For this next post in our blog series, we decided on interviewing a previous client. We happen to be lucky to call our previous clients a part of the “One Love family”!
We had a chance to speak with Dani Jackson about a few different topics. Ranging from why she and her hubby chose a Doula to how motherhood has grown her as a person. Dani is a publicist, wife, Certified Friendship Coach and mother to Elijah. You just might see as you read about her, that you can certainly relate. Or maybe as you read, you will just enjoy getting to learn a little bit more about the journey of a fellow Tampa Bay area mama.
Why choose a doula?
For starters, we spoke with Dani about why she and her husband chose a Doula for the birth of their first son. One of the reasons she said they knew they wanted a Doula was simply to know that they will have one consistent person there for them- through pregnancy, birth and the postpartum experience. We often hear from clients that the continuity is so helpful during their birth experience! We totally wanted to know why Dani ended up choosing a One Love Doula?! Even after interviewing other Doulas in the Tampa area. She responded,
“After reading everything that One Love stood for, I knew they were the best fit for me. As a Black woman, it was important to me to align myself with a team that understood the numbers surrounding Black maternal health. Yamel is a wealth of knowledge and has values that aligned with mine, so I knew I was in good hands. When I was paired with Mandy as my personal doula, I spent an hour talking to her at a local cafe and I knew instantly that she was a woman I could trust, and who would support my decisions along the way. Giving birth is primal and vulnerable and spiritual– you can’t just have anyone in the room. But Mandy made me feel like a warrior, and helped me bring my baby earth side.”
We were so honored that Dani and her husband felt comfortable, safe, and empowered while working with One Love!
Adding a doula to your birth team-
Many couples like the Jackson family, express to us that it is a little nerve wracking to decide on a Doula. We often hear that it is a hard decision to make. I mean, we get it! You are choosing someone you have only met a few times; and you are inviting this person into one of the most intimate and important experiences of your entire lives! We do not take this privilege for granted. Since it can be a little odd, especially for some partners to have a “stranger” in the room for their birth experience, we asked Dani how she felt having a Doula there for their birth experience.
Is your partner nervous about hiring a doula?
Dani opened up about how her hubby was a little nervous at first about having someone new there for their birth, after all was said and done, he was grateful and empowered by their Doula. Dani said “Having another woman (there to) affirm me during the hardest act of my life was a game-changer.” Dani expressed that sometimes, it was seemingly simple things, like her Doula Mandy whispering, “You are SO brave” as she was powering through a seemingly impossible contraction; that made a world of difference to her. Her Doula was there to help her see the incredible strength she already possessed, and just helped to coach her so that she found it, during some of the most trying moments of her birth experience. The Jackson family worked together like such a beautiful team as Elijah was born, it was amazing to watch them blossom into a family of three.
What happens after you give birth?
After the birth, comes the part where we take the baby home. You know what I mean? The part where it’s just you guys and the baby. No nurse to teach you to swaddle, lack of sleep, baby books aplenty and moments where you sway between pure love and wondering- what just happened?!
Parenthood, in all the ways it comes to us- changes us all. Whether we are the mom or the dad, we change and grow and become this new version of ourselves as we learn to parent these little people. During her transition into motherhood, Dani expressed that she really leaned into her faith in God to get her through; especially through some of the more challenging aspects. Dani told us, “You have no idea how much you can do and how strong you can be until this little baby enters your world.” For some, parenthood is a deeply transformative spiritual experience. Whether or not you are religious or spiritual, parenting has its share of really hard moments, and we want you to be supported, have a community, and know that you can make it through those hard times.
Sometimes all we see is these smiling faces on IG with a well-dressed baby and smiling Mama. The truth is that that is not all motherhood is 24/7. There will be really hard times where baby is super dirty and you are super tired, and guess what? That is ok- that is normal. During those harder transitions of motherhood, lean into your religious source, your people, your self-care means and all the good stuff you need to weather the hard times. Because as you adjust to parenthood, the hard times give way to these mid-blowing times of pure joy and incomparable beauty. Trust us on this one.
Dani’s postpartum journey-
To wrap up our interview with Dani, we talked a little about the postpartum experience. Like most new parents, Dani and Ryan found themselves with lots of questions about newborn care, sleep, feeding and things like that. They were grateful to have the resource of a Doula- someone who saw them at home with babe. Someone who was also there via phone when they had a question, concern, or just needed a little reassurance that they were doing great! (Which they were, btw..) Our Doula’s here at One Love are with you during the transition home, providing and in home postpartum visit. This is a time to talk about taking care of your postpartum body, talk about the birth and go over any questions you may have in regards to taking care of baby and catching some z’s! The postpartum visit is always bittersweet, but we are so glad our clients know we are here, should they need us!
Well, our goal is that as you read this little interview with Tampa local and One Love client, that you found some similarities in your stories. Hiring a Doula IS worth it, if you need and value that type of support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We hope you know that parenthood is a nice mixture of sunshine and some rainy days, and that combo is okay too! Above all, we hope you know that YOUR birth, YOUR baby, and YOUR story matter.
Special thanks to the Jackson fam for sharing a snippet of your story with our readers! It was such a privilege to work with you.
Read more about the author, Mandy Casey here.