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

all Melbourne areas

Australian Doula College Member


Sarah and baby Archie

I have always been a planner. I plan everything before I do it. I research, prepare and research some more. I like to go into things with my eyes wide open and my first birth was no exception. I stumbled across Tammy when my original doula had to cancel on me. What a blessing! I now cannot imagine my birth experience without Tammy by my side. I was measuring big from about 26 weeks and was labelled “high risk” and no longer able to deliver my precious bundle in the birth centre I had chosen or have a water birth. I freaked out and became anxious and scared.

My “plan” for a beautiful stress free natural labour was unravelling. I can’t tell you how many times Tammy calmed me down and rationalised the situation. She kept me on track and we soldiered on to 38 weeks with our birth plan intact even if it was not in the environment I had envisaged.

Well from 40 weeks on (I was now measuring almost 50) Tammy and I became experts in natural induction techniques. We tried everything to get this child of mine out…accupressure massage, acupuncture, tonics, herbs, sex, hot curries, walking, bouncing, evening primrose oil etc etc. All the while I was seeing a different doctor weekly at the hospital and each doctor had a different opinion as to when I should be induced. Tammy was there for me every step of the way and was the consistent sanity check I needed. Finally we found a doctor who was happy to let me go to 42 weeks and give me the best shot at a natural birth. Tammy and I came out of the hospital almost high fiving each other. We were still on track!

I was eventually booked in for an induction after each day passed and still no movement at the station. As the dreaded D Day fast approached Tammy again helped me to stay calm and grounded. At 42 weeks and one day I had my waters broken at 9am. The doctors had me on clock but Tammy found some stairs for me to walk up and down and we walked the hospital floors hoping for some contractions to start. I remember sitting in the public cafe of the large Melbourne hospital with Tammy and my partner, amniotic water gushing from me every time I moved. We felt like naughty schoolkids hiding from the teacher! We shared some giggles and I was surprisingly calm until eventually we had to return to the room and succumb to the dreaded drip.

Almost 20 hours later my beautiful 10 pnd 7oz baby was pulled from me via emergency cesarean. I did not get the birth I had planned, but to this day I have no regrets and I know that I explored every option to birth my son naturally. I laboured for hours but was simply not dilating. The contractions were hard and fast. Tammy pumped my TENS machine up as they worsened, gave me Rescue Remedy, provided a never ending supply of heat packs on my belly and shoulders and helped me understand my options each time a doctor examined me. My partner had a rolling pin digging into pressure points on my back as I sat on a fitball, but the 3 of us kept the mood upbeat in between contractions and apart from all of the wires attached to me and the fact I could not move more than a few centimeters, it was not too bad. I was coping quite well but there was no telling how long it would take me to dilate to 10cms so at almost midnight I opted for an epidural. It took me an hour to fully dilate from 3cms to 10cms…more high fives! But after hours of pushing and no sign of him descending and his heart rate plummeting upon each contraction, it was time to get him out. After all of my planning and preparation I thought I would feel empty and defeated as I was wheeled into theatre. Instead I felt empowered and very, very proud of myself.

Tammy is one of the warmest, funniest and most knowledgeable people I have ever met. The before and after care she provides is just as valuable as having her there for the labour/birth and it was Tammy who gave me the confidence to continue breastfeeding when I was having doubts. I simply could not have done any of it without her! My whole family adore her and we are so grateful that she was there to share such an amazing journey with us. We would not even consider trying our next birth without her by our side!

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