The selected birth stories below celebrate new life coming into the world. These moments illustrate the types of support Kenya provides as a birth doula. Some families choose to remain private and may not have as many details listed.

Julian, July 22, 2014 - Kristi’s labor progressed rather quickly by average standards. She was such a trooper to manage the growing intensity of her contractions during the hour long drive to the hospital. Shortly after getting into her room, Kristi had an epidural, experienced some relief, and got settled in. Within a few hours, it was time to push, as eager family members waited somewhat anxiously outside. Tom and Kristi’s OB had been in practice for decades and bought a wealth of experience in the delivery room. He was jovial and matter-of-fact at the same time; he bought a calming presence to birthing room. One suggestion he offered made a great difference in Kristi’s pushing. While Kristi was in a squatting position on the bed, he had her tug on a twisted sheet as he pulled back, offering counter weight for her to pull against. This worked so well! Tom was amazed as baby was born and he was prepped to cut the cord. It was a magical moment. Seeing his little newborn face, Tom and Kristi agreed that they’d chosen the right name for baby Julian.

● Valerie, July 16, 2014 - When I arrived at the hospital, Daddy Ivan was in full-on coach mode: he was providing massage and counter pressure to Alina as she labored, he was making notes of her progress, and being a very positive support to her. Both were in good spirits and doing very well. I was happy to see them and ready to help. As Alina’s labor progressed, her best friend came by to offer additional support. She offered Alina encouragement by talking about her own birth experience and telling her how strong she was; we were able to share stories, joke, and keep the mood light. 
After laboring much of the day, Alina needed to rest for a couple of hours with the help of an epidural. When it came time to push, one of the most memorable moments was the look on her face when she reached down and felt her baby crowning! She was so astonished, but delighted and the look of love on her face was priceless. Baby Valerie was born shortly after and both Ivan and Alina were beaming with joy. It was wonderful to hear Alina talk about how proud she was of herself for working so hard during her labor. She’s a rock star Momma!

 

Celebrating Alyssa

Bradley Reunion

● March 9, 2014 - Good times celebrating Alyssa’s Christening! Got to see my “First Families,” laughing and playing with some sweet babes in the play area as they rolled around and scooted about. We had lots of fun taking family pics in the photo booth; great props, lovely smiles, and pleasant hugs. :)

● January 26, 2014 - Had a great time visiting with my “First Families” at our Bradley Class Reunion. It’s amazing how much these little babies have grown since last fall. These are the families that helped me obtain my birth doula certification from DONA. They welcomed me, an enthusiastic novice, into their birth experience and have since embraced me as a friend. These little babies and their families will always be precious to me. Love them so much!

Larissa, Kyle & Lana

Larissa, Kyle & Lana

● Lana, January 9, 2014 - Being with Larissa and Kyle at the birth of baby Lana was one of the sweetest births I’ve attended so far. Larissa had gone a little past her estimated due date and I was out of town when her labor began. I headed back early and we all arrived at the hospital at the same time. As Larissa labored, I massaged her lower back and her husband Kyle provided loving emotional support and encouragement. After a night of restless labor and very little to eat, Larissa requested an epidural to get some rest and relief. As she napped, Kyle and I chatted quietly. When she was ready, Larissa woke up and within minutes, Lana was born. Everyone immediately burst into tears at the smooth and quiet entry of Lana into this world. She is such a dear, beautiful little girl.

 

● Naomi Privet, December 11, 2013 - To date, Mariya was one the fastest birth I’ve helped with. The time between when her husband, Danny, called to let me know they were in labor to the time baby Naomi arrived was less than 4 hours! Thankfully, Mariya listened to her body and they headed to the hospital after her labor began to quickly progress. When I joined them at the hospital, Mariya was coping very well with her contractions. We used deep breathing and relaxation, and Danny had upbeat music playing in the background. 
Throughout the time, he was taking photos and capturing precious moments of Naomi’s birth. The attending physician was very supportive of a natural birth and helped Mariya deliver beautifully at 8:47am. Baby Naomi’s eyes were dark, bright and absolutely stunning. Two of the best moments was Danny’s amazement at seeing his precious daughter come into the world and Mariya laying back, relaxing after the delivery as Naomi was examined and cleaned up by the nurse.

 

● Abigail Cora, November 13, 2013 - Working with two scientists to birth a baby is super fun and highly recommended! Avery and Chrissy are an adorable couple. Chrissy wore skinny jeans to the delivery room and Avery bought a wooden totem and various photos as happy, inspirational visualization tools for Chrissy to use during labor. We labored at their home for a few hours before heading to the hospital. To work through each contraction, Chrissy used calm, soothing breathing; this method was highly effective throughout her entire labor. 
The three of us talked for several hours as Chrissy continued to labor. The room stayed dim and ESPN was on quietly in the background (surprisingly the entire time). Chrissy later remarked that between our quiet conversations and the TV being on, it was nice to know that life was still going on as her labored continued from one day to the next. After several hours, the midwives determined that baby was stuck in a challenging position and would not be borne without medical intervention. Avery and Chrissy were so loving and supportive of each other in making the difficult decision on how to proceed. On the morning of November 13th, Chrissy went in for a cesarean and baby Abbey was successfully born at 5:39am. Check her out; she’s quite the gem!

 

● Alyssa Irene, October 28, 2013 - Linda and Jason had a frustrating few days with labor contractions that would start, intensify, then slowly space back out and go away. Jason was great about keeping me updated and I stayed on call throughout the weekend. After an early visit to the birth center on Saturday, and being sent home due to no progress, baby Alyssa was finally ready to get started on Sunday evening. I met Linda and Jason at the birth center; it looked very much like a cozy little home. Linda was doing a great job of working through her contractions with deep breathing and leaning on Jason for support while sitting on a birthing ball. 
Water was a soothing and calming element for Linda. At various times during the night, she labored in the shower, used the jacuzzi for some relief, and eventually spent time in the inflatable birthing pool. More than anything, I was happy to give Linda encouraging support and comfort—she’s a strong woman, full of fortitude and inner resilience. Earlier in the night their friend Jewell had arrived to take pictures of the birth. It was wonderful to hear her cheering Linda on as Alyssa crowned and was delivered at 2:54am on Monday, October 28, 2013. She commented on how strong Linda was, and what an amazing experience it was for her to witness her friend of over 20 years give birth naturally

● Genevieve Bell, September 17, 2013 - On the morning of September 16th I received a message on Facebook from Laura. She and Colton, her child’s father, had been at the hospital since just after midnight and the labor pains were not going well. Later that afternoon I was able to join them at the hospital. I provided support and was an informed presence in the room to advocate for the birth that Laura and Colton had planned for themselves. Colton was able to take a nap while I stayed with Laura, so he could be fresh and present as labor continued from one night to the next, and I made sure that Laura rested as much as was possible. Colton’s mother and Laura’s parents arrived at the hospital late in the evening and they helped comfort her. 
It was very important to maintain the peace and quiet in the room to help Laura focus on her wellness during labor. She and Colton were able to talk and share light jokes throughout most of the time as she remained calm and serene. Shortly after a warm, soothing shower, and a bit of rest on the second morning, Laura was ready to give birth. The delivery required only 20 minutes of pushing after 32 hours of labor! Baby Genevieve was born at 7:12am on September 17, 2013.

 

● Parker Ryan, September 2, 2013 - Parker’s father, Ryan, called me at 4:14am. He asked, “Are you ready to have a baby today?” and I enthusiastically replied, “Yes!” It was dark in the early morning hours as I drove to their home and the house was very quiet when I came in. We labored at home for a very short period of time before heading to the hospital. Having a natural birth was very important to the family, and Ryan was very good about sharing their birth plan with every attendant that came into the room. 
We had soothing music playing in the background between contractions and the sound of our rhythmic breathing. As the morning progressed, we were able to see the sun come up and Ryan pointed out to Becky that this was a wonderful way for Parker to enter the world. With the help of the midwife and an all-star team of nurses (we were later told they were all best friends and had chosen to work the Labor Day holiday shift together), Becky was able to harness her strength and push baby Parker into this world at 11:59am on Monday, September 2, 2013.