What Previous Clients Have to Say...
"Cara was with me for the birth of both of my kids, and she played such an important, invaluable role for each. She helped me through labor with different positions, reminding me to breathe (which I was forgetting to do!), and keeping me focused on the fact that each contraction has a purpose. When it came time for delivery, she worked so well with the doctors and staff, and I credit her for my labor and delivery going so well both times. Cara is such a calming influence and an attentive listener, and she plays that tough role of assisting and being supportive without overstepping. My husband and I often say that hiring Cara was the best decision we made when it came to labor. I cannot recommend Cara enough as a doula!" ~ Katie and Darren
"Cara was our doula for the recent birth of our child. We had to have an induced delivery, which spanned two days and involved various tough decisions in how to proceed. Cara's knowledge and experience were extremely helpful in making sound decisions during the process. Her pro-active assistance and guidance during labor were important factors in enabling us to ultimately have a natural birth without painkillers. Cara worked closely with us and the hospital staff during the birth, made very helpful suggestions during the labor process and was an excellent source of support, including for my husband. I was also impressed by her quick and informative responses to my various questions during pregnancy." ~ Georgetown Couple
"Cara has been present for the birth of all three of my children. Cara is the reason I was able to have three successful, all natural, unmedicated childbirths. Cara has a gift; a calming and supportive presence that I find crucial to a peaceful birthing experience. My husband also felt an enormous amount of peace of mind knowing Cara was there for our family every step of the way. Her presence really took the pressure off of my husband and allowed him the ability to enjoy the birth of his children instead of worrying about me. No matter what type of birthing experience you prefer, I know Cara will be there to guide and nurture you every step of the way. I couldn't imagine giving birth without Cara by my side and will be forever grateful for the positive impact she's had on my family's life." ~ The Lewis Family
"We were so happy to have Cara as our doula and recommend her without reservation! Cara is a calm, thoughtful, and caring person who ensured that we had a positive birth experience. In choosing a doula, two things were particularly important to us: first, that we find someone whose personality complemented ours and who would work well with us and, second, someone who knew our doctor/hospital and would work well with the team there. With her relaxed and positive demeanor, and her great working relationship with the doctors and nurses at the hospital, Cara was a perfect fit.
Before our baby was due, Cara called and emailed to check in, shared her delicious red raspberry leaf tea and several books from her lending library, and met with us to go over various birth scenarios. With Cara's guidance, we felt knowledgeable and ready for labor and delivery.
When my due date came and went with no baby in sight, Cara kept us calm and suggested options to help get labor going. When labor finally started, it progressed quickly but as first-time parents we weren't sure exactly how fast things were going. We called Cara in the middle of the night and she talked me through several contractions, then suggested that we head to the hospital. But when we called our doctor, he expressed doubt that we were ready to head to the hospital. We listened to Cara and are so glad we did, because she was right! When we arrived at the hospital I was almost fully dilated and ready for transition. We are grateful that Cara correctly determined where we were in the labor process and told us what we needed to do.
Cara met us at the hospital and quickly established a calm, comfortable, and relaxed environment in which to labor. She shared our birth plan with the nurses and ensured that we had a nurse who supported an unmedicated birth. It turned out that the nurse who was assigned to us was friends with Cara from previous deliveries there, so they were in sync as things progressed. Cara suggested various labor positions, used essential oils, and helped my husband find ways to really support me. When it was time to push, Cara helped me to channel my energy and visualize my baby's progress in a way that helped me to feel in control and have a peaceful and joyous delivery. After our baby was born, Cara helped me with breastfeeding and stayed to ensure that we were in good shape. And the day after we came home from the hospital, Cara came over to check on us and shared photos from the birth that she had discreetly taken, which we will cherish forever.
As first-time parents, we didn't know what to expect from the labor and delivery process, and having Cara's guidance and help made it an experience we will treasure. We can't thank her enough and hope to work with her again in the future!"
-Lynn & Noah
"Cara is a wonderful doula! I can't imagine a more lovely, experienced and knowledgeable person to accompany a couple through pregnancy and childbirth. She offers a range of resources, from meditations to her lending library to her delicious red raspberry tea and homeopathic remedies and her childbirth class made us feel empowered and reassured. She's calming, intuitive and a very good listener. I really appreciated her periodic emails to check-in and see how we were feeling and felt totally supported in the months leading up to our daughter's birth. In the delivery room, she was fantastic. I had a very quick progression of labor so she met us at the hospital (GWU). As soon as I saw her, I felt more relaxed and she quickly started creating a calm and comfortable (to the extent possible) atmosphere in the delivery room. Because she was so grounded and relaxed, I was able to relax and remember that childbirth is a completely natural process that my body would know exactly what to do. She gave my husband a cold cloth infused with lavender oil to wipe my forehead, suggested different labor positions, and generally made sure that I continued to feel strong, empowered and relaxed. Her presence, ease of communication with the midwife and nurses, and knowing when to make suggestions and when to listen to me, was exactly right. After our daughter was born, she stayed to make sure breastfeeding went smoothly and told us she'd be in touch to plan a postpartum visit. She came to see us a couple of weeks after the delivery and brought what has become our staple goodnight book, The Night You Were Born. It was such a gift to have Cara guide us through the birth of our first baby. I can't thank her enough." Tanya and Adam
"This was my second birth and I wasn't going to get a doula - "what for?" I thought. I had been through this before and knew how things went. It wasn't until a colleague of mine had a very long birth and reminded me how intense things could get that I decided - I need a doula this time. That colleague recommended Cara (who was her doula) and when I met Cara, I immediately got the feeling that she would be the right person for my birth. Thank you, Cara, for the best experience in my live - the natural birth!
The first advice you gave me, during our first interview, was to move to GW midwives. And that was the best advice ever. I truly believe that my amazing 4.5 hours labor was only possible because of the midwives and you. You helped me with the tonic tea that I have been drinking more towards the end and that most likely helped me prepare (through Braxton Hicks and mock labor). You talked to me about exercises and poses. The two books I borrowed from you became my bibles – the Active Labor especially. I kept imagining my labor being fast and furious – and it was fast and furious. When you arrived to the hospital, I was so happy to see you – by then I was slightly scared of the intensity of it all, and wasn’t sure how to proceed with pushing. You immediately helped me with the breathing – I was coached to pant which wasn’t helping much. You told me to exhale slowly and lightly – and that immediately worked. You coached me through various pushing poses which I am so happy about – I wanted to try different positions, I hated pushing on my back during the first birth. And the most important element – you reassured me during our pre-labor classes that vocalization is not only ok, but pretty important. I cannot thank you enough.
The experience was exactly what I envision, and having you by my side was oh so helpful and reassuring that I could do it. And I did it!" ~ Galina
"My experience with Cara was simply superb. I would recommend her to anyone. Cara offered excellent preparatory materials and consultations, including a visit to our house. As a direct result, we felt going into the delivery as if we knew and understood our preferences, rights and had a plan that made sense and felt good for us. She checked on me often, offering support and tips, such as a great acupuncturist who helped induce labor naturally 5 days after my due date. When my contractions started, I felt strongly that I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, and Cara was on the phone with me and my husband, gauging my progress and giving us helpful ideas of how to proceed. She was in the car on the phone with us when my labor activated quickly, and we agreed to meet at the hospital rather than at home.
Once at the hospital, Cara was a godsend. She was a calming influence, arriving with essential oils and putting me at ease. She knew our preferences for a natural birth and when the hospital staff started to hook up an IV, she reminded my somewhat flustered husband our decision to try just the entry point hook-up instead. Knowing that I had been laboring at home mainly in a forward facing position on the birthing ball, she suggested that I continue in that position - but on the bed - in the hospital. It was just right -- and I progressed from 4cm to 8cm dilation in under 30 minutes. Cara than cheered me on helpfully alongside my husband and the doctor, and based on her education, advice and guidance I ended up giving birth for the first time under 2 hours after hospital arrival. Ideal. Cara maintained helpful follow-up contact in the week or so following the birth, checking on baby and my well-being on all fronts. She offered great emotional support as well as expert tips on breastfeeding and sleeping especially. I offer my highest recommendation for Cara's doula services.
Caroline & Jason
"Cara provided support and assistance to us through what proved to be an epic labor (several days long, including 21 hours in the hospital) and helped us tremendously with talking through issues, helping us and hospital staff keep to and respect our birth plan and to know when to depart from it, and providing calm insight and assistance in the week or so after birth when things were quite hectic and problematic for us with recovery and baby health issues. She felt more like a good family friend than a hired assistant, and was fantastic: we would not hesitate to recommend her and would definitely hire her assistance for any future births we might have." Jesse & Reghina
"Cara was an integral part of having the natural and positive birth experience we hoped for. She was patient and encouraging during our lengthy labor, especially in early labor and transition when progress stalled for several hours. She worked closely with our midwife, suggesting different positions and relief techniques to keep labor moving and keep me encouraged. We were very grateful for her knowledge of a side lying technique that finally got me fully dilated and ready to push. Throughout the labor, she worked well with my husband, allowing him to be my primary support, but providing helpful suggestions and explanations when we had questions. Cara was always quick to respond to our questions, both during the pregnancy and after birth.
Despite having taken another birth class, I found the session we had with her prior to our birth to be very helpful in giving me a more personalized vision for my labor and birth. Her prior experience working with our midwives was very helpful in preparing me and giving me confidence in the choices we made for the birth.
I especially appreciated her calm and confident presence during those times in labor when it would have been easy to get discouraged. Cara was very professional and worked well with our midwife and hospital staff. She was open minded and supportive of our choices for the birth, providing information and her opinion when asked, never pressuring for one choice over another. Finally, the photos and notes she took during labor were especially helpful in giving me a more complete memory of the experience. We would love to have Cara's support at our next birth!"
"I'll never have a baby without her! Cara was the calm and guiding presence that I needed when labor was tough. After a long early labor, Cara arrived at my home like a breath of fresh air. She was so calm and encouraging as I rode through each labor wave, and she helped my husband find the best ways to support me throughout. Even though I spent less than 6 hours with her beforehand (with only a first meeting and one class) she felt like such a familiar and needed part of my labor experience. To top off all of the wonderful support she provided during my labor, she took the most incredible pictures of my husband and I working together to bring our daughter into the world. I will treasure those photos, and my entire labor experience, because of Cara. I can't say enough about her - truly!" ~ Jessica
"With the birth of my daughter I had a lot of medical interventions I didn't want for the birth of my son (epidural and pitocin). Knowing my tendency to get stuck in an unhealthy pattern of thought that would ultimately lead to another epidural ("I can't do it", "I'm too tired") I knew I needed a doula that was not only kind and knowledgeable and, but strong and firm enough to get me to "snap out of it". When my son was overdue I began to question if my body even knew how to labor naturally...I expressed these fears to Cara and she immediately reassured me of my body's strength. She remained in constant contact....texting her with any little update without feeling like a nuisance. Finally it was time.
Cara arrived at the hospital shortly after us and immediately attended to me. She recognized my pattern of coping with contractions and made the perfect suggestions on what to do ("try leaning on the ball", "would you like me to rub your back with essential oils?", etc). Most importantly, she coached my husband through it all and allowed him to also be an integral part in managing my pain....without her, he probably would have said the wrong things at all the wrong times! While I was monitored for what seemed like forever, Cara began running the shower for what would be my final hour of labor. It was the most peaceful setting...warm, lights dimmed and candles filled the bathroom. After realizing I was in transition, I couldn't have asked for a more peaceful setting to do it in. She recognized signs that my body was ready to push and told me to trust it.
Shortly thereafter I was ready to deliver my boy. The strongest memory I have is repeatedly saying "I can't do this". Cara reassured me that I was strong and so was my body. If it werent for her educating me on the signs of transition, I would have given up in the shower. Cara is amazing, an inspiration, and I couldn't imagine my birth without her." ~Sara
"We could not recommend Cara more highly as a doula. We’re very happy we overcame our initial doubts about the benefit of having a doula because we think she played a critical role in helping us have the natural birth experience we'd hoped for. First, we drew on her experience and training in natural/alternative medicine in the week before our baby was born when we were trying to avoid medical induction with Cervidil and Pitocin. She recommended a wonderful acupuncturist (Suzanne Lohr), who I saw three times for natural induction; she recommended various herbs and homeopathic remedies; and she checked in with me everyday that week to see how I was progressing, make additional recommendations, and to warn me to stay clear of a couple of other common natural induction methods because of their side effects. Given that our baby was born on the day of the induction date, we doubt we'd have been able to avoid medical induction without all the natural alternatives she recommended. Second, she was terrific during labor. I did most of my laboring at home with my husband, but during that time we were on the phone with Cara regularly. She offered advice to help labor progress and to ease the pain, while giving my husband and me the space to go through this alone in the comfort of our home, instead of rushing to the hospital early. By the time we got to the hospital (at 3.00 a.m. in the morning), I was 9 cm dilated, so almost at the transition/pushing stage. The latter is usually the shortest stage, lasting a couple hours, but because the baby had not descended enough it ended up taking over seven hours for us. During this time, Cara took the lead in devising creative ways for her and the nurse to help me to push and to help the baby descend. They came up with squats, lunges, tug of wars, just to name a few… At the same time, Cara was offering cold compresses, hot compresses, aromatherapy, etc, to help me physically endure labor. This allowed my husband to concentrate on being my emotional and mental support. The nurse told me she’d never seen a patient be allowed to push for as long as I had, but Cara never showed any signs of fatigue or impatience. She remained creative, calming, wise and caring – forming a perfect team with my husband, the nurse, and the doctor. Then all of a sudden, I had a beautiful boy on my chest and was experiencing the happiest time of my life. As if all this wasn’t enough, Cara had been discretely taking photos of the labor and the birth, and a week after it happened, she gave us a short movie clip that forever captured the experience and has allowed us and our family to relive and rejoice in it over and over. Finally, Cara was also helpful with the post-labor discomforts and gave great tips on breastfeeding. It’s difficult to explain in a few paragraphs just how valuable Cara was to us, but we’d be happy to talk about it more to anyone with any questions about it".
Tafi & David, Washington DC
"I absolutely loved working with Cara. I interviewed a number of doulas and immediately knew that I wanted to work with Cara, based on her experience (in general and with VBACs, the latter of which I was hoping for), knowledge, and wonderfully relaxed demeanor (which I knew I’d want/need for the delivery). She came over for a nice home visit with my husband and me, after which we felt very confident about choosing to work with her and the upcoming birth. After going into labor around 9:30pm, I called Cara and she helped mentally and emotionally prepare me for what was going to be a long night ahead. Her advice to try and sleep through the contractions was super useful (it kept me focused on remaining as calm and as peaceful as possible, making the contractions more bearable), and she was equally helpful in assessing where I was and providing support when I called her a couple of times in the middle of the night. Most importantly, she gave me the confidence to stay at home as long as possible before calling my OB and heading to the hospital. When I got to the hospital I was 8cm and Cara met us there shortly thereafter. She was *amazing* during the labor. While I thought I was going to arrive and just push the baby out, the labor turned out to be more complicated than expected, most likely due to the shape of my pelvis, and Cara helped me into many different positions to help turn the baby and help him descend (contrary to the OB’s preference that I stay on the bed, which was extra painful and not good for the baby’s heart rate). I also had excruciating back labor and Cara was incredible at massaging me (with her arnica oil) right where I needed it. I don’t think I would have been able to get to where I got, medication-free, without Cara’s incredible knowledge and assistance. At the very end (after 13 hours), I ended up with a vacuum intervention to get the baby out (the shape of my pelvis apparently isn’t birth-friendly), but Cara was able to help me get the baby down far enough with all of her suggestions for position and movement, that I was able to avoid another c-section and have a VBAC. I truly believe that without her I would have ended up with a c-section. She stayed for a while after the birth to support me and my husband, to help digest all that happened during the labor and delivery, which I so appreciated. She came to our home a couple of weeks later for a post-partum visit, and processing what ended up a rather complicated birth with her was super helpful, both mentally and emotionally. I would whole-heartedly recommend her to anyone, including anyone seeking a VBAC!" ~ Sarah
"Cara is amazing. She assisted us with the birth of our first child in March 2013. At each step, Cara was an incredibly helpful part our birth process from supporting my husband and I as we waded through our expectations of the birth in the weeks prior to my due date, to helping us make key decisions such as when to go to the hospital after my water broke without progressing contractions, and providing a caring and supportive presence once we were at the hospital as I went through a Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. She also helped me to establish breastfeeding in the first couple of hours after my daughter was born and her follow-up visit several days later provided emotional support in the initial difficult period of breastfeeding. I feel fortunate to have had a positive birthing experience and I couldn't have done it without Cara." ~ Liz
"Cara assisted in my labor in July 2012, and my husband and I would wholeheartedly recommend her services. As this was our first birth, we were first and foremost looking for someone who had experience and could guide us both through the process. Second, we weren't sure what to expect and wanted someone who seemed flexible and could offer recommendations before and during labor without being dogmatic about any one approach. In both cases, Cara was perfect. Cara provided us with a very informative session in advance, which covered many topics never discussed in the childbirth class we’d taken. When I went into labor, Cara was great throughout at coming up with new ideas to speed things up and to make me more comfortable. More importantly, she was a steady hand at various points when we weren't sure what might happen in the next few hours.
I really appreciated Cara’s confidence in my own sense of what worked best for me during labor, as well as her suggestions at pivotal moments that really helped us along the way. My marathon 38-hour natural childbirth went amazingly well (might have gone quicker if I’d followed some of her suggestions sooner, but so it goes), and I honestly never found myself wanting or even frankly thinking about pain medications—with Cara’s calm assistance I never felt like I needed them. In addition to all of this, Cara was great with communications—both with us and with the hospital staff and midwives. We contacted her by phone when my contractions began late the first evening, and she was always very quick to respond with guidance and reassurance throughout that night and most of the next day, until my contractions were finally strong enough for Cara to come in person. When it was time to head to the hospital, Cara integrated seamlessly with the hospital staff and the midwives. We never had the feeling of there being too many “cooks in the kitchen,” and Cara’s calm demeanor was exactly what we needed. We frankly wasn't sure if we would need Cara to come back to DC for the post-delivery visit, but it turned out that Cara's suggestions at that visit, when we were about at our wits’ end trying to figure out breastfeeding, were among the most useful we received throughout the entire pregnancy and post delivery period. She was a life-saver in that regard. In all, we truly feel lucky that Cara was able to be with us at such an important time in our lives, and we will always be grateful to her for helping us bring our baby into the world." ~ Anne & Kevin
"Our experience with Cara was fantastic.* *Cara is knowledgeable about the process without using her own opinion against any of your decisions: she helped us understand more about the delivery, what will happen there, what should we prepare or read, why thinking ahead about our birth plan, ... She helped us avoid to have an unwanted emergency C-section and was able to guide me through the contractions by giving me more comfortable positions, breathing guidance and just lots of moral encouragements. She also helped my husband by giving him advices on what he could do to make me feel most comfortable. She allowed me to feel somewhat in control of what was happening: Cara is calm, always positive and reinsuring which is greatly important in labor. Cara stayed about 2hrs after birth and thanks to her, I was able to get my son to latch on before he fell asleep. That was certainly a great start for breastfeeding." ~ Armelle and Royston, October
"When you look for a doula you're hoping for the best birth experience possible, but I want to tell you about the flip side. Our world took an unexpected turn minutes after our son was born, and he ended up needing major interventions. Cara was the one who identified he was having trouble, and she stayed by our side during a traumatic and terrifying time. He ultimately spent two weeks in intensive care -- Cara checked in with us several times while he was in the hospital, then met us once we finally brought him home and helped us immensely.I believe that by identifying a problem from her experience as a doula, Cara helped save our child from further harm -- and may have saved his life. I pray you will never know how amazing and rock-solid she is in a crisis! Just know that she will be there for you if you run into trouble. We will always be so grateful and have a very special place for her in our hearts." ~ Anonymous
"Cara was amazing! This was our first pregnancy and I told my husband right off the bat that I wanted a doula (and that he would too). We met with Cara over coffee and felt at ease with her instantly. She was patient and helpful with all of our questions and concerns about the birth and what to expect, she helped us with our birth plan as well. Thank God because I didn't know half of what I should have! All the while she reminded me that that's what she's here for. I had insisted that I absolutely did not want an epidural. Absolutely not. I labored at home for most of the day and she helped me through all of it so calmly; neither my husband nor I knew how to handle labor once it actually arrived.
She kept us calm and in control. I got to a point though where I felt I wanted to change my mind- I wanted the epidural. She gently reminded me of my birth plan and of how adamant I was and why. She helped me push through the labor longer and when I finally "caved" (my words, not hers) she did not judge me or tell me no. She was supportive and flexible with the choices I made during the labor. When some issues arose with the hospital staff allowing me any pain relief while waiting hours for an epidural she spoke up on my behalf and was able to get them to allow me some relief with a hot shower- she truly stuck up for me, the staff would have had me just "deal with it". We were so grateful to have had Cara guide us through the most stressful, and ultimately joyful days of our lives. I can't imagine how we would have done it without her. " ~ Corinne
"Having Cara as our doula was an invaluable experience for my husband and I . I had made the decision to have a home birth early on but was constantly doubting myself. Being a first time Mom I had many questions and fears but Cara was constantly there as a peaceful and knowledgable support for me through out my last few months of pregnancy to answer my burning questions and be my cheerleader. Talking to Cara and having her by my side made all the difference in this deeply fullfilling experience. I often "joke" to my husband that if Cara hadn;t been there I would have made him take me to the hospital! My labor started during the evening and I was too uncomfortable to actually lay down and sleep so I called Cara-- although she was just finishing up supporting another birth, she came right over to my house -- around 3 am no less! -- and immediately rounded up all the pillows in the house-- told my husband to get some rest in our other bedroom- -which he was beyond happy about! -- and made me a cloud of pillows to rest on-- she massaged me and gave me an herb to help relax-- I was able to lay down and rest which I hadn't been able to do for most of the day. Cara was by my side for the next 24 hours as my labor slowly progressed. She was my coach in suggesting which positions to get into to help the labor move along, bringing me drinks and food, encouraging me and massaging me -- but so much more than all of that was her calming and peaceful presence. Talking to others about our birthing experience we always say that Cara was an absolute essential part in the birth of our baby girl. Cara has a very special way about her that is very empowering to those she assists-- I felt she effortlessly enabled me to be my strongest self and maintain my focus throughout the labor, making the home birth experience a very successful, peaceful and pleasurable one. I highly recommend Cara for not only her stellar professionalism and expertise as a doula --you can see she truly loves what she does-- but also for the warmness and deep wisdom that shines from within her. When we have another baby we hope Cara will be available to support us again. ."
~ Laura and John
"Cara was an integral part of the entire birth process and was the
added extra support I needed to deliver at Special Beginnings Birthing
Center. Even though I had my loving and caring husband by my side,
Cara’s loving guidance and knowledge gave us both a sense of security
that allowed us to focus completely on bringing our daughter into the
world, confidant that we were safe in her hands. The day I went into
labor I wasn’t sure if the contractions were close enough but Cara was
there to guide me through the process, first with texts and emails and
then by my side. Cara came to our home at 2am to help me labor, with
bags packed and ready for whatever I needed. She played soothing music
and lovingly rubbed my back during contractions despite her own lack
of sleep all the while never failing to offer words of encouragement
and support. Once arriving at the birth center Cara’s calming energy and protective and soothing nature set the mood in the room thatallowed me to have an amazing birth experience. Her perfectly timedinstructions helped me focus, and along with my husband helped to provide the support I needed to labor un-medicated for 14 hours. Cara’s presence helped give me the strength and emotional space to
ensure that I was fully present in both mind and body for the birth of
my daughter. Having Cara there allowed us to completely focus on the
birth of my daughter knowing between Cara and the wonderful midwives
at Special Beginnings that we were in good hands. My husband and I
feel that Cara was an integral part of my birth team, and I thank her
for helping to guide us through such a special moment in our lives. I
would highly recommend her services to any family preparing to welcome
a child into the world and will call upon her again to be by my side
if I’m blessed with another child."
We feel so fortunate that Cara was a part of our labor and birth experience. This was our first baby and I became so frustrated and discouraged when women would tell me “You have no idea how painful labor is until you experience it for yourself.” When I would tell people that I wanted to have a natural childbirth the typical reaction would be either laughter or disbelief. So many women told me that I would be screaming for the epidural. Meeting with Cara changed that perspective for me and she instilled the confidence to know that I could have a natural childbirth. I was a week overdue when I started having intense contractions.
My husband called Cara to let her know that I had gone into labor and he found out that she was at another birth and had been at two births before that. 3 births in two days with no sleep and we were about to make it number 4! We fully expected for Cara to call one of her back-up Doulas but she guided my husband over the phone and he coached me through the contractions. I was able to regulate my breathing and labored at home for 5 hours before heading to the hospital. Cara arrived at the hospital as we were checking in. My labor was so intense that I went from 4 cm when I arrived at the hospital to holding my baby in my arms in just 3 hours.
The labor was unbelievably strong, but Cara helped me get through each contraction. I am very goal-oriented and Cara differentiated techniques to help me reach my goal of having my baby without interventions. Even during the transition phase, Cara would remind me to breathe and that each contraction brought me closer to birthing my baby. I knew I could do it and the thought of asking for an epidural never crossed my mind. I felt so strong and empowered throughout the labor! My husband felt stronger having Cara there, as well. Cara worked so well with the nurse and doctor that my husband was able to stay by my side. He felt a part of the process and I was reassured having him there with me. Cara helped him coach me and it felt at times as if it were just he and I in the room and I was able to block out nurses coming and going and talking in the background. Cara is so dedicated and caring.
Even though she had 4 births in 2 days, she stayed with us until we were getting ready to be moved to the Mother/Baby floor. We still can’t believe how well labor and birth went. We fully expected to have to deviate somewhat from our Birth Plan, but everything went smoothly. As we were discussing the labor and birth a few days later, my husband and I agreed that we were both so grateful to Cara for helping us achieve our goal of having a natural childbirth and that we don't know how things would have gone without her. It truly was one of the best experiences of my life! ~Marcy and Brian, Huntingtown, MD
"Your photos are really a terrific memento of our birth experience and I barely remember you taking them. You even captured things I missed, like his first weigh in. We've shared the video with our parents which was especially nice given that my mother wasn't able to be present for the birth. My family has watched the video I don't know how many times already - it has also helpled them wrap their minds around a water birth. And thank you for being such a wonderful coach during the birth process, and for all of the thoughtful ways you made the experience beautiful for us. It really was wonderful to have you as a key part of our birth team; having you there not only brought me peace of mind, but your positive energy and good coaching made our birth so much more than it would have been otherwise. I also really appreciate that you stayed with us afterward until we were set up in the hospital - you didn't have to do that, but you did. Cara, you will always have a very special place in my heart." ~ Sarah
“It’s hard to put a quick blurb together for Cara because she was just all around amazing. There are so many details I’d like to share, but in the spirit of to-the-point, here’s our story: We had our little guy during the March blizzard of 2010. He was pre-term at 36 weeks, 6 days. We called Cara and told her we were admitted to the hospital but with the full expectation that she would not be able to make it in due to the terrible weather. It was snowing sideways, the wind was howling, and the roads were virtually impassible. The Governor had declared a state of emergency. Cara said she’d be up as soon as possible. Before we knew it, she was there with a huge smile and calming spirit.
Since we were about a month early, we hadn’t had our Workshop with her nor had we taken the other birthing class through the hospital. We were not prepared. To help solve this challenge, Cara did a quick but thorough review touching on our concerns, our expectations, and various labor/birthing theories. She walked my husband and me through all kinds of coping and meditation methods.
As time began to pass, the Dr. began to push us in the direction of medication (pitocin) which we did not want. The Dr. was pretty forceful in her opinions. Cara discussed with us alternative options but at no time did she force one theory or another—just provided us with all the information and left the decision making to us. She was soothing, motivating, kind, knowledgeable, and non-judgmental. She empowered us to have the labor/delivery we wanted.
All of Cara’s support and strength got us through some tough hours. I ended up being in labor for about 30 hours with strong back labor but in the end, we delivered a happy, healthy baby drug-free. Much of our positive labor/birthing experience is the result of Cara being present. Cara is worth her weight in gold.
Side note: Most of the time doulas are thought of as solely support for the mother but that is not true. They provide important guidance and support for the father/partner as well. My husband was so happy Cara was there to help us through everything. We will not have another baby without a doula." - Heather Miller, Crofton MD
"My husband was late to come around to the idea of having a doula participate in the birth of our first child. In our seventh month of pregnancy he finally agreed to at least interview prospective doulas, so I scrambled to line up as many as I could within a few days time. Cara was our second interview and, after meeting her, my husband and I agreed there was no need to talk with anyone else! It was immediately obvious that not only was Cara going to be helpful during the birthing process because of her knowledge and experience, but also because of her genuine desire to help, to listen and understand our concerns. Cara provided us both with so much support during our long labor by suggesting changing positions or moving to the shower, concentrating on breathing and relaxation as well as making suggestions to my husband when he was looking for guidance. Cara was as much of a coach for my husband as she was for me. By having Cara support us in our
labor and delivery, Jim and I were able to better concentrate on bringing our daughter, Bailey Madeleine into the world. Cara was such an asset, that we did not hesitate to ask her to work with us for the birth of our second child, due this fall."
~Greta and Jim