Outside of yoga class, Hilary was good at checking in with me- either because the pregnancy reached a milestone or because she could sense that I needed it. She always had great advice and reminded me of questions that I might want to discuss with the midwives. Hilary helped us flesh out the type of birth we wanted to have and supported our plans completely. By the time Mary’s due date came around, I felt empowered to have an unmedicated birth (Hilary is supportive of other types of births as well- her focus is on making sure the choice is an educated one). However, if something had come up requiring medical intervention, I can’t imagine not having her there to help work through that curveball.
When Mary went past her due date, Hilary was there with support as the days ticked on. When it was finally time for labor, she was constantly in touch with my husband and responded quickly when things progressed faster than anticipated. I cannot overstate what a relief it was to have her by my side.
Mary’s birth would not have been the same without Hilary- being a birth doula is truly what she is meant to do. Do not hesitate to hire her!
I met Hilary as a student at her prenatal yoga classes, and after one class, I was hooked. At that point, I wasn’t even sure I wanted a doula, but I was moved by how great I felt during and after that yoga session. In her class, I was able to work as hard as my body wanted to work. She helped us listen to ourselves, and I never once felt out of place, whether it was a day when I was doing all of the “easy” modifications or the day when I was on the “advanced” spectrum of the yoga postures. We practiced moving with our breath and she helped us to relax, to smile, through the challenges. It was perfect.
Hilary is fantastic at connecting with you and bringing out of you the strength you already have. It goes without saying that she is knowledgeable at what she does, and that she is a wonderful resource. It goes without saying that she is strong and can do amazing counter-pressure massage at the right point in labor. However, what was so special for me is that she enabled me to trust myself and my body through labor. With her, I was not worried or tense, my mind was not preoccupied with any unnecessaary thoughts.
Hilary helped my labor for about two hours at home and when we arrived at the hospital, I was complete and ready to push. My first child, my son, was born two hours later. Fully unmedicated, no intervention birth.
Yes, I’m strong. Yes, I had a great medical team with VCU midwives. But, I couldn’t have done it without Hilary! Thank you!!
As our prenatal doula, Hilary really helped my husband and I flesh out our birth plan, and to think through and make informed prenatal, birth, and post-partum decisions, all of which helped me achieve not only the unmedicated birth that I wanted (of a beautiful, healthy, 9 lb. 3 oz. boy!), but also one of the best/happiest experiences of our lives. We had a wonderful post-partum visit with Hilary at our home (she brought useful resources, tips, and a nourishing meal). I highly recommend her services.
We built a relationship with Hilary through the standard preparatory meetings, but also through weekly prenatal yoga classes. As a yogi, having someone speak the same yoga language of ‘breathing through discomfort’ and ‘listening to your body’ seemed helpful. And the weekly classes provided not only a great outlet for me, but also a good opportunity for Hilary and me to get to know each other better in the months before the birth.
I don’t remember much about actual labor other than barking orders about water temperature and more ice cold cloths for my head, but Hilary was steady and calming, skillfully brushing aside my “I can’t do this…” cries with reassuring and confident “you ARE doing this!”. My husband says, “she was very good at working with me to meet your needs” — strong praise considering his earlier concerns — and he noted that at times those ‘needs’ required more than one person’s hands/patience, so they were able trade off or work together to develop a sort-of assembly line of cold towels, for example.
After delivery, Hilary checked on us, offering useful resources, tips, and a delicious meal. We would highly recommend her. She was knowledgeable, accessible, and reliable. She proved invaluable during our delivery.
I had a few conscious thoughts during birth: One was that I couldn’t have possibly done this without Hilary–the birth, the labor, the pregnancy. She had answered my every email and text with good information. She had called to check in. She had shared suggestions for dealing with the terrible cold I caught at the end of my pregnancy. She had connected with me every Saturday at yoga. She had made my husband feel calm, knowledgeable, important. She had supported my birth plan and stayed by my side while respecting and helping to preserve the safety and privacy I had asked for.
We are tremendously grateful for Hilary, and would strongly recommend her to couples looking for a knowledgeable, experienced, and loving doula.
A week later, I had an amazing VBAC at the new hospital. I was surrounded by people who trusted me and my decisions and whose caring hands supported me in the two-hour whirlwind that the delivery turned out to be. Hilary was a constant reminder of how strong I am. Her voice kept me grounded that day and her faith in my ability to birth my son was the reason my experience was so beautiful. Thank you, Hilary.