Jaclyn Heneghan | 3/26/17
As first-time parents, having Colleen as our doula was a wonderful experience. She is warm, friendly, and very knowledgeable. Colleen met with us several times before our baby’s birth to go over our wishes, pain management techniques, and to answer any questions we had. She provided us with resources to help us make informed decisions along the way and checked in with me frequently.
During labor, Colleen's presence was hugely comforting and her calm encouragement helped me work through my pain. She created an ambiance in the birthing center that was unreal; with essential oils of my choosing, mood lights, and my favorite music that I could sway my hips to with each contraction. Colleen was also able to show my husband how he could be of help and he was so grateful for her guidance. I had extreme back labor pains and can't imagine going through that without Colleen's techniques, and encouragement.
After our daughter was born, Colleen visited us in our home to make sure we were settling in and provide support with breastfeeding. She had births back to back but still managed to pickup my placenta from the hospital and had capsules made right away for me. I absolutely believe she was the the driving force for allowing the best day of our life to be nothing short of amazing. We would have been overwhelmed without her calm nature and wisdom. Overall, we loved working with Colleen and would not only recommend her to anyone considering a doula but insist they have her by their side in such a beautiful life changing experience!
-Jaclyn & Frank
March 26, 2017
Kaitlyn Gustafson | 3/9/2017
Colleen was so wonderful to work with. She really took the time to listen to what was important to me during my birth and had my labor room set up with my requests. I enjoyed a wonderful, calm birth experience solely because of her. She respected my decisions and supported my requests. She is also available 24/7 via text which was amazing for questions during my pregnancy. My first time labor was so much smoother because of her!
March 9, 2017
Tiffany Orcutt | 3/2/2017
My experience with Colleen as my doula for my first pregnancy was overwhelmingly positive. From the prenatal visits in which she visited my home and we got to know each other, to the information she shared throughout my pregnancy (especially insight she provided in dealing with less than favorable situations with medical care providers), to my birth itself, Colleen was an invaluable asset to my entire experience. During my birth, Colleen kept me nourished, applied the right pressure through every contraction and cheered me on through the pushing phase. Colleen's strong relationship with the midwives at St. Rapheal's Hospital in New Haven, where I delivered, certainly enhanced my birthing experience. When I ended up needing an emergency cesearean due to my baby's unexpected breech position, Colleen was next to my husband in the operating room. I owe, in no small part, my ability to labor without medication and handle with grace when events took an unexpected turn, to Colleen's support and steadfast encouragement. I will unquestionably use her services again in a future pregnancy.
March 2, 2017
Catherine Sibley | 2/27/2017
Have you ever read or been told that having a doula attend your birth is a must? Well, based on our experience, we would take this advice as the absolute truth! If it were not for Colleen being present, our birth story would have played out in a very different way. We are sure of it! We would have been back and forth between the hospital and our home 100 times because we would not have progressed far enough into labor. That would have been tiring and stressful! All of this was avoided with Colleen’s guidance.
From the moment we signed up for Colleen’s services, she offered us countless resources to help us prepare physically and mentally for our birthing day. She taught us exercises to do to help our baby get and remain in the best position possible for birthing, and for the brief moment a not so positive position was assumed, Colleen knew exactly what to have me do. It was amazing, our baby repositioned and at the same time labor started to progress even more!
Our goal was to experience a natural, drug-free birth that was as calm as possible. This is exactly what we experienced! Colleen worked brilliantly with the staff at Vidone Birth Center at the St. Raphael campus of Yale New Haven Hospital. All of this, wrapped up with Colleen’s placenta encapsulation service, set us up for a postpartum experience we could have only dreamed of! We are so in love and enjoying every moment with our bundle of joy!
We would highly recommend Colleen’s services to anyone and everyone. Thank you so much Colleen!
With all of our love,
Cate, Brian, and Baby Jules
February 27, 2017
Lauren Crawford | 2/23/2017
Labor was one of the scariest, intense, crazy things I've ever experienced. As a first-time mother, I had no idea what to expect, and let's be honest, there's really no great way of describing it to someone who has never gone through it. Colleen helped us prepare to the best of our abilities. In the weeks leading up to our birth, she helped me take supplemental vitamins and drinks that helped with the worst of my pregnancy symptoms.
I really wanted a 100% natural birth at Danbury's birth center. But, the cosmos had something else planned (or at least my daughter had something else planned). She planned on staying in my womb indefinitely. My water broke a few days after my due date, and while I was having contractions during the day, they'd mysteriously disappear at night. Colleen helped me distinguish these contractions from real labor and made suggestions for some ways to kickstart labor.
Unfortunately nothing worked, not even castor oil! After three days, our midwives admantly recommended induction. I was devastated. On the way to the hospital I cried the whole way. I was so scared of pitocin and that I wouldn't be able to make it through labor naturally.
Having Colleen with me was like having a mother with you in the room. She knew what to do to help and often just let me collapse into her when I couldn't handle a contraction on my own. I continued to labor without any drugs for a few more hours.
When I finally made the decision to get an epidural I felt that if I didn't have some kind of break (my contractions were coming in waves of 3-4 without any break in between) Colleen encouraged me that it was okay. I was so happy that I did.
Colleen helped us welcome our daughter and came a few times in the next few weeks to help us adjust to our new normal. I will definitely use Colleen when we have our next baby.
*I wish to say more but there's a character limit!
February 23, 2017
Mary Donovan | 2/14/2017
I had the pleasure of working with Colleen during my son’s birth in November of 2016. I was nearing my 40th week when an ultrasound revealed a “large” baby and the doctors were suggesting a C-section. We met with Colleen and loved her and felt extremely fortunate that she was willing to work with us so late in the game. We knew within minutes of meeting Colleen that we had made the right decision. She was extremely knowledgeable, kind and calm and we felt at peace knowing she would be with us. I went 9 days past my due date and was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia with severe features and was induced upon diagnosis. Just prior to the induction we called Colleen and she started over to the hospital. I learned later that this is usually not the case and doulas often wait until things have progressed, but we were so grateful to have her with us during that time. She stayed awake and was by my bedside the entire time which even allowed my husband to get some rest. I was on bedrest due to magnesium treatment but was able to labor for 12 hours with Pitocin without an epidural because Colleen was there to help with positioning and provided so much helpful guidance to keep things calm and peaceful despite the circumstances. After 24 hours we decided that a C-section was the safest option for me and the baby and at that point we told Colleen that she should go home and get some rest. Many people thought I would have been traumatized by the birth because I had so desperately wanted a drug free experience and ended up with so many interventions and ultimately a C-section. I experienced a lot of physical trauma, but I was at peace with the birth and we owe a lot of that to Colleen. We did everything on our time and in our own way and made best decisions possible given the circumstances. We are forever grateful for her help and would highly recommend her to anyone.
February 14, 2017
Ryan and Melody Barton | 2/2/2017
My wife Melody and I hired Colleen to serve as our doula after she came highly recommended to us. Within five minutes of meeting Colleen, we knew she was the one for us. The deciding factor was different for me and my wife. Personally, I was attracted to her knowledge and experience. For Melody, Colleen made her feel relaxed, comfortable and most importantly safe. Melody and I wanted a natural birth. We took all the classes, read all the books and were prepared. Colleen made sure of that. She spent more time than we could have ever expected teaching us breathing techniques, pressure point massages, exercises and stretches for proper fetal positioning etc. The list goes on and on. We were ready. Life doesn't always follow a 'birth plan'. After laboring for six hours at home and six hours at the birthing center Melody was not progressing. She was in a lot of pain, too much pain. We could all see it on her face. I didn't know what to do and Melody was so tired she was relying on me to make the proper decision for her. I was lost. While holding my wife's hand and supporting her back Colleen didn't miss a beat. She gently leaned down, reminded Melody she was doing a phenominal job and listed a couple options. After weighing the pros and cons we decided to go across the street and deliver our baby at Danbury Hospital, straying from our natural birth plan. Looking back on this moment my wife and I know this was the correct path. Without Colleen's guidance, we may not have come to this decision with such peace and confidence. Having her knowledge and expertise was an invaluable resource at a time when we needed it the most. In closing, Colleen is a knowledgeable and gifted doula. We have already recommended her to others and look forward to having her by our side for baby number two!
February 2, 2017
Yan Austin | 12/12/2016
I guess like everyone, I was nervous about having my first baby. I have a spinal injury from my time as a high school athlete, so I was maybe more concerned than most, especially about having an epidural. When one of my friends suggested hiring a doula, I knew it was the right choice to help put my mind and body at ease so I could relax and stay focused on my labor. My husband and I interviewed three doulas during my third trimester. Colleen stood out from our first meetig with her by helping to personalize the flood of information you get as a soon-to-be-mommy. During her second prenatal visit, she trained us both in infant CPR and shared some natural remedies that are supposed to help prepare your body for delivery.
When the big day finally came (one week late!), Colleen was there at the hospital to guide me through my labor. My husband was there too of course, but while he was loving and supportive, something about Colleen's presence was especially soothing to me. I felt safer with her helping me through each contraction. I guess the natural remedies helped too, because after five hours of labor I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl! I didn't get an epidural, and my midwife said my delivery was the quietest she'd ever seen 😛
Colleen really helped me find the strength to get through the whole process without an epidural. She was kind and caring, and when she came to visit us a few days after my baby was born, she shared a lot of information about what to expect next. Even months later, I could still text her new mommy questions about breast feeding and lactation and she was as thoughtful and generous as ever. Thanks Colleen!
December 2, 2016