopes for the birth, as well as reassuring me about childbirth in general. Joy visited again about a week or so later, by which time I felt like I had known her a long time, we both felt totally calm in her presence.
My due date was the 9th November, and sure enough I woke at 6am on the 9th and my waters broke … Unfortunately I wasn’t actually in labour! I contacted Joy, who was up and at our house within a couple of hours. My contractions, by this time, had slowly started but we knew we had to do all we could to encourage labour and the baby to become engaged to avoid a hospital birth. Joy started by practicing reflexology on the relevant pressure points, as well as helping my breath through my early contractions. She reassured both me and my husband immensely. She encouraged me to walk around Sun Valley (losing more waters along the way!) which all helped kick start my labour. Each contraction I had was stronger, but through each one Joy kept us both calm and totally in control of the situation. As the day progressed as did the intensity of the contractions; this was our first baby and the reality of the situation was quite scary for both me and my husband; for him having Joy with us meant that he felt calm and able to support me, without panicking that there was a problem, or that the pain level was too much. As a result of my husband being calm, this totally kept me calm and in the right frame of mind as the day progressed. My midwife came and examined me in the evening and unfortunately I was only 1cm dilated, so she left us again in Joy’s capable hands. My labour seemed to be progressing as expected overnight; we slept between contractions with Joy right by my side encouraging me when I totally felt I couldn’t carry on … and I really believe if Joy hadn’t been there I would have made my husband take me to the hospital! She kept track of contractions and my general progress and I just focussed on my labour. Although I was scared and at times worried I couldn’t cope, Joy kept up the same calming attitude, which kept us both focussed. In the early hours of the morning my midwife came again, and this time made the decision that I wasn’t progressing so we had to go to hospital as my baby had turned posterior. Sadly, Joy wasn’t able to come to the hospital with us due to their policies, this was the first point at which I felt panicked, which I feel is absolute testament to her abilities as a doula, I felt such a trust in Joy that the thought of progressing the labour without her next to me was terrifying. Luckily, everything worked out fine and my son was born 12 hours later, tired but perfectly healthy!
So for two people who knew very little about the role of a doula just a few weeks before the birth, I actually cannot imagine contemplating labouring without one now. Having Joy there took away so much of the uncertainty and fear, it was like having a trusted friend or even a caring mother there to advise and support without taking over or causing stress. The whole experience was about supporting not just me labouring and giving birth, but also supporting my husband enabling him to enjoy the birth of his first born. Incidentally, Joy was straight round to visit us when we got home from hospital and has been a tower of strength since the birth also.
I cannot recommend Joy highly enough; she is a wonderful and caring individual who will make your birthing experience even more precious. She will support your choices, listen to your fears and reassure you. I actually can’t wait for baby number 2, which will be a homebirth with Joy there with us the whole way!
Kate, Kevin & Arlo Ewert – December 2013