If you're still wondering, "Was it worth it, hiring Ali?" just ask these guys...
If you ask Mindy, "Ali is an amazing doula! I am so grateful for her support during my labor. She has an awesome positive attitude and the ability to jump into a situation and help out where needed. She also provided support to my husband, since it was reassuring to have someone involved who is experienced and confident with the process. During the intense moments when I was doubting myself, her voice and help with breathing was encouraging. Her help with suggesting different positions and massaging my back and hips was absolutely invaluable! I recommend working with Ali to any pregnant mom, but especially someone looking to have a VBAC. I was not well supported during the birth of my first. Ali understood my disappointment with how I felt about that experience from the beginning, during our first meeting. She was committed to helping me achieve the birth I wanted the second time around. I felt so much love and support from my team, a complete change from my prior experience, and that made all the difference. I will remember Ali forever, as she helped me achieve the epidural-free vaginal delivery we wanted!"
If you ask Tara, "What sets Ali apart is her ability to sincerely listen and provide just the right amount of support and guidance. She was a great fit with my husband and they made a stellar team. I also appreciated that she never had her own agenda, she just wanted to support me and my vision for my son's birth. Ali is a force of positivity, calm and confidence that was completely invaluable, not only during my labor, but throughout my pregnancy. She was always just a text or call away when I had a question, no matter how silly! During my labor, she helped me breathe through every contraction and was the only person who could get through to me when I was sure I couldn't do it anymore. She gave me the strength I needed when I needed it, and I honestly couldn't have done it without her. She is wonderful and was such a crucial part of me being able to have the pregnancy and labor I wanted. She's simply the best!"
If you ask Dan, "Being a first time dad I really didn't know how having a doula would benefit my wife's labor. I thought I had soaked up all the information I needed from our labor classes. I thought I was prepared. That is until my wife started having legitimate contractions. I felt so helpless. I tried my best to root her on and support her, but how could I possibly relate to what she was going through? This is when I knew I needed Ali. My wife loved Ali for how she assisted her, but Ali was there for me just as much. They say doulas make you [the partner] look like a superstar, and it's true. Ali, on my request, joined us at our house at one in the afternoon. She coached us through 6 hours of contractions before we headed to the birth center. Just watching her work with my wife rubbed off on me. As each contraction passed I found myself gaining confidence and I began doing things I wouldn't have thought to do without a doula. Ali brought a good energy to the labor and did a great job of advocating for my wife. The midwives were focused on the medical side of things, so Ali made sure to communicate my wife's needs to them since she could not. Her coaching helped my wife persevere when she thought she couldn't carry on. Her calmness and never ending support assisted my wife in safely delivering our child. Before, I wasn't really sure we needed a doula, but now I wouldn't want to have a baby without one."
If you ask Eliese, "Initially my husband and I looked into hiring a doula because he was scheduled on a business trip around my due date. We had never hired a doula before. Even though the trip was cancelled and he was able to be at the delivery, we were so thankful we hired Ali! She was always prompt and reassuring in responding whenever I had questions or concerns during my pregnancy. Ali was so supportive of our vision for the baby's birth, and helped me to go into the experience more prepared and mindful of my choices. This was our third baby but the first time I wanted to attempt an unmedicated birth. With her calm, knowledgeable and cheerful support, I was able to have a wonderful birth experience, without an epidural, like I had hoped. Ali was fantastic in working with my husband too and really listened to his input so they could work as a team to support me best. We plan on hiring Ali again if we are blessed with another baby!"
If you ask Ashley, "Hiring Ali was one of the best decisions we made for our pregnancy. Even before labor, her services were invaluable. She was the one person I could turn to and know I would come away from the conversation feeling better. She was always positive & supportive- especially in the last few, draining weeks of my pregnancy. She trusted my body to do this on it's own even when I didn't. When labor finally did start, she came to our home to labor with us so we wouldn't have to be in the hospital as long. She was with me through every contraction, but could judge the situation and gave my husband and I some space when we were having a private moment. She helped us to gauge when we needed to leave for the hospital. She was my calm in the storm, and I didn't once think I couldn't do it. Her reassuring nature, positive talk, massage, and having her breath with me through each contraction, was better than any epidural! When it came time to push, she was supportive & let me do exactly what I needed to- listen to my body & let it take over. After delivery she stayed to make sure she nursed well, and then visited with us later, at home, to make sure all was well and review the birth.
Honestly I can't say enough great things about her. Though we might have been able to have a non-medicated birth without her, it would have been 10 times more difficult & stressful. She was fully supportive of what WE wanted for our birth. With her presence, I was able to stay in the moment and get through each contraction, one at a time. This is not at all my nature as I am a planner and always thinking ahead to what's next, so that speaks volumes to me about her abilities. The experience was nothing short of magical and beautiful, I wish I could go back and feel it all over again. I've already told my husband that as soon as we see a positive pregnancy test, she will be our first call to book her services!"
If you ask Sara, "I knew that I wanted a doula for my labor and we were so lucky to be put in contact with Ali! She was beyond amazing support for both me, my husband and my baby. She had just the right amount of energy yet calmness. She was sensitive, knowledgable and encouraging. Boy did I need that! One memory that I will never forget was the times she whispered in my ear the affirmations I had picked. It was the little boost I needed when I didn't think I could do it anymore. Having that kind of support was priceless."
If you ask David, "Early in our 2nd pregnancy my wife approached me about hiring a doula and I immediately dismissed the idea, as I thought we both had agreed our 1st pregnancy went pretty smoothly. [The first time,] my wife's goal was to deliver naturally & un-medicated, but it didn't quite go as planned. We got strong-armed into inducing 5 days late and ~7 hrs in, her contractions got so bad that she couldn't relax enough to make any progress. I had read some books on how to help her through contractions but the techniques they suggested didn't seem to work. After some debate she decided an epidural was necessary and things went quickly and smoothly after that. We had a great delivery staff but it was all very business-like.
For our 2nd, my wife REALLY wanted an un-medicated birth and she convinced me to give a doula a shot. Ali was the 1st we interviewed, and the last. Her personality and ideals matched perfectly with ours and booking her seemed like a smart decision (it was). I was still a little concerned that my role as the birth partner would be minimized but come the big day it didn't once cross my mind. We could not have written a more perfect birth experience and Ali was a huge factor in that. She stepped in when my wife needed her (without encroaching on our personal space); she knew exactly what techniques would help my wife relax and taught me how to use them too. It was incredible to watch my wife work through those intense contractions; those same contractions that I was helpless with during our 1st birth. There is no way to explain how valuable a doula can be until you've experienced a birth with one. And the pre-labor support may have been just as valuable. It gives me great joy to say my wife rocked that birth and Ali played a big part in making that possible. I would hire Ali again without hesitation."
If you ask Ashley, "I used Ali as my doula and could not have been more pleased. She truly made it a wonderful experience. I could not have done it without her. She was calm, encouraging and completely supportive of what I wanted. She never pushed me to do anything and was my rock and advocate throughout the labor and delivery. I highly recommend her. She is so easy going and fit right in with our family- she became a part of the group with such ease! Once I got to the tough parts she was my strength and courage and kept me focused and calm. She truly made the experience so special. I know my husband so appreciated having her there to help me in the moments when he didn't know what to say or do- especially since he didn't know what I was feeling. We adore her and highly recommend her. Thank you Ali for an amazing birth experience. You made it perfect!!!"
If you ask Kerry, "I think, at the time, we were Ali's longest birth to-date. It was our second baby and she was completely amazing throughout the entire (lengthy) process. Ali was always upbeat and a step ahead of me; preparing us for what the nurses/midwives might want to try next. It was Ali's intuition and skill that helped kick my labor into gear and helped the baby arrive without unnecessary medical intervention. I highly recommend her for guiding you through your pregnancy and labor/delivery journey!"
If you ask Rich, "I can't thank you enough for helping my wife (and me) during the birth of our son. From the husband's point of view, it was reassuring for me to know my wife was being coached and taken care of by someone with your experience. Thank you for caring for her. We both agreed the experience would have been not nearly as good without you. I will recommend you to anyone who is having a baby. Thanks again Ali!"