2020 Daddy Doula Didier. Story told by Catherine

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Nominee for Daddy Doula Award 2020

My partner, Didier

Why do you feel this Daddy Doula deserves the award?

Didier has just been the most amazing partner through this whole WILD journey of pregnancy and motherhood. He is so emotionally honest with me and always unwavering support. He was so active in the whole lead up to the birth and the birth its self with midwives commenting “what a supportive partner, he’s amazing” and he was. Didier also gave responded with “we did She Births® and it really helped me to know what to do!!!” He fully emerged himself into all the content and it showed on the day. I never had to ask or tell him what to do, he just knew which was so helpful, he never left my side (only yo use the toilet). I really don’t think I would have had such an amazing experience, had he not been by my side and helped me along this whole journey. It’s brought us way closer together and created an even stronger bond which I’ll be forever grateful for. He really is the best daddy doula, I hope that every birthing woman could have a partner as attentive as Didier x

Here is our story

I was planning to have a natural birth and it was really hard to learn in my 41 weeks of pregnancy that this might not be the journey for me… I was told after my waters broke I had 48 hours to go into labour and then I would have to be induced (which was one of my biggest fears) The last week of pregnancy was really stressful and Didier supported me fully, he held space for me and kept me in a calm environment so I could make conscious decisions about what we should do. He supported me fully when I pushed back against the hospital and as long as our baby was safe we would try everything to get the labour started naturally.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me so I was induced, Didier held my hand the whole way, as I went into the labour, strapped to monitors he wheeled them around as I lunged, squatted and the main tool was chanting LAM to open up my cervix, Didier and Jackie chanted with me using a singing bowl and we went for 7.5 hours as I reached the point of exhaustion (having not slept the night before with anxiety due to my fear of being induced) I decided to take some pain relief and have an epidural, it was an informed choice I knew the risks but also wanted to birth my baby vaginally and knowing I was 6cm dilated I had 2-4 hours to go, I needed a break some rest before I would birth. I 100% made the right choice. Then 2 hours later I was told I had a cervix lip and until this moved out of the way I was not able to birth I also knew that if it didn’t move they were wanting me to have a c-section. I knew for me at this point I had to be active, so again against what the medical team wanted me to do I flipped onto my front (all fours) and started the Chant LAM with Didier and Jackie right with me… 30 mins later my baby was born 🙂 It felt so empowering to know that I was pushing her out, although there was no pain I could feel the contractions coming on so I was able to work with them to push her out……….it was amazing, she was brought straight to me and she crawled to my left breast just like I had always visualised – it was incredible!!!

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:

Wonderful, exhausting & beautiful

How did you prepare for birth?

Pre-natal yoga throughout, also did my prenatal yoga training with bliss baby yoga. We covered all the She Birth® content, practising together and also doing daily visualisations. I also followed the Dr Gowthri diet which aligns with She Births®. I had a support team of therapists: reflexology, osteopath, acupuncturist, remedial pre-natal massage, Reiki – having 1-2 treatments per week.

How did you bring your baby into the world?

We had a vaginal birth but I was induced as we were 42 weeks and my waters had broken.

Who supported you throughout the birth?

Didier Sibellas and my Doula Jackie Barker.

What was the most challenging part of the birth?

Knowing I was going to be induced and riding through the intense surges.

What most helped you through the birth experience?

My breathing techniques and being active on the fitness ball and in the shower but also Didier using the hip squeezing techniques throughout the labour.

Was there anything that surprised you on the day?

Yes how much the gas and air really helped me too, kept me aligned with my breath, also how to relax.

Anything else you would like to tell us about your experience?

Induction was my biggest fear because it meant losing control, I’m not someone that even takes a painkiller… I’m always looking for an alternative to the medical world but also appreciating there is a place for it too. However, I didn’t lose control I was completely present and all my decisions came from the knowledge I acquired during my pregnancy. I wanted a fully natural birth but I could not control that and that is my learning, we can either run from our fears or step into them and rise – the day I birthed my daughter Callie Sibellas-Cairns I definitely rose and will be forever grateful for my journey