Oh, Shayleen, where to begin! It's hard to form words for the gratitude that I have for you and the partnership you provided for me while I was preparing my birth plan and during my labor and delivery because you were truly more than my doula. You were my friend, my confidant, and in each moment that I thought maybe I couldn't do it, all I could hear was your steady voice and all I could see was your sure and determined face.
In labor, as my contractions worsened, I kneeled at the tub and prayed for the strength of angels. A prayer I will never forget, because almost immediately I felt strength like I didn't know I had and in major part I know you were one of those angels to get me through with little to no pain. Your inspiring words, your magic counter-pressure melting away my pain at each contraction, and your own stories of strength gave me the motivation, the courage, and the belief in myself that I could do the impossible, or rather, what I felt was impossible. Laboring at home was pleasantly hard work, not painful.
I remember when I first met you I said, "I could never give birth without an epidural." A sentiment that I'm sure most women feel, but your response was sweet, simple, and soul piercing. You said, "yes you can." From that moment on I battled within myself if I could actually give birth with no epidural and, well, WE did it...I did it!! Baby didn't give me much of an option because he came so incredibly fast, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
There was one moment, at the peak of pushing (the joy of no epidural, is memory retition) that I felt my strength waning and I yelled, "I don't want to do this". In that moment, you were at my right encouraging me, directing me, and reminding me of my strength. No other person, not my husband, not the doctor they pulled out of the hall, not any of those nurses, could give me what I needed in that moment of self doubt; the assurance that I could make it through and push one last time. Two pushes in 5 minutes and baby was here! Wow! It seemed like forever, but every bit of it worth it and truly inspiring!
Shayleen, you have truly found your calling in life and every woman you counsel and advocate for is the luckiest woman to have you by their side. I feel so blessed to have met you and so lucky to have been inspired by you. There is no bond like the bond of a mother and her doula. I will always be grateful for this birth, mainly because I had a mother and friend like you by my side.
Shayleen was a life saver as a doula, I do not know how I would have made it without her through labor and delivery. My labor was very long, painful, and slightly humiliating and she was calm, patient, nurturing, helpful, and just amazing the entire time. I was scared and things didn't go to plan, but her unwavering strength helped to get me through it.
She was very supportive and helpful during my pregnancy as well... going above and beyond to do things to help me from answering tons of random questions to accompanying me to a long appointment to brining me a breast pump for nipple stimulation.
I very much appreciated having such a wonderful doula to be there for me for my first labor. The name of her business is fitting, she definitely has a very nurturing, caring, and loving mother's heart.
Shayleen is a wonderful doula. She goes above and beyond and is so nurturing and supportive before, during, and after birth. She keeps a cool head during an emergency and is a comfort to have at your side.