STEPHANIE KARMOKOLAIS: As a first time mom I was very nervous about labor and delivery. I wasn’t sure how my husband would react in the delivery room, if I was able to get the pain medication I wanted, how much support I would have from my doctor and nurses and how strong I would be. Meeting with Carrie before delivery eased so much of my worry. She was the constant I knew I would have in labor and delivery. Her calm demeanor soothes you with just her presence. I knew that Carrie would be calm and present during my delivery despite any of the unknowns that present themselves during delivery. A specific moment that stands out to me was a moment when my baby’s heart rate dropped. The doctor and nurses moved very quickly to flip me over into a different position and put oxygen on me. I was very nervous because they weren’t explaining what was happening and I wasn’t sure if something was wrong. I remember looking over to Carrie who reassured me that it would be okay. I trusted her in that moment and knew I needed to relax. Throughout delivery I needed Carrie’s reassurance that things were ok, and that things were moving along the way they were meant to. Reassuring text messages from Carrie leading up to delivery eased my anxiety. Physical exercises Carrie promoted helped during my pushing and recovery. I loved having someone to remind me that everything would be okay in the weeks and days leading up to delivery. With a long early labor throughout the week before delivery, Carrie even made a home visit at nighttime when I would feel the most anxious. Carrie provides special touches such a scent, sound, physical touch and emotional support to get you through your big day. We loved reading our son’s birth story that Carrie presented to us at our home visit after delivery. Allowing someone into the birthing of your child is an important decision, and we thoroughly enjoyed and valued Carrie as a part of ours. Posted 7/30/2018
JULIE SANKIN: I had the pleasure of hiring Carrie for the birth of my first child. I had the best experience with Carrie as my doula. She met with me prior to my birth. She answered all of my questions via text or email. She checked in on me as it got closer to my due date. When it was time for me to go into the hospital for my induction I contacted her to come be with me the next morning. She arrived with lavender oil, candles and gave me some cute socks with the word I am powerful. She also provided support for my husband who needed to know it was OK for him to get something to eat, or go rest as Carrie was there to keep me company. Carrie provided pressure points when my contractions were strong and had my husband use them as well. She advocated for me to go into the Jacuzzi to help relieve pain. She helped distract me by asking me questions about my life and it helped. She told me I can do this each time I wanted to give up with all the pain of my labor. As it was time to push she kept telling me I can do it and that I am strong. After my son was born she told me what a great job I did and congratulated me on the birth. After I delivered she also provided resources of lactation consultants as I was having a challenging time breastfeeding my son. She checked in on me to see how I was doing being a new Mom. She stated she was available if I had any other questions in the future as a new Mom. I loved having Carrie be present for the birth of my first child. I would highly recommend her for anyone who is searching for a doula to help the with their birth experience. Posted 5/30/2018
JACQUIE SCHRIVER: When I found out I was pregnant, I felt compelled to hire a doula. I mentioned it to my husband who said he would keep it in mind but that it seemed like a luxury. I sort of agreed with him after I thought about it. When I was 30 weeks, we started a birth class. My husband's ideas about child birth began to change with the new education we were receiving. Even for me, it started to feel real. Learning that first time births can be 24 hours or longer, and that many first pregnancies run later than 40 weeks, we talked more about how we would both cope with labor and delivery. I was passionate about having as little intervention as possible and my husband supported that. As a note, my birth plan was flexible even though I wanted to forgo the epidural, and did not want to be induced. During the second to last birth class, my husband said he thought we should hire a doula. He wanted me to have the most support possible, and he wanted to be supported as my primary support person as well. When we met with Carrie for the first time, there was an instant feeling of comfort and ease. She is like a mom, without all the emotions. My mother and I are so close, that she may not have been the best choice for my support during labor (aka we both cry a lot!) Carrie provided education during the first meeting, asked us lots of questions, what we wanted for the birth, and was genuine the whole time. She visited us at home twice more before the birth and made us feel confident and comfortable. Perhaps the best and most surprising part (even though she told us she would do it ), was that she was present during my entire 24 hour hospital labor. She calmed us down when we expressed worry abour the labor. She didn't even leave to eat a meal. She advocated for me to the nurses, and continued her unwavering support. Even before the labor, she texted or called me every other day or as needed. Short story, we would not have been able to do any of it without her ! Posted 3/8/2018
TARA TETT: Carrie was God sent to us. This was my first baby and I wanted my experience to be as calm and focused as possible and Carrie brought this immediately when we met her. I knew we had to hire her after first speaking to her on the phone before our initial meeting. She's so sweet and calm and really took the time to get to know me, my husband and my birth needs. She was always available to answer my questions and sometimes just to calm my nerves as I was terrified of giving birth. During our prenatal visits, she helped prepare us with information and coping tips to help with the pain. She was amazing during my labor and delivery, she never left my side and provided all the necessary support to help me through the pain. I truly couldn't have done it without her. I will definitely be calling Carrie again for my next baby.Posted 2/7/2018
SARAH FOOTE: My husband and I hired Carrie to be our doula for the birth of our baby girl. Initially upon meeting her, I appreciated her calmness and understanding to my needs and wishes. She brought a level of expertise and experience that helped me better understand what to expect throughout the pregnancy and birth. This helped open my mind and helped me get to a place where I was flexible should things not go as planned. She welcomed an open dialog to discuss my feelings and preferences and addressed them with empathy and knowledge. When it was time to go to the hospital, Carrie was by our side, helping me through the entire labor and delivery and making the environment a calming one. Having Carrie as a guide, coach and friend throughout this process made the entire experience a wonderful one. I would highly recommend her services to anyone looking for added support during this special time in their lives.
MOLLY LORENTZ: I don’t think I would have been able to get through my pregnancy, labor and birth without Carrie. This was my first child and her support with my choices was welcomed. I made it through my labor and delivery completely naturally and Carrie was by my side the entire time! Carrie made sure to include my mother and two best friends that were all in the room for my labor and delivery. She helped me get through my contractions and I was so proud of myself that I could do it. Carrie also referred me to somebody for my placenta encapsulation. Her knowledge and experience was such a help and made me more at ease for my first birth. She is an amazing person and an incredible doula! She will always be a part of our family!
JENNA PORCELLI: 3 weeks ago I gave birth to my second child with Carrie by my side- it was a wonderful, magical day- large in part due to her. I did not have a doula with my first child and it was a big regret, because for a significant portion of my labor (overnight) both my husband and I felt very powerless. We didn't know if what we were experiencing was the norm- it was my first time in a hospital and even something as simple as a shift change was kind of a big deal. Some nurses were experienced and compassionate, and then a new nurse would come on that seemed green and couldn't explain things well. It felt a bit like being in a foreign country and only knowing a few words of the language! So we agreed that having an advocate by our side for the second time around would be a good idea. Someone who knew what to expect, who knew me & what I wanted, and who could help bridge the communication gap if history repeated itself. After researching I found Carrie, we all sat down in person to chat, and both my husband and I agreed she was a perfect fit for us. She was a fantastic source of emotional support throughout my very difficult pregnancy, and no matter what came my way she helped keep me calm and focused on the end goal of delivering a healthy baby. When the day finally came, she was checking in while I was laboring at home and gave me the confidence to not rush to the hospital. Then she met us there when the time came to make a move, and the fun began! From that point on, my labor was fast and VERY intense. She knew exactly what I needed emotionally & physically to make it through without medication, which was my ultimate goal. I will be forever grateful to her for holding my hand and helping me through that special day. Any mamas- to-be reading this...you will never regret having a doula and you certainly won't regret choosing someone as special as Carrie!!
JESSICA S: From the moment I first heard Carrie's voice on the phone I knew this is who I wanted by my side for one of my biggest and scariest experiences in my life. I say scariest because my plan was to have a drug free natural birth, no easy task. I was looking for someone to help soothe, calm and motivate me through my birthing experience. I browsed through the website and read the bios of a few doulas, mainly those with a lot of experience. Some had plenty of births & years of experience, perhaps a bit more than Carrie, but something told me she was the one, call it intuition perhaps. Although I was a bit nervous to call her or unsure of the right questions to ask, she made me feel at ease immediately. I knew right away she'd be the perfect doula for me. We met a few times before giving birth, I had a lot of random/weird questions during my pregnancy and she was so helpful and reassuring throughout the whole process. She checked in with me periodically, which made me feel very comfortable and close to her. When it came down to delivery day she came to the hospital as soon as I let her know my labor started. She helped me with breathing exercises, different positions to help ease contractions, massaging different pressure points and good conversation to keep me distracted between contractions. She was a perfect liaison between myself and nurses. She helped me say the things I couldn’t say and do things I would have never thought to do to help me through labor. I was able to give birth with no drugs/pain meds/epidural. She was very reassuring, comforting and reminded me of what I was capable of doing, for that I am eternally grateful. If you're looking for someone knowledgeable, comforting to help bring peace to your birthing experience, contact Carrie. By far the best decision I could have made.
CHRISTINE MCCARRON: Although my husband and I were aware of doulas, we originally were not going to go with one. However, after meeting Carrie at one of our childbirth classes, we couldn't imagine delivery without her by our side and honestly couldn't have done it without her. She was so caring, attentive and sweet throughout the whole process. From texting and giving advice while I decided to labor at home for a while, to being at the hospital and providing both physical comfort and emotional support and reassurance to not only me but my husband as well, she was there with us every step of the way. Considering this was our first child, we were not sure what we were in for and it was so nice to have someone there that had been through it all before, especially Carrie. She even wrote our sweet little boy a story about his birth and gave it to us when she met with us after we were home from the hospital. I'm really happy that we decided to have Carrie as such a huge part in our birth story and you can bet that I will be reaching out to her again if we decide to have another one.
CEN ZHAO: Carrie helped me delivered my daughter in Dec 2014 and my son in Jan 2017. She has been a huge help to my family through these two births. I had to deliver my daughter through scheduled induction and she was able to help me go through the whole night by encouraging me at the right time, massaging when contraction came, making sure my body was warm. It was about 12 hours and we couldn’t make through without her.
Since we had such a good experience with her. We decided to have her as my doula again for my son’s birth. This time I started around midnight and forgot to bring enough supplies to the hospital. She was considerable enough to bring me the thick socks, blankets and even candles! With her help, my birth became more smooth and I was able to deliver in 6 hrs. It was such a good experience with her.
Carrie is a very considerate doula. While Carrie made suggestions, she didn't push her own point of view. She was "all about me," and very respectful of my opinion and views. Also, Carrie is wonderful in communicating with my husband. My husband enjoyed talking to her and was comfortable asking her questions and seeking her advice.
Carrie loves babies, and cares about your feelings. You should consider her as your doula and you may end up with a friend with her.
KRISTINA K: When my husband and I first met Carrie, we felt an instant connection with her. She was so calming, friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable – talking with her was like talking with a close friend. I was hoping to try for an unmedicated, natural birth and we knew Carrie would be perfect for us.
On baby’s birth day, Carrie arrived at the hospital shortly after we did and immediately went to work to create a peaceful, relaxing environment in our delivery room. Carrie was wonderful with guiding my husband on how to coach me through my contractions but once they increased in frequency and intensity, he felt it would be best for her to continue with coaching. Carrie remained by my side, coaching me through every contraction, rubbing my back and arms, keeping me focused on staying calm, while also keeping my husband involved in the process.
After 20 hours of labor, I ended up needing a C-section. I was so grateful that Carrie waited for and stayed with me in post-op as my husband had gone with our little guy to the nursery. It was wonderful having her there for emotional support and reassurance. She stayed in contact with me in the weeks following my son’s birth, checking in to see how everything was going and how I was doing. When I think about my birthing experience, I’m certain that I could not have gotten as far as I did in the laboring process without Carrie’s help. My family and I feel so blessed to have met Carrie and would recommend her to everyone. She truly is an amazing doula!
JULIA R: I knew I wanted to have a doula for my first childbirth because I did not want a cesarean if at all possible. I had hired another doula early in my pregnancy but when I was about 32 weeks pregnant she informed me that for health reasons she had to stop working and could not attend my delivery. I was panicked and immediately reached out to several doulas in the area. I met with Carrie a few days later and she immediately set my mind at ease. She is very organized and comes prepared with lots of information. My husband got into our car after our meeting and decided she was the doula for us! A week later I found out that I was measuring very large and they wanted me to have a growth scan, they were concerned I would have a very large baby and need a cesarean. At our next meeting Carrie again eased my mind letting me know I could even deliver a big baby and if a cesarean would be necessary she would make sure it was as positive and relaxing as possible for me. Luckily, I didn't need the cesarean.
When I went in labor, Carrie was on call and came to the hospital at 3:30 am when I was admitted, she did not sleep until I delivered at 10:24pm the next day. She was there for me, putting me in different positions, giving me light massage and setting a relaxing mood. When I decided to get an epidural she let me know that it was the right decision for me and not to feel guilty. She kept my husband and family relaxed as well. When I was pushing for the last hour she was by my side and stayed with us until after Max was born and breastfeeding. A few days later, in a baby blues fit I called her in tears and she came right over to hold the baby while we my husband and I ate dinner together and once again, put us at ease. Carrie was such an asset through my journey and I can honestly say she isn't just a doula, she is a friend. I highly recommend Carrie to first time moms or veteran moms!
KRISTIN F: I am a single mother and I was extremely anxious about the labor process. My mom and I met Carrie in early April, about 2 months before my due date. We were both immediately impressed with her knowledge of labor, and felt so at ease talking with her. She provided me with resources (books) that I could read to prepare for labor. She also suggested apps and videos on YouTube that I could watch. Carrie has a heart of gold and I could not help but feel more calm about labor and delivery after speaking briefly with her. (I met with her 3x before I went into labor). When Carrie arrived to the hospital when I went into labor, she immediately took charge. She made me feel like I was in good hands. I trusted her to comfort me through the process, and she did just that. She stayed with me throughout the entire labor, and my unplanned c-section. She left after 1:30AM, and made sure she met my son. It was so wonderful to have her help and support throughout this whole process. I am so grateful to have connected with her!
LINDSEY V: I could talk for days about how grateful we are for Carrie. She is AWESOME! What started as a client/doula relationship very quickly turned into a friendship, and from our conversations it doesn't seem uncommon for that to happen with Carrie. This was our first experience with a doula and although we were hesitant at first due to the cost, we couldn't have made a better choice. Carrie is worth every penny. I had a long labor that lasted all night and she was there every second as though she was immune to fatigue. Whether it was offering encouragement, giving massages, or showing different techniques to aid in relaxation, she was super supportive the entire time. I doubt whether or not I could have had a VBAC without her. If you're reading this, congratulations on your pregnancy and look no further...you found your doula.
ELIZABETH S: My husband and I are very happy that we invited Carrie to be a part of the birth of our daughter. We became aware of the doula role through pregnancy books and participating in a labor class. We were researching doulas when we encountered some complications with the pregnancy and became distracted with doctor’s appointments and rushed preparations for arrival of the baby.
Enter Carrie, who was willing to help us out even though it was possible an induction could be only days away. Thankfully on-going monitoring of the baby indicated the baby was healthy and the pregnancy continued for another three weeks. During this period of monitoring, Carrie was a supportive presence who followed up after my scheduled appointments and offered a reassuring voice. She loaned us a number of books that we found informative. We met several times, where we discussed our wishes and concerns for labor and practiced labor pain coping techniques. Overall we felt more prepared after our meetings with her and relaxed knowing she would be present with us to help guide us if we became overwhelmed.
When birth day arrived, Carrie had the effect we were counting on – supportive, calming and knowing. I could tell Carrie how I was feeling and she was able to suggest a position that would meet my needs at the time. As I began to experience the emotional and physical effects of the induction hormones, she provided reassurances to both my husband and myself that these were normal side-effects. Her presence also relieved my sleep-deficient husband from being my sole source of comfort and support. We are truly grateful to Carrie for helping us experience the type of delivery we had envisioned – a calm delivery without pain medication. We were glad to have Carrie share with us the welcome of our beautiful daughter into the world. Carrie is our little girl’s first friend, and as such, continues to check in with us after the birth.
LINDSAY B-A: From the very first meeting, my husband and I knew Carrie would be the perfect doula for our first child. We met with some other doulas, but Carrie wowed us with her professionalism, knowledge, and inherently caring manner. In the weeks before our little girl was born, Carrie was in touch frequently to check in on us and offer advice or resources when we were stumped. I hoped to have an unmedicated birth, but ended up having an epidural just in case the doctors needed to perform an emergency c section. Carrie was a great person to have in the delivery room as she thought to ask all the questions my husband and I were too overwhelmed to remember. I had some complications after our daughter was born and Carrie didn't leave my side, continuing to offer encouragement and support. Just as she was always available before our daughter was born, she remained in touch afterward and talked me through a new mom freak out the second day my daughter was home ("I'm so overwhelmed! Why won't she stop crying?", etc.) I'll always remember Carrie's calm and reassuring words during that call and in the weeks since my daughter's birth. My husband and I would highly recommend Carrie to any family lucky enough to work with her!
NICOLE B: We are so grateful to have had Carrie as our doula for the birth of our first child! At our first meeting, she was very prepared in terms of explaining her role and providing reading materials, videos, things to ponder, and suggested exercises prior to our birth. Ours was Carrie’s first home birth, which she was very open to and excited about being part of. When the time arrived, my husband called Carrie and our midwives around midnight. I remember how comforted I was by Carrie’s warm presence suddenly lightening the dark night. My labor was long and slow, which got frustrating as I became increasingly tired. They say the number one reason why first-time moms transfer to the hospital/ask for medication despite wanting a natural birth is just becoming too tired. I can totally relate to that: I know that if I had not had the full support of Carrie and our midwives, I would not have had the birth that I wanted. Carrie showed amazing endurance, staying with me while my husband caught a few much-needed hours of sleep: I think she herself only had a half-hour of sleep in almost 24 hours of labor! She was calm, reassuring, intuitive, and very responsive to what I needed at any moment. For example, my husband and I had practiced different methods of counter-pressure, but during my actual contractions, I didn’t want any of the massaging we had practiced much to my surprise. Carrie was able to fine-tune her touch to provide just the right combination of sensation and relief. I also remember her gentle touch clipping the hair off my face, holding the straw for me to sip water, and sponging my face - as well as her professional expertise and literal physical support. My most enduring feeling about her presence at our birth is that I felt so cared for, nurtured and mothered – which made the physical and emotional process of becoming a mother myself so much more special and full of comfort and confidence.
MEGAN I: Even before I went into labor, I knew that I was in good hands with Carrie. Initially, I was SURE I only wanted my husband and doctors present for the labor and delivery. However, like many first time moms, by my third trimester I was more nervous than I would have liked to admit. That is when I turned to Carrie, who was, and remained a calming voice of reason and support throughout the remainder of my pregnancy.
Honestly, I was hesitant to contact Carrie as I thought I wouldn't need the services of a doula – but having her by my side in the delivery room was the best decision I could’ve made. She gave my husband and I such peace of mind, that we were able to focus our attention on each other throughout a very long and difficult labor. Through thick and thin, Carrie was there. She comforted me during my epidurals, gently talked me through hours of constant contractions, made inquiries of the medical staff on my behalf, offered encouragement and guidance to my husband – Carrie did everything in her power to keep me relaxed and focused on the task at hand.
People are not kidding when they say that labor is work, I was completely exhausted emotionally, mentally and physically long before my son came into the world. Nothing can truly prepare you for what you experience during the labor process, which is why I am so grateful for Carrie. In addition to her doula training, she brings with her the calm and patience that likely stems from her experience as a mother and grandmother. It was a wonderful gift to have someone who talked me through what I was feeling as if I were her own daughter.
If you are looking for a doula who is efficient, personable, and caring, you have found that in Carrie. She is a wonderful support person, and her presence in my labor experience was invaluable. I cannot recommend her more highly for your doula needs!