“We felt at ease with Marissa within minutes of meeting her.

She had a very warm and generous smile and we were struck by her eagerness and passion about her work. We didn’t know how lucky we would be when she brought Amanda on to partner with her. They had an impressive range of knowledge about pregnancy and birth, but what was more impressive was their willingness to research what they didn’t know and their indefatigable enthusiasm to share it with us. They checked in with us regularly and offered encouragement and advice throughout the pregnancy. Although we had a very different birth experience with Levi than we did with our first child, this was magical in its own way and Marissa and Amanda had a great deal to do with that. When I (Lynette) reached my due date and everybody else was asking me when I was going to have the baby, Marissa and Amanda sent me congratulatory e-mails, focusing on the health and success of a full-term pregnancy. They pulled up to our house in the wee hours of the morning I went into labor, and it was like our team had arrived – we weren’t going to have to do this alone. When Lynette suggested that we might walk to the hospital, they responded with enthusiasm and so it felt like a field trip into the starry night. The support they gave us allowed us to be in the moment and trust ourselves. At times, it was just their silent presence. But they also arrived with suitcases full of birthing accoutrements. We had hoped for a water birth, which wasn’t available to us; however, Marissa and Amanda allowed us to see the equivalent amazingness of a “land birth.” What we wanted in that birthing room was a sense of community; what we found in that birthing room was an extended family. To have a doula is to have someone in your corner in an awe-inspiring and challenging time. We wanted to have a natural birth, and Marissa’s and Amanda’s presence at Levi’s birth allowed us to truly experience the wonder of the process.”

Lynette and Andrew, parents of two, Greenfield Mass.

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*****
doula reflections

One year ago today, we met a woman at home, staring silent far away at the fire in her woodstove and walked with her under a starry winter sky to the hospital room where she birthed her son. Then, a few short hours later, we drove through the rain and snow to a different birthing room, where a couple worked tirelessly together through the night to welcome their twins on their own terms. It seems like ages ago, and I still tear up thinking about that day. I attended births before that, but in many ways that first set of back to back births initiated me fully into this work. Today I noted summer due dates on my calendar, planned and reflected. This work is amazing and it is hard and I am grateful ♥

— M

photo by Nature & Nurture