Tami Mor worked as my doula during the pregnancy, birth and post-partum period of my son, Amir, who was born on November 1st, 2009. The kind of help she has given me and my partner during that period could only be described as outstanding.
I was introduced to Tami by a friend who had hired her for a previous birth, and who recommended that I use a doula. My son had been diagnosed with an un-identified thoraco-abdominal mass during the 21st week of the pregnancy; the mass did not pose any immediate danger and required the consultation of a pediatrician shortly following the birth. My pregnancy was otherwise healthy; nevertheless, I was immediately declared ‘high risk’. I was very concerned that I might be coerced into unnecessary interventions, and I felt like the natural birth I had always wanted was being taken away from me. I found myself contacting Tami during a very sensitive and fragile emotional period.
Tami’s presence during the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy helped immensely. She possesses an unusual ability to look at things positively and calmly, and to see a way to make the best out of every situation. She also possesses an impressive and formidable knowledge of the process of childbirth, which she relayed to me during our lengthy one-on-one meetings. She told me not only about the anatomy of the process but also about hormonal aspects and how I should expect to feel at each stage. She and I spent a long time practicing breathing, movements and positions that contribute to successful labor. The preparation she gave me had been so extensive and deep, that when the time came to labor, I had no problem remembering what she had taught me – it was already a part of my muscle memory. All in all, I was impressed with the amount of time Tami had devoted to talking and getting to know each other prior to the birth, and the additional time she spent visiting our home and getting to know my husband. In hindsight, my talks with her were not only educational but highly therapeutic, and were a key factor in my ability to arrive at the birth at my best emotional state. And when the time did come, I felt completely and utterly comfortable having Tami around during such an intimate experience. I am not a person prone to emotional exaggerations – I mean it when I say I laid my soul in her hands, and then got it back – whole and intact.
When my contractions started, Tami arrived at our home and spent two hours there with me, massaging, giving advice and encouragement and helping me manage the pain. During labor in the hospital she never left my side, and also gave my husband detailed and useful advice on how he can help me during contractions. During transition, when I was in a lot of pain (and was being very loud!), a nurse tried to persuade me to get an epidural. I nearly gave in – it was Tami’s support that gave me the strength and the courage to stick to my original plan and have a natural birth. It was the best decision I made – my baby was very big, and I am certain I would not have been able to push effectively had I been on the anesthesia.
My son came out at 3:42 AM, less than six hours after we arrived at the hospital, in a totally natural, non-medicated birth – despite great odds to the contrary. He had an Apgar score of 8 and then 9 within five minutes. He still had to spend five days at the NICU for observation, though. My husband and I were devastated at not being able to take our baby home with us. We remember these days as a very dark time, full of fear and uncertainty. During that period, Tami remained in the picture, visiting us, cooking for us and making sure I was well fed and getting some rest. Knowing that there was someone out there who was looking after me was immensely important.
Looking back at the experience of childbirth, both my husband and I agree we could not have done it without Tami. She has an amazing ability to see the positive in every situation, and remains tranquil even under great pressure. Above and beyond this, she has the ability to naturally connect with everyone she meets, and she created an atmosphere of safety and peacefulness around her, so that even during the most difficult of times, just having her around makes a difference.
I would strongly recommend to any woman expecting a baby to have Tami as her doula.