I have been trying to think of a way to show my appreciation for our amazing doula Şaylan, but it’s been hard to think of an appropriate gift or whatnot. So, I decided to at least share with the world how great she is, at least as a start! Richie and I both think she went way beyond the call of duty throughout her time as our doula, and she certainly did much more than I would have expected a doula to do. We met with her every month for most of the pregnancy and she was very accommodating and came to our apartment because it was much easier for me with Liam, especially as I got bigger and the weather got hotter. Just a few days before I went into labour she came to our apartment again to try some massage and acupressure stuff to get my labour started naturally, and apart from that, she just helped me relax completely at a stage where I was feeling very impatient for the baby to come and was a bit discouraged that nothing was happening yet.
And perhaps most importantly, she suggested that we go to her apartment during early labour, since she lives very close to the hospital we chose to have the baby in. I think this was one of the best parts about this labour experience. We stayed in our own home longer as we got last minute things ready for Liam, and then went to her apartment on the Asian side of the city. At her place Richie got to get some extra sleep, I had a shower and got some rest while Şaylan massaged my back through contractions and helped me stay relaxed. When it was time to go to the hospital, she handled everything, taxi journey, talking to the doctor, dealing with people at the hospital, which again allowed me to stay relaxed and just focus on contractions and what I needed to do. I think we were only at the hospital for a couple of hours before the baby was born, and I’m so glad it worked out this way! Being in a comfortable home environment made everything go so much smoother and I felt so much better and more energized when the final stages of labour came. Şaylan also did an amazing job of ‘protecting’ me from the hospital staff too. Nothing against the nurses, but for them it’s all just another delivery and there was a general feeling that they wanted to rush me along at various points; get to this room, do this just a bit faster, move over here a bit quicker… I didn’t care too much anyway, but it was great to have Şaylan on my side, making them let me go at my own pace for all these things.
She was an excellent support throughout the entire labour and delivery and stayed for hours and hours after Fred was born, helping us by translating what nurses and other hospital staff had to tell us about various things and just keeping us company in those sleepy hours. Eventually, she went home just long enough to freshen up a bit and then helped us leave the hospital as well. When she came back from her short break, she also brought lovely little cakes, which was especially welcome because I’d been virtually sugar-free for much of my pregnancy and was absolutely dying to eat some delicious sweet treats! It was just the ‘icing on the cake’, if you’ll excuse the pun!
Overall, she just made it feel like we’d been friends for ages, and she just enjoyed being there with us all along the way. She certainly didn’t make it feel like it was just her job. I am truly impressed and touched by how involved and caring and generous she has been, and having her with us really helped make this birth experience wonderful. She is an absolutely fantastic doula and anyone would be lucky to have her there to support them in pregnancy and birth.
So, Şaylan, thanks so much for everything you did! We will always have great memories of all your involvement in Fred’s birth. It certainly wouldn’t have been the same without you!