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Amanda & Colin

 

Shannon was a central source of advice, knowledge, recommendations and support to my partner and I from early in pregnancy. Her kind, calm and confident demeanor put me at ease about what lay ahead for the birth of our first baby.  She had extensive recommendations to combat the nausea and vomiting I experienced from day one right up till delivery, natural suggestions to alleviate discomfort and was instrumental in assisting me to find a physician after the clinic I was being seen at shut down.  When our baby was determined breech she had suggestions about positions I could use daily to turn baby. 

 

Shannon was incredible at reducing my anxiety about labor and she helped me feel confident in my ability to do the job.  My partner and I felt extremely confident and prepared for labor knowing Shannon was going to be at our side ensuring our wishes were met and respected.  She was phenomenal at involving dad in the labor every step of the way and utilizing natural pain relieving techniques and a variety of positions throughout the labor.  Shannon truly was invaluable when the doctors informed us that because baby was in a bad position, the labor was failing to progress and we were likely headed to a c-section. 

 

Being so exhausted after nearly 30 hours of labor, I was distressed, and in shock that the labor was not going according to my birth plan for an all natural labor and instantly looked and relied on Shannon for advice and support on what to do.  Shannon knew that an epidural was the last thing I wanted but she assured me that it was what she thought I should do to allow my body to relax and the labor to progress.  With all thanks to Shannon’s calming presence, amazing support, experience and knowledge, seven hours later we were able to give birth vaginally to our beautiful daughter Mya who was born face up with her head turned to the side. Looking back now, Colin and I have no idea how we would have navigated the pregnancy and unexpected turns of our daughters birth and are positive I would have ended up having a c-section had we not had Shannon to turn to.  We were so thankful to have Shannon before, during and after the birth and highly recommend her to anyone seeking a doula. Thank you Shannon for sharing in the birth of our baby girl and being there for us each step of the way!

 

 

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Danielle & Jared


About halfway through my pregnancy, I began to think about the fact that this baby inside of me actually had to come out at some point, and I started to think about what I wanted that experience to be.  I also started to look honestly at both my and my husband’s strengths and weaknesses, and how that would likely affect “D Day”.  So, I decided to check out the website of Red Deer doulas and see what it had to offer.  Immediately Shannon’s profile stood out to me, because she seemed to have a balanced approach between the natural and the medical.  When I met Shannon, I knew right away our personalities were a good match for each other.  As soon as my husband and I made the decision to hire her, any anxiety I had about the delivery subsided.  I felt like I was able to share my hopes and dreams for my baby’s birth, as well as get her input on what to expect and how to approach certain decisions.


Shanon was invaluable in the weeks leading up to the birth. I was a a week overdue, and getting crabby.  Shannon’s care and nurture with her checking in helped me keep my head on straight.  I started getting contractions about a week before I actually delivered our son, and Shannon guided me through that process.  She provided emotional support as well as practical strategies.  When real labour hit, Shannon came to our home and guided through when to go to the hospital.  When labour stopped, she came back home with us and supported us.  When labour kicked in again, Shannon stayed up all night with me.  I spent a few hours in the bathtub laboring, and Shannon helped me through every contraction.  After each contraction, she would lay her head on the edge of the bathtub and sleep, then wake up and support me through the next one.  My husband said, ” you know someone has found their calling in life when they will sleep withe their head on the edge of the bathtub!”.


After 30 hours of laboring naturally and making very little progress, we had many decisions to make. Shannon helped us with each decision and was incredibly supportive.  Although we had planned for a natural delivery, we ended up having a high intervention birth that we call”the full meal deal”!  It was awesome to have someone knowledgeable and non-judgmental supporting us through the process. At the end of it all, 38 hours later, Shannon was still smiling and had her sense of humor intact.  it was wonderful to get to show off our son to her after he was born via c-section.  Both my husband and I agree Shannon’s help and support was a huge part of having a positive birth experience, even though it was much different than what we had envisioned.  Thank you Shannon for being a part of one of the best moments of our life!


 

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Melissa & Shane


From the first time I spoke with Shannon I knew she would be a calming presence and a knowledgeable birth coach for the birth of our first child.  I was determined to have a birth that was as natural as possible and I feared the complications that could arise during labour but felt that if I had someone like Shannon attend the birth of our baby boy I could minimize my risk of complications and have a positive experience.  She met with my husband and I beforehand to discuss our birth plan and to go over how she could help us and what we expected from her.  We kept in touch over the phone in the weeks before my due date.  She was so supportive and encouraging that my lengthy labour was made so much better by having her there to help me with different positions and with relaxation techniques.  My husband felt reassured having her attend the birth of our boy as she helped him help me through the entire labour.  Shannon gave us the strength to keep going when we had run out of energy.


My husband and I are forever grateful to her; she has such a kind soul.  Her knowledge base cannot be replaced by any book or any class.  Her warm smile and encouraging words got us through a very long difficult labour.  I never thought it would be easy but I sure did not think it would be that hard.  When it comes time to have a second child a couple of years down the road I would like Shannon there by our side again, helping us every step of the way as she did for the birth of our baby boy.  I do not know what I would have done if she had not been there to encourage me every step of the way.  Thank you so much Shannon for all your help before, during and after the birth of our baby boy!!!!


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Amber & Josh


Since I was having a home birth attended by 2 midwives, I wasn’t sure at first if I really needed a doula. But once we met Shannon and felt her calm, reassuring presence, I knew that I would feel more confident during the delivery with her there. During the delivery Shannon was fantastic. She helped me into different labouring positions and encouraged my family to support me. Her role at the birth was so different than the midwives and it was a great team effort to bring our healthy baby girl into the world. The days after Maelle was born we appreciated Shannon’s suggestions and support as well.


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Tiffany & Kent

Shannon of Holding Hands Doula Service helped us to have a very positive birth experience. We were looking for someone to assist us with our goal of a “natural as possible” birth and with the experience to let us know when things were progressing as they should. Shannon was has a very calming presence. She offered encouragement and helped with pain management with massage and pressure points. She offered advice on different movements and positions to keep labour progressing.  When our labour wasn’t progessing as it should, she was able to help us make the right decisions for pain management that allowed us to have our “natral as possible” birth.

Shannon’s support did not end at delivery. She visited us in the hospital and offered advice on some of our our tough breast feeding issues. She also came to our home with a delicious prepared meal and delivered a cd of photographs of our birth experience. Photographing the labour and delivery was something that I wasn’t sure that I wanted but decided that it might be something that I would look at in secret at sometime. I have to say that I am really glad that I have those photo’s now. They are not something I would never share with anyone but I do enjoy looking at them.

Our experience with Shannon was positive from the first time we met her through to the follow-up contact. She is an amazing Doula and we would not hesitate to reccomend her to anyone looking for the services she can bring to a birth.



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Patricia & Steve


When the birth of my first daughter didn’t go as planned, I decided that I wanted a Doula during the birth of my second child. Shannon came highly recommend as Doula and my husband and I had the pleasure of having Shannon as our Doula for the birth of our second and third child.


We had a number of contacts with Shannon during my pregnancies. She was always very supportive, always there to answer any questions we had. On the days of my births Shannon was there from the moment I called her. She remained calm and supportive throughout the entire experience. Shannon was so caring, attentive, and intuitive during my births, knowing just what to do before I even asked her. She brought music and dimmed the lights to help me to relax, she brought a warm pack and massaged my back during back labour, offered the birth ball, suggested a warm bath, and walked the halls over and over with me.


She always offered positive reinforcement to keep me going.  I felt very comfortable having her present during my labour and the births.  Shannon was able to guide my husband in helping me during labour without taking over, my husband felt like he was very involved, like it was a team effort.  I cherish the pictures that she took during my births-they are very special, and I was very appreciative of the muffins she brought to me while I was in the hospital.


Shannon was so wonderful and supportive throughout my pregnancies and births. I would highly recommend her to anyone that is interested in having a Doula during their birth.



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Stacey & Cam


My husband and I were expecting our first child and heard about doula services through our Pre-Natal classes.  We admit that we were embarrassed about the thought of hiring someone to help us with childbirth since most couples do it alone.  However, after doing research on the numerous benefits of doula support, we decided to hire Shannon as she stood out amongst the other women we interviewed because of her calm and caring demeanor.


Right from the beginning, Shannon was supportive.  Cam and I felt cared for from the moment we met her.  She called and met with us several times before delivery day to discuss labour and delivery issues and questions as well as to foster a trusting relationship.

 

On delivery day, Shannon arrived very promptly to the hospital.  Throughout the labour, she was consistently calm and compassionate.  My husband and I believe that her caring disposition contributed to our sense of feeling in control throughout childbirth. Shannon clearly explained to us what to expect next in labour and reassured us about the normalcy of events that were occurring.  She was an immense support to my husband by offering ideas for him to comfort me and assisting him with back massage since two hands were simply not enough.  Shannon suggested a warm bath, walking, showers, different contraction positions for back labour, she used warm compresses, and provided positive reinforcement throughout the entire labour and delivery.  Her kind and encouraging words served as a great motivator for me to continue through each contraction until we finally met our daughter. We were also very impressed with how professionally Shannon interacted with our nurses and doctor.  She was an advocate for us by reminding our nurse about our wishes.  The support didn’t end after delivery, she was available for questions and support and even delivered a delicious home-cooked meal once we were home from the hospital.

 

My husband and I can’t imagine what our childbirth experience would have been like without Shannon.  When we found out we were expecting our second child, it was a simple decision to ask Shannon to be present at the birth.  We can’t imagine doing it without her assistance and expertise and are confident that our July birth will go smoothly with her by our sides.  We highly recommend her doula services.