Grace Van Bruwaene was my doula for the births of both my third and fourth children. With my first two children I didn’t have a doula, but because all of my labours have been back labour and particularly horrendous in terms of pain management, my husband and I sought out more support for the next time around. Working with Grace was such an excellent and positive experience that we were thrilled to be able to have her present with us again for the birth of our fourth child.
More than a doula, Grace is a friend. She is of course professional and courteous, but more than that- she truly cares for her clients and goes above and beyond her specified duties as a doula in order to ensure the best birth possible. Grace is enthusiastic and knowledgeable- I have never met anyone more passionate about the birth experience. She was very well-informed and took the time to research techniques and possible complications specific to my trend of birth experiences. When there was something she didn’t know off-hand, she always researched the issue thoroughly and got back to me promptly.
I have already recommended Grace as a doula to several people, and will continue to do so. Doulas face certain stigmas given the trend toward highly medicalized birth that is prevalent in our society. Their position in a hospital birth (as was the case with me) is a delicate one, but Grace is so unassuming and kind by nature that she sets everyone at ease and does her thing (very well, I might add!) without being intrusive at all, so that she is welcomed by all. She has a unique gift for establishing a wonderful rapport with all she meets. My husband in particular was very thankful for this- he also considers Grace a friend, now, and acknowledges that her presence and support at the birth of our children had a profound and positive impact on us both. So often, birth is all about the mother and the partner (father, in our case) is left unsure of his place in the experience. This could be doubly the case with the presence of another woman (doula), but Grace was sure to be attentive to my husband’s needs as well.
Neither of the births for which Grace was present went as planned, which could have been very stressful and upsetting, but Grace was prepared to roll with the punches and adapt our birth plan and her support in order to meet our changing needs. Thanks largely to her flexibility, wealth of knowledge, and non-judgmental nature, we were able to meet these changes and challenges without trepidation.
Did I mention that she takes stunning birth photos? I highly recommend Grace to all- please don’t hesitate to get in touch: caroline.seyler at gmail.com