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Tammy Halliday
Experienced Doula / Birth Assistant Certificate 4 in Doula Support Services

all Melbourne areas

Australian Doula College Member

 

Andrea Mark and babies Taz and Axel

Taz

When I first fell pregnant with Taz (my eldest) I did so much research. I wanted to know EVERYTHING! Which is when I learnt about the benefits of having a Doula present during your birth. I was concerned for my husband’s (Mark) feelings about it. I was worried he would feel like his job on the big day was being taken over. However he agreed to meet with Tammy to discuss everything, and we both fell in love with her! 

My 20 week scan revealed that our baby had "clubbed feet" which was either harmless or associated with any number of chromosomal abnormalities. Mark and I were both very distressed, and Tammy's support was so very appreciated. Her lessons were tailored to suit us and what we already knew and didn't know, and what we wanted and didn't want to know also. 

I was induced exactly a week before I was due. Tammy kept in contact with me all day over the phone, saying she would come in the moment I asked her too. She came in around lunch time to visit and offer information and gave me ideas to bring my labour on faster, as I had not started to contract yet. 

When Mark and I settled into our room at the hospital for the night, I started to feel very nauseated and it wasn't long before my contractions started. They came on so quickly, and were so strong right from the start I thought there was no way I was going to get through it! Mark rang Tammy as soon as he realised this was the real thing, and she arrived at the hospital before I was taken down to the delivery suite. This is a fact I wasn't aware of until after Taz arrived. 

Originally I had hoped to try for a drug free labour and birth, but a couple of hours in I asked for some gas. Tammy was nothing but supportive of my decision. She supported Mark, who supported me the whole way through. She offered Mark ideas to relieve the pain, and company, because I can't imagine it was loads of fun for him! 

About 4 hours in the midwife checked how I was going and to my enormous disappointment I wasn't going along at all! At this point, my contractions had seemed to be full on and 2 minutes apart for the entire 4 hours and I was totally deflated so I asked for an epidural. Again Tammy and Mark supported my decision. In the time it took the anaesthetist to arrive my labour had moved so quickly I don't think anyone could believe it! I was struggling not to push while he began the process of giving me my epidural. During this time my husband (who is 6ft 8 and 108kg) nearly fainted, and a 5ft nothing 50kg nurse tried to catch him, which kept my mind occupied and entertained for a short while!

The anaesthetist left, saying he would be back in 10 minutes to complete the process. My OB/GYN arrived as he was leaving and said I need to start pushing! Within (what seemed like) 10 minutes our beautiful boy Taz was born and when the anaesthetist returned I no longer had any need for the epidural! Tammy stayed with us until Taz had had his first breast feed. She took photos for us and we recapped the things I had already forgotten! 

Tammy came back to the hospital to help me with feeding 2 days later, and I can't even explain how much her support and knowledge helped me and my family. 

Axel

When we fell pregnant with our second child 10 months later the first person we called was Tammy!

My pregnancy the second time around was almost identical to the first, only much more stressful! Since Taz's birth we had moved to the Gold Coast with Mark's work. We were only required in the Gold Coast until I was about 30 weeks pregnant though, so we decided the best place to have the baby was Cairns, where my parents are based, and where we had somewhere to stay, and some help with Taz when the baby came. This meant Tammy was unable to commit to taking us on as clients for obvious reasons. However she agreed to help me find a suitable replacement, which I told her, would be impossible! 

This also meant I was commuting from the Gold Coast to Cairns for all of my appointments with the OB/GYN. Tammy stayed in touch with me and supported me regardless of the fact I wasn't her client, but as a friend. My 20 weeks scan showed no clubbed feet, which was a relief, although Taz's feet were treatable and were almost 100% normal by this time. It was also at this time that we realised there really was no replacement and no certified Doula's operated in Cairns. 

Just to top it all off my husband was offered an amazing opportunity in Puerto Rico. A short contract, but one that spanned my last 10 weeks of pregnancy and a month after. The contract allowed him only 4-6 days to return home for the birth.

Needless to say I was distressed. I was terrified Mark wouldn't make it home in time for the birth, or worse, that he would come home and I wouldn't go into labour until he left again. I was also so upset that I wouldn't have Tammy with me. I begged her to come to Cairns for the birth, and she promised that if she could be there, she would be. 

My doctor agreed to induce me if need be so Mark would be present at the birth, and all the stars aligned and Tammy was able to be our Doula. Even better Mark was able to stay home once he got back, so we didn't have to say goodbye again! 

Once again I was induced. This time exactly one week after I was due. My labour was almost opposite to the first time around in terms of its intensity. I didn't actually believe I was in labour until about 45 minutes before Axel was born!  My contractions never really settled into any routine and were unpredictable. I feel certain I wouldn't have made it through my labour epidural free (almost) twice without her support. My husband feels exactly the same way. He felt much more in control, and useful, having Tammy there to help him understand every stage and exactly what was happening. 

Again Tammy was nothing but supportive and helpful.  She went above and beyond for me and my family and I am nothing but grateful. I would not hesitate to recommend her to my closest friends and family. Her role in bringing my boys into the world was priceless. Thank you so much Tammy, for everything. 

Copyright ©2009 Mothering the Mother | Thank you to Greg Beyer for many of the wonderful photographic images on this site
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