…From Past Bradley Method Students
As my wife and I planned our birth vision, we made a late switch to a remarkable certified nurse midwife and hired Denise as our doula. It was a weight off my mind knowing that even if I were to forget something, Denise was there to help me remember. When my wife went into sudden and intense labor late at night, I was able to turn to Denise for the nonjudgmental physical and emotional support that both my wife and I needed. I knew we had Denise in our corner no matter what. While the birth was still an emotionally wracking experience for me as the husband, I was far better prepared for it than I would otherwise have been. My wife feels the same way.
Without Denise and the information she helped us learn, it is likely that my wife would have had interventions rather than be given the time and space she needed to have the natural birth we wanted. When it was all over, we were presented with a wonderful synopsis of the birth of our daughter—even while being at our side constantly, Denise wrote down everything that happened so that we could always remember. Without hesitation, we would recommend Denise as both an instructor and a doula to anyone who is expecting!” ~Jared & Kari, First Time Parents, Sauk Prairie
During the first few months of pregnancy I was really nervous about how much Brandon was going to help out with everything because we were newlyweds and hadn’t yet mastered all the communication stuff. I wanted to know I could rely on him to not only help with a new baby, but help ME get through this crazy thing I now have to deal with called BIRTH!!! We bickered a little back and forth about different things with the baby, or how much help I needed and how unsure I was, and it was kind of beginning to drive a rift:( I was sitting there thinking I was going to have to have this baby alone! (Quite possibly a typical new mom thought.)
Luckily this is when we decided to start taking your class. We went every week and inevitably had several conversations after class about how we wanted to do things. Your class brought up a lot of topics we had never thought about, knew nothing about, or really needed to take time to discuss. It really started to bring us together on issues and ideas about our new baby. This led to better communications at home and more of a team feel between the two of us.
Possibly the best part of the class was that as we discussed labor, how the process goes, and what to expect, roles were assigned. Brandon was given responsibilities for the day of to help me get through birth. It was great because it gave him a purpose, and it took a lot of stress off me! I was able to rely on my husband in a way I never thought I could.
When the day came all of the training and preparation paid off as I went from being totally comfortable to 9.5 centimeters in just 4 hours. It was a pretty intense start and even a little scary at times, but thank god for your class helping me to learn to rely on Brandon! I was able to focus all of my energy on my body and my baby and let him take care of all the other details.
Ultimately, I ended up needing a cesarean. Brandon and I had time to discuss our options, and he made sure that I was confident in my decision and made all the effort to let me know it was going to be ok, and we went through it together. We now have a beautiful baby boy, Owen Thomas, and one heck of a birth story!
Thanks to your class I was able to endure the hard labor better than I ever could have imagined. You taught me how to stay relaxed and let my body do its thing. I was able to feel ok with making the decision to have a C-section and fully understand what the doctors were telling me, and what that meant about my body and my overall situation.
Most importantly your class taught me how to trust my husband to take care of me. We went through all the weeks of class together and he learned everything right along with me. He practiced with me, he worked with me, he showed me different strengths I never knew he had.
So again, thank you sooooo much for holding that pregnancy class, Denise. I don’t know what we would have done without it.”
~Jessica and Brandon R, First Time Parents, Portage
Denise is not only a great instructor, but an experienced mama who connects with her students by sharing her personal experiences as well. It really made us feel like we were in good hands. My favorite part was how well we got to know the other couples and could discuss our hopes, fears and pregnancy experiences with each other…and now what it’s like raising our babies!
The distance was initially a barrier, but in reality, driving to Poynette from the east side of Madison doesn’t take any longer than driving to the west side or Middleton. It was WELL worth our time to go!” ~Kindra, First Time Mom, Madison
…from Past Doula Clients
“I personally recommend a doula to any expectant mother to have during her labor and birth of her child, no matter what the conditions of that birth might be. I wanted to have a natural birth if at all possible. While I was fairly certain my husband would be there (and in the unforeseen circumstance he wasn’t), I wanted and needed someone else there to be the logical thinker and talk or walk me through any decisions that might arise. I also knew I wanted someone to be my strength when I thought I wasn’t capable of doing what my body really could do. I wasn’t sure that would happen if I was focused and determined enough, but it did, and I am forever grateful. Denise was a blessing to the birth of my children. She was my strength, confidence and support through my labor, birth and postpartum time. She was also a guide and delegator for my husband and mediator between me, my midwife and nurses. She provided an amazing perspective and service to us all during a tremendous event in our lives.” ~Shelly Daugs, LaValle (birth at Reedsburg Area Medical Center)
“We chose to hire Denise because I had the pleasure of knowing her from our years at UW-Madison. As we discussed the birthing process, I found our shared backgrounds in agriculture created a common bond between us. Denise didn’t sugarcoat things, she told me what to expect, and gave me realistic expectations for labor. This was baby number one for us. Neither my husband nor I really had any idea what to expect. Quite frankly I am afraid of the unknown, and hiring Denise gave us peace of mind going into the birthing experience. She was a reassuring voice in a completely new and wonderful experience, that can be a bit scary at times. She helped me find more comfortable positions to sleep prior to our babe arriving, as well as coached us through stretches that made the uncomfortable last month a little more bearable. She helped me prepare for the mental part of labor: practicing methods of relaxation, putting my mind at ease as we entered the unknown territory of parenthood. I wanted a doula so I wouldn’t yell at my husband during labor. I also wanted someone that would help me remember what concerns and questions I had before labor started during labor (because face it, baby brain is a very real thing, and once contractions start, I REALLY couldn’t remember anything). Result? I only swore at Denise once, and I never yelled at my husband. Priceless! She also made sure we were informed in our decisions as the birth process progressed. As my husband put it “there is no way we would have been able to go through that without an epidural if Denise hadn’t been there”.” ~Naomi Bernstein, DeForest (birth at Meriter Hospital, Madison)
“Late into my first pregnancy, I became very interested in having a natural birth experience. After extensive research, I determined that a doula would be ideal to assist my husband and I throughout the rest of our pregnancy and into labor and delivery. By chance I stumbled upon Denise’s website, and was excited to contact her to set up an interview. In retrospect, my husband and I agree that meeting Denise (loving her!), and deciding to hire her was by far the BEST investment we made in preparation for the birth of our sweet son. Prior to our birth, I emailed Denise several times with questions relating to my doctor visits, what happens at the hospital when a baby is first born, and other pregnancy related concerns, and she eased my mind and most importantly informed me that I was the captain of this ship – that I had choices in every stage of pregnancy, labor, and birth, and therefore I became confident in creating and sticking to our birth plan. With Denise and my husband by my side during my long labor, I had the confidence and will to stick to my original birth plan. Every time I faltered, Denise was there to support and encourage me and let me know that I could do it, that I was doing a great job. Her experience and knowledge was absolutely invaluable to us. She helped us through pre-labor, allowing me to labor at home for a long while before going to the hospital. She was there every step of the way, and met us at the hospital as soon as we needed her. When my husband needed breaks, Denise allowed him to nap, and stayed awake with me and in full energetic, supportive disposition the whole time. She guided me through my contractions, assisting me with different stretches, positions, and techniques to keep the surges at bay and allow me to proceed without medication. She was always there to remind our nurses and my doctor of my wishes, especially because my husband and I had other things on our mind during this time! 🙂 Our birthing experience was truly beautiful, and I largely attribute this to Denise. After birth she encapsulated my placenta and came to visit a couple of days post-partum to assist with breastfeeding and spend time with our new family. I truly cannot say enough about Denise. She is strong, wise, calm, and easygoing, with a beautiful spirit. My husband and I love her – we will definitely be hiring her for our future babies, and recommending her to all of our family and friends.” ~Jamie Bernander, Wisconsin Dells (birth at St. Clare Hospital, Baraboo)
“The most valuable part about having Denise as our doula was that she was there for my spouse to give him reminders on how to be most supportive for me so that I didn’t have to worry about him. I could just relax and not have to worry about anything else by myself and baby. I especially appreciated the support I received after I got home from the hospital. It was also very special to have a documented report as a keepsake of the event. Even with my baby at one year old now, I would not hesitate to contact Denise with a question.” ~Melissa, Portage (birth at Reedsburg Area Medical Center)