My name’s Janelle and I have four daughters aged 8, 6, 4 & 1. We live just out of Dardanup (10 minutes from Bunbury) where I homeschool our girls from our little piece of paradise.
If you ask any of my friends or family they will tell you that when it comes to birth, I’m always talking about it (and usually boring everyone around me who isn’t as interested in the subject as I am!). I’m so in awe of how clever our bodies are and it saddens me that women can sometimes feel like they are “broken” when things don’t go to plan. From my experience, I have found that if a woman has encouragement, support and honest education, the rate of women having births that don’t go to plan would drop dramatically. Birth should make you, not break you. If you are educated and ready for the birthing experience, you are more likely to feel in control of the decisions that you make and this results in an empowering birthing experience which is a wonderful start to motherhood.
I think that natural birth is a beautiful thing. I think that interventions are extremely overused. I believe that women’s bodies are designed to give birth naturally and there’s no reason for a pregnant Mumma to doubt what her body can do. However I also understand how daunting a natural birth can seem. So as your doula, I will make sure that all your concerns are put to rest well before your due date. I will also provide education, help you with your birth plan, discuss your birthing desires, and help to mentally prepare you and your partner (if applicable), so when it comes time to birth your baby, you are educated, calm and ready.
Even though I tend to be more naturally-minded, your journey is yours. The pregnancy and birth are yours. Which means the decisions are yours. I never judge if you choose a different path and I totally understand that this is sometimes going to be the case. My own daughters births consisted of 1 emergency c-sec, 1 VBAC, 1 elective c-sec and a VBA2C (I’ve included my stories below).My role is to provide information and continuing unconditional support without imposing my opinions on you.
My own birth stories…
After experiencing my own not so perfect births for my first 3, I wish I could go back and do things differently. I truly believe that if I had’ve educated myself about birth before my first daughter was born, I would have avoided all the problems I ended up having. Not educating myself was a huge mistake.
My first daughter was born via emergency c-sec after the reason/excuse “failure to progress” after a long, hard labour.
This meant I was hooked up to monitors for my VBAC with my second daughter. Due to this, even though I had no pain relief throughout the birth, I was unable to get up off my back and move during labour which led to massive tearing and a long recovery. But it was a successful VBAC and the feeling of empowerment I got afterwards was amazing! I would have done it again in a second! This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
After my first 2 births, I decided to book an elective c-sec for my third because I figured at least I would know what I was getting into in regards to the recovery time (it turns out I didn’t – the first c-sec recovery was MUCH easier). It ended up being emergency c-sec though because I went into labour naturally. Then I found out afterwards that I had almost made it! I was 5cm and progressing just before they started with the c-sec. If only I had waited a few more hours…
After doing a lot of research myself I decided to do the official doula training as well so that I could help others learn from my experiences. While studying, I realised that I could pretty much pinpoint the mistakes I made during labour and if I could do it over again I truly believe I would have been able to birth all 3 babies naturally with no problems (including my largest baby who was 10 pounds 2 ounces).
About a year after I became a doula, I was excited to find out that I was pregnant again! I went about things completely differently than I had with my first 3. I hired an independent midwife and planned a home water birth. I also completed my HypnoBirthing® practitioner course (a happy coincidence as I had booked in to do this before I found out I was pregnant) which made a huge difference to the mindset that I went into the birth with.
My fourth daughter was born into this world at almost 10 pounds and I needed no stitches whatsoever! I can’t rave about this experience enough! I needed no recovery afterwards (within a couple of hours, I felt better than I had even before I was pregnant!). This pregnancy/birth part of my journey was finally complete.
Now I feel so blessed to be able to help other women as they travel their own paths through their pregnancy and birth journey!
If you’re interested in reading my full birth stories, I’ve written full accounts in my blog. You can find them here:
► My first birth: Emergency c-sec after “failing to progress”
► My second birth: VBAC with tearing
► My Third birth: Elective C-Sec
► My Fourth birth: VBA2C
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org