Frances July 2016 (Abu Dhabi)
How do we even begin to describe the 24 July 2016 and how you were there for us every step of the way. We had called you at 5am and within an hour you were at our house. You were there to witness the most life changing experience of our lives, you witnessed Ethan join the world and take his first breath, you were there to see us over flowing with emotion and the transition of us becoming parents.
(Thanks for capturing the cord cutting and some other gorgeous photos for us!!!)
Holding the bucket for me from the backseat of the car while I was being ill on the way to the hospital, to fetching and bringing things from the car so Martin could stay with me, to rubbing my back and holding my hands. I really believe that people project emotions onto others and on that day, your calmness and inner strength by just being in the room, I think contributed to me having the wonderful birth I had. Living an expat life without friends and family nearby can be quite isolating and lonely. Having you there with me was like having a lifelong friend or a sister by my side.
I don’t think I every told you why we wanted you as our Doula. I had already made my decision that day Martin and I met you at Reem island La Brioche briefly for a chat. It was because I appreciated the way you protected me from your story, only hinting to the fact that you had a difficult experience, but managed to get through it unmedicated. I felt that if I had you by my side, having gone through whatever your hard experience was, that you’d be able to support me though my experience. I felt like you were an inspiration, in the sense that if you could, then so could I. It was one of the first moments I felt that my wish of having an unmedicated birth could be a reality, having met someone who did it. We did have another choice of a doula who we met with; she was friendly and warm but didn’t leave me feeling the same as you did. It confirmed that I didn’t want anyone else except for you. I can’t pin point the other reason or really explain it in words, it was more than just the tone of your voice or things like that, and it was a gut feeling.
You were there for me on the most difficult day of my pregnancy, a week before he was born when we saw 2 Doctors who wanted to induce right away. You came to my house, we shared a cup of tea and you gave me the most wonderful and relaxing lavender massage to release all my frustration and tension for the day. Martin had to be at work, having you there with me and the chat we had that afternoon made me feel like I wasn’t alone. You listened to my thoughts and what had happened that day. Martin was so happy you came; he didn’t want me to be alone. Your support gave me strength and I will never forget sitting on the exercise ball smelling the lavender while relaxing. You seemed to know just what I needed.
That morning for me is blur. I laugh now at the suitcase filled with the TRX, candles, massage oil, birthing ball, 30+ hypnobirthing affirmation pictures, dates, nuts, crackers, lollipops, headphones and laptop with music and video visualisations. All I needed there was you and Martin (and my coconut water).
A day after the birth, your familiar face in a sea of strange faces in the hospital was most welcome, and the smoothie you brought me, was such a lovely and thoughtful gift filled with good nutrients my body needed.
I don’t feel our relationship will ever come to an “end”, the part you played in the birth of our son will always stay with us. You are part his journey and life story. A thousand thank you’s would never be enough for us to express how grateful we are to you.
Cynthia, Adraino, and baby Zoe Silva (Abu Dhabi)
We absolutely loved our doula, and hopefully can answer all the questions here. We looked for a doula, as we wanted a more natural birth and were far away from family and loved ones. The idea of a nurturing, educated third party to help us navigate the immensity of this new situation was very appealing. We interviewed a few candidates and chose Marliyne because of her fantastic positive spirit, organization, knowledge, confidence, and forthrightness. During my pregnancy she checked in on me frequently either personally or via phone and was always available if I needed any question answered.
Unfortunately due to unexpected circumstances I had to have an emergency c-section due to a severe bacterial infection, and even though Marilyne did not participate in the birth in the way she and we thought originally, she was an integral part in my recovery and offered us guidance and support to breastfeed and in many other ways during the most terrifying experience of our lives. She came daily to check on us and brought us smoothies and mostly her calm, and kind prescense which is all we really needed at that time. She will always be part of our story and we are so grateful to her.
We thought it was a good idea to have someone with us before, during and after the birth who had some experience.
Sandra September 2016 (Abu Dhabi)
When Marilyne came and we met with her we thougth she would be the right person to do this with us. We felt comfortable around her. She helped us with a birth plan and we discussed with her what we would like and would not like about giving birth in a hospital here in the UAE. It also helped that she knew our doctor and had a couple of good experiences with her. She was very warm and reassuring to us first time parents. We felt being in safe and expert hands. She helped us decide when was the right time to go to the hospital, she stayed with us and was calm and it was great for me to be able to talk to her. She created a comfortable atmosphere in the hospital room and it felt comforting to have her around.
Marilyne came and we talked at length about the birth exprerience which was great for me. I needed to go through it again. She would also give very helpful insights and ideas into how to deal with our newborn.
The listening and being understood part was very helpful and great for me. I felt Marilyne was capable of a lot of empathy.She has been a good motivator during labor. She helped with the breathing and in dealing with the contraction pain. She was a great emotional support.
Kelly October 2016 (Abu Dhabi)
Living in a foreign country with no family around is hard and it doesn’t help when they cannot be here for the birth of your child. We hired a doula primarily for support and to avoid a C section and Epidural.
Marilyne was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad we went with her, she was such a fantastic birth coach and partner.
Marilyne provided outstanding support to both myself and my husband, was on hand when we needed her. She really helped me relax and alleviated my worries about giving birth I was more anxious about this birth than I was with my first. Marilyne also provided some amazing and healthy snacks before and after the birth. During labour Marilyne was an absolute star! She had a calming influence, helped me with breathing, gave me a fantastic massage and really held it together for me, especially at transition stage, encouraging me to get up and move to help things progress.
After birth, Marilyne has been, and still is an amazing support to me after the birth. She visited the hospital to check in on us , bringing with her a fantastic lactation smoothie to help with my milk supply.
Marilyne really listened to what we wanted to get out of the birth and was completely non-judgmental when I had pethidine on my birth plan
I thought Marilyne was an amazing Doula. She is very calm, collected and an attentive listener. I don’t thing there is anything ti improve at all.
if we have another she will be the first person after my husband I will tell and would most definitely look for her support again. We keep in touch now and she is such a lovely person.
Ingrid December 2016
Fatima February 2017
I needed the support of someone other than my mother, specifically someone without a prior emotional attachment so that she can help me without being affected by my pain. My previous birth didn’t go as planned, my mother gave her approval to the midwife on things I was against. My mother was in pain seeing me like that; and being that it was my first birth, I feared everything and listened to her. I also wanted to labor freely without being shy of the person with me.
Marilyne helped me in many ways:
I was confident in the choices I made in the birth plan, we found great positions for when labouring would startI was comfortable to know that she’s a phone call away when I needed her.I also enjoyed a nice back massage!She looked up things I was reading about and asked whoever she knew (even though we didn’t do it during labour “heat compress”)
During labour she rushed straight from the gym once I called her. She forgot her self and was selfless. I told her to meet at the hospital but she insisted on coming straight to my home. I felt another person will put themselves first, go home and change, and then come. I really had to put this as #1
Marilyne gave the birth plan to the nurses once we arrived, they came and quieted all the machine noises and in that instance I felt completely calm we were talking and chatting during the start of labor, timing the contraction, suggesting the positions that we agreed onI also liked the soft rubbing on my back. She brought me back to reality and talked to me when I was pushing the baby out, since I was just repeatedly reciting Quran without focusing. She knew I was panicking that moment. In our previous meetings we discussed this moment more than once and that I needed her to shout at me if I lost it. Marilyne also helped me focus on her only and breathing togethers, she remembered all my wished when the father came, since I wanted to be covered. The moment she saw him she turned to check on my state and cover me up.
After birth, Marilyne checked up after a couple of weeks and gave me feedback on all my concerns. I was really happy to talk about how the birth went and the strong moments that we were both proud of. We were a great team together. She completely understood my needs since we kind of shared the same ideas of our birth wishes.
Marilyne was a great strength during the labor, calm and not stressing me at all. That was really an important point to me. She kept pushing me with her words of encouragement. The only missing loop that I was not happy with was the language barrier. I felt she was lost with what they were saying. I sensed her worry for me and if they were doing something against our agreed birth plan. But she tried her best by asking the midwife every now and then.
It was the best birth experience I could ever ask for. Thanks to Marilyne I had a positive birth. I hope she’s still here when I have my third baby!