Most people wouldn’t hire a doula from 3,500 miles away, sight unseen. But then most people wouldn’t be planning to journey from their home in New York to London for a combination babymoon, baby birthing, and adventurous time with a new little one. Thanks to Mars our adventure worked out perfectly. We truly couldn’t have asked for more.
We discovered Mars over the internet, and first met her over the phone. She didn’t blink when she heard our plan… to come over to London a month before our baby’s due date, find a flat, have a little time together before the baby arrived, and then spend three months after the birth hosting friends and family and exploring London. I think we said something like, “most people would think this is crazy,” to which Mars immediately responded, “I think it sounds like fun!” That conversation ended with her saying, “Even if you don’t hire me, I want to meet you when you get here, my crazy Americans.” But from that moment, we know we’d found the doula for us.
We met with Mars in person after we arrived in London and became doubly confident we’d made the right decision. Not only did her approach to childbirth match perfectly with ours — that couples should be informed about childbirth so that, to the extent possible, they can have the type of birth they desire, and that she, as a doula, should be there to try and support those plans, and provide guidance if things went otherwise — but she obviously knew the medical system and her stuff. And she was there for us for everything — answering questions from basic to large about how things worked in the UK versus the US; calling upon her network to help us when we decided we needed to find a new medical provider for the birth; on the phone with us in the middle of the night when we were unsure whether labor had truly begun; knowing just the way to convince me that “perhaps I should just check in with the midwives” when birth was really approaching; and with us at the hospital with us when, less than 2 hours before our baby was born, we finally arrived.
Thanks in large part to Mars, the birth was just what we’d hoped for. She worked in perfect tandem with our midwife – a seamless match in a hospital that doesn’t have that many doulas present at births. By the end of the birth we were calling them the dream team, and they were. Mars has a perfect tone of voice to help guide through contractions; it goes without saying that she knows the stages and phases of labor so knows what to expect and can tell you what is going on; and she knows exactly how to be a support person — helping the dad or partner help the mom through labor. She also knew how and when to be there — helping make sure baby got the first latch right, and that we were calm and comfortable after the birth — and when to step back, and leave us on our own. And something we didn’t expect, but will always be grateful for: at some point, without our even noticing, she grabbed our camera and started taking pictures. What a huge gift.
Of course Mars stayed in touch with us after the birth, coming to visit a number of times, being available on the phone or by text to guide us through every little question and new parent fear, and keeping in contact with us since our return home. In short, you should just stop reading this message now hire Mars. She is wonderful.