I would like to thank you for all of your help during the birth of our daughter. Since this was my first birth, I did not realize that during the laboring process, how easy it is to become unfocused. In retrospect I’m grateful that you were there to guide and remind me to breathe through the surges (contractions) with Love and showing me the different positions that helped me rock the baby down the birth path & pelvic area. AND thank you for keeping my husband calm & confident! Your doula care helped me create and accomplish a birth experience that was as beautiful and memorable as my wedding day!! Love, Juliana and the Touma family
Our baby Teo is born! I was in labor for a bit more than 30 hours. It was intense, sometimes I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it, but we did!!!! Surges started on Monday Dec. 29th at 11pm and baby Teo was born today at 5.30 am Dec. 30th, 2014!
I’m so so so happy with my happy and healthy baby! 7.2 pounds
Also he’s breastfeeding great! Thank you so much for your amazing help and teachings! You really made a difference in my life. You made my pregnancy even more beautiful than it already was. Thank you so much! Anai
I wanted to send you this note to thank you for all your help during the birth of my 2 daughters. The important lessons you taught me during the months I attended your prenatal yoga classes helped me to have 2 wonderful, natural births! I have to confess I knew very little about what a birth experience should be. I was relying mostly on my OB/GYN recommendations rather than on how I wanted my labor to be and how important it would be for both me and my
daughters to have a good, healthy birth experience from beginning to postpartum. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you being my doula during my last birth. Thank you for opening my eyes & my heart and helping me find the strength within myself to birth my child with out any anesthesia! I know it was my decision but having your presence and support made it possible to stay calm and centered during the most active part of labor &
birth. Everything you taught me was so very helpful during both of my labors and having you by my side made it easier for me to stay focused on welcoming my daughters into this world surrounded by love, peace instead of fear and pain. I am now even a greater advocate for natural births (as long as mom or child are not at risk) and I am always recommending my pregnant friends to take your classes so they can also acquire the knowledge they need to make the right choices for them and their children, during pregnancy, labor & birth. Love you Debra, thank you again! Saludos, Patricia 6/2014
Good morning Debra, Im Suzzette, one of your yoga class students. I just wanted to share with you that on Sunday at 11:32 am I gave birth to my little baby boy! A natural birth.. everything went smooth and great, no drugs.. he weighed 6.9 pounds, 20-1/2 inches. He is a healthy boy and we are both doing very good. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart because thanks to all of the preparation I did in your classes and the way you teach to be fully informed about everything during labor and delivery. Thanks to all of the education I was able to experience this moment the way I did, I was very calm all the time, breathing and doing my excercises. Thank you for teaching me to trust my own body.. I will be always thankful with you.. Now I can’t wait to begin the mommy and me classes with baby Luca! =] see you really soon! xo Suzette
Thank YOU so MUCH Debra for helping me with this amazing journey… From the prenatal/parenting classes to the amazing job you did with us yesterday and today!
We love you and are grateful forever!! Eri, Gio and Baby Gael- Born – 1/12/14, 3:45 am.
Hi Debra, the day I went into labor I wasn’t sure it was labor, but from what I learned in your prenatal yoga classes and the hypnobirthing course helped me through the whole process. Sunday night I was walking the dogs with my husband & my mom when I felt – what I thought to be at the time – a Braxton Hicks contraction. That was around 10pm. It was more intense though, but I had read that as your due date approaches, these get a little more intense, so I didn’t think much of it. Then at around 11pm I felt another one, so we just thought maybe I had been doing too much that day running around as EDD was not for two more weeks! So I decided to call it a night, take a shower and go to bed. When I went to the bathroom the mucus plug released, but I wasn’t sure. I was planning on calling my doctor the next day, so I took the shower and went to bed. Around midnight, what I felt in my belly was more intense so I got out of bed, then the contractions (waves) were coming one after the other. My body was also shaking, not from cold or pain, I just couldn’t control it. It was a strange sensation to me. My husband called the doctor and decided it was time to go to the hospital. We decided to call 911. When they came they confirmed I was in labor. On the way to the hospital the paramedics gave me an iv solution that stopped my shaking. When we got to the hospital I went into labor & delivery. Upon checking, to my surprise, I was 9cm dilated, all thinned out and my baby was at -2, still needed to come down. I think that was around 4am, and at 8:04am my baby was born!! I did it with no drugs, no pitocin, of course, because I wouldn’t have needed it anyway, but also no epidural!! The water broke by itself at around 6am as baby moved down, baby ended up with cord around his foot. I learned every woman is different and sometimes labor will not come to you like it says in the books, you just need to be prepared for whatever will come to you. Thanks again Debra for all of the knowledge you bestowed upon me to help me be prepared for my birthing day! It happened surprisingly early at 38 weeks when most girls in class were going up to their 40th or 41st week. I felt I had everything in me that I needed to be prepared for my labor and birth. Thank you!
See you soon in Mommy & Me!! Stephanie
Here’s to the arrival of Alexyi Smith Muehllehner (name finally chosen after a day of pondering the new offspring), May 14, 2012, 7lb.15oz, 19.5inches.
My natural VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) around lunchtime after 9-10 hours of labor and arrival to Jackson South Hospital, together with my amazing husband and doula debra (birth assistant) helping me along every second of the way! Big Sis Teah came to visit the next day asking; “Mama is that the new baby?, let me see your belly, is it empty now?”
Alexyi and Mom are very Happy and Whole, Hooooray!!!!
Having Debra as our Doula during the birth of my son was so important in achieving the birthing experience I was dreaming of. After taking the HypnoBirthing® course with Debra and asking her to be our Doula, she kept communicating with me to make sure that everything was going well with my pregnancy. The day I started labor, I labored at home as much as I could while keeping her informed of the progress. On that day, May 11th 2012, I started to feel some sporadic contractions at 9 am. At that time I adventured myself to the gym as I had done during my entire pregnancy, and afterwards I cleaned the house just in case this was not a “fake labor” and I had to actually go to the hospital and come back home with the little one, I wanted a clean house. By the time I took my shower I realized that my contractions were 20 minutes apart and that I had some “birth show.” After that, I drove to Lincoln road to have a nice lunch with my aunt and then headed back home and made myself comfortable in the bathtub. Communicating with Debra throughout this early labor continuing until my contractions were 10 minutes apart. I stayed home practicing all of the relaxation and breathing techniques that Debra had taught me in her classes. Heading to the hospital, when the contractions were under 5 minutes apart, I arrived and was dilated 7cm with 100% effacement. Debra met us at the hospital and was by my side at all times, giving me care, love, and support. I felt connected to Debra and to my husband throughout my whole birth process. Debra’s voice was very soothing and could easily keep me focused and relaxed through the strongest surges. She prepared different “stations,” around the room, such as kneeling while holding a birth ball and squatting on the toliet, which were tremendously helpful. Also, she massaged my lower back continuously to ease the discomfort during the strong surges providing me a great amount of relief. With Debra by my side, my son Derin Efe Yazici was born 10 hours after arriving to the hospital on May 12, 2012, weighting 8.4lbs.
My birth experience was all natural and drug free just as I had wanted it. I had a minimal tear, no episiotomy. My Doctor also, was very supportive of me and my loved ones, including Debra. After birth, I also took my encapsulated placenta capsules which were prepared by Debra. These supported my quick recovery after birth and also increased my milk supply. My husband and I know for a fact that having Debra as our Doula made all this possible, and we are looking forward to repeat this experience for our second child in the near future.
Thank you Debra for your love and care during my birth experience!
Natasha Yazici, Volcan and Derin Efe Yazici
Hello My Favorite Doula!!
I want to thank you for making the entire birth process for me so much more memorable. You should be called an angel rather than a doula! I put all of my trust and more importantly “faith” in you and I am sooooo happy to have done so. From the time I first became pregnant with Alvin, I literally started your prenatal yoga classes. I was 12 weeks with Alvin, a few times with the twins and now again with Ariana. You are not only part of my memories when I gave birth but during the growth of my little ones in my belly. I wish I was a person that could express myself easily in words to the impact all that had on me and what you, Debra, represent to me. I love you and I am blessed that God put you in my path. May you always be happy, healthy and holy,
Namaste my friend.
Little Ariana, baby two!
Blanca, Alex, Alvin and Ariana Acosta
And Now, one year ago today I gave birth to my baby girl, Ariana. With you by my side, I put all of my faith in you. It’s like everyone else didn’t exist and all that was there was you and me. If I was not so old I would have at least two more children just to experience what I did with you once more. Debra words cannot express how blessed I felt to have you by my side. Had you not been there during this “unusual” delivery I don’t know how I would have handled it. My children are my world. Nothing can compare or even come close to the love one feels for their children. Happy Birthday Ariana and thank you my friend. You will always remain in my heart. God Bless You. Blanca & Ariana
Birth Story #2…
This was my second birth experience with Debra as my doula, and just as with the first, she and my husband helped me achieve exactly the kind of birth I hoped for! Being my second child, it was much quicker, however, just as powerful if not more. Late on a Wednesday night labor progressed normally throughout the night. By 9am Thursday they were quite strong but still manageable. All were front contractions, no back labor like the first time. By 12pm Debra and I had been in touch and I told her of my progress and told her I was still doing fine at home with my husband. Because of the education & training during my pregnancy, I was very calm, and handled all contractions with my deep breathing and focus on the baby. I wasn’t sure if I would know when to go to the hospital, as the contractions were so different than with my first labor/birth. I remember Debra told me, “Don’t worry, your body will tell you when it’s time.” And so it did. At about 12:45pm we decided to go to the hospital. We all arrived and I was 8cm dilated and 80% effaced. Once settled in, Debra suggested to me that maybe a few squats would help the baby’s head break water. It took only one!!! Very quickly thereafter I was ready to bear down, our wonderful Dr. Bitran came in and our precious baby girl arrived. Only about an hour after arriving baby Catalina was with us, in my arms. I was able to labor medication free and it was the most powerful experience of my life. Thanks Debra for the education, teachings and love, and to Mt. Sinai’s staff and OB/GYN practice Dr. Mauricio Bitran!! Thank you! Denise and Danny Fernandez
I want to thank you for all your words of wisdom throughout the months I attended your classes. I put them into practice and I could not be happier!
My birth story…
I began having contractions on Mon 11/30, maybe helped by me working all day, some quality time with the hubby, and extreme nesting when I got home (vacuumed, mopped, laundry, I couldn’t control myself). I wasn’t sure that what I was feeling throughout the day were contractions so I kept going. Then at 11:30pm my husband started timing them, they were 7 min apart, soon after I lost my birth/mucus plug. We used the techniques we learned in the partner prenatal yoga class and we finally decided to head to the hospital at 4 am. I would have stayed home one more hour but I wanted to know how far along I was. At this point my contractions were 4 min apart. We got to the hospital when I was examined, I was7 cm dilated and 100% effaced and at station -1. We were shocked we did it on our own and were both feeling great. 3 hours later I was 10 cm (with no medications/epidural) and the baby at station +1. I was asked to change positions to help the baby rotate down into the pelvis for ~45 min. My water had not broken so we decided to allow the doctor to break my water. I pushed for (-)1 hour (with no episiotomy) and we finally got to meet our baby, Sophia!!!!!! It was an incredible experience and I want to thank you for all your help along the way.
Sophia was born Dec. 1, 2009 @ 9:26 am, 6 lbs. 10 oz. & was 18 inches long.
She is perfect!!!
Sabrina, Greg and Sophia
My Birth Story
Miriam was born October 28, 2009 at 6 pm, exactly (8) days after her “estimated” due date…
Thanks to you, Debra, I survived this never ending waiting time, as well as the pressure I felt in having to make the decision every day whether to wait for her to arrive naturally in this world or give into the pressure of being induced – which was enormous. It was worth waiting, every second! I know you leave the decisions and choices to us but being in classes with others and having the knowledge and support really helps!
My son Nicolas, 2 1/2, woke me up at 7 in the morning, the 28th of October, when I felt a very light pulling in the abdomen, and could not believe the contractions finally were there! After getting Nicolas to school, I went for a long walk and saw Debra at noon who used some acupressure points with me at yoga class. At that time, I still made a joke of the acupressure being more uncomfortable than my early labor! At 2 pm, feeding lunch to my son, I felt the contractions getting stronger and I retired to concentrate on myself, the breathing and the business of birthing. My husband came home from work at 3 pm, and we called Debra who arrived at our house by 4 to continue the labor with me.
And here’s where my birth story really gets short and simple! Arriving at the hospital at 5 pm, I was 6 – 7 cm. dilated and 100% effaced. Being baby number 2, just 45 minutes later, our little Miriam was born! The cooperation between my husband, Debra, the nurses and my doctor was just perfect, and I could not believe how wonderful every second of this birth felt to me! Without any drugs, birthing can be such a natural, simple and joyful experience. I wish this to every woman on earth. Take the time to labor and embrace the patience of labor.
Keep on doing what you do Debra! Pregnant women need exactly the knowledge, love and support you give us and allow us to give each other!
Thank you so much again for everything.
I want to thank you so much for supporting me throughout my pregnancy and with my decision to have a home/water birth. Helping me figure it out early on and encouraging me to pursue what I truly wanted. This was the most perfect birth! It was pretty much exactly how I envisioned it, natural and pain-free.
My Birth Story
At 8:22pm Tuesday, June 23, 2009 my water broke. I began having some slight cramping about an hour later. I was very excited and anxious because I knew that this was the beginning and that I would get to meet my son soon. I called my midwife to let her know. She told me it would probably be a long night so to try and get some rest. I figured that these cramps were a part of the first signs of labor and didn’t give them much thought. I sat on my rocking chair and talked with my cousin as my husband and her husband went to go get some groceries.
At 11pm I tried lying down to rest but was uncomfortable (it had started getting uncomfortable to lie down a few days earlier) so I went back to the rocking chair. I put on my HypnoBirthing CD and decided to calm myself to see if there was some pattern to these. After practicing the meditation, I realized that there indeed was a pattern and asked my husband to start timing them. Well at first they were steady at two minutes apart and then became inconsistent. I tried the birth ball, and also tried leaning against the bed on the birth ball and began pacing and walking back & forth which felt comfortable for me. Then as the surges got closer together I told my husband to call the midwife again and that this felt more active. I began taking a deep breath in, filling the belly like a balloon and then humming out for the duration of the surge. This helped.
Then what seemed like no time, I felt my tailbone move and my hips shifting and within seconds after that felt a strong urge to push and bear down. I told my husband to get on the phone with the midwife and tell her that I felt like pushing. The midwife told Markus to tell me to blow out like I was blowing out a candle. It was getting difficult so she prepared Markus in case he had to deliver the baby. Markus got very excited at the thought of “receiving our baby” and wrote down what he needed to do.
She arrived fifteen minutes later. My husband was like superman with the compressor and the hose getting the pool ready in no time. I got in the pool and had Elias in about thirty minutes after getting in the water. The water was amazing, I was instantly more relaxed. As soon as I got in the water, I did the “J” breath and had to do a few of those. I felt the baby’s head and then it was just one more “J” breath and he was out! He was brought right to my chest and remained there until it was time to get out of the water. It was an amazing experience and I don’t remember any of it being painful. I was so happy to have a natural and drug free birth.
Thanks to all of the preparation in the yoga classes and the education, I was able to remain calm and relaxed. The classes not only strengthened and prepared my body for the physical aspect of the birth, but they also helped prepare me emotionally to believe in myself and trust in having a natural and beautiful birth. Spiritually I was able to go within myself and become one with my body to experience the birth that I had visualized and envisioned for both my son and myself. During the labor I felt as though we were working together, he gave me cues and I followed so that we could finally meet and hold each other and continue our bond outside the womb. Thank you and see you soon.
Elias Rigoberto Gomez Zisselsberger arrived June 24, 2009 at 3:57 a.m. weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces.
We are back in Kingston and I wanted to say ‘THANK YOU!’ again for joining the birth of Farley. It was wonderful having you with us and you helping me with such an amazing experience. With you and Chris there, I felt perfectly safe in every way. I am sooo happy I managed natural un-medicated childbirth and am very grateful for the support, encouragement and information you gave all along the way in the prenatal yoga and childbirth education classes. Now that I’m starting to join playgroups here in Kingston, I hear moms moan about their birthing experiences and I think every time: for me it was such a wonderful and amazing experience, which I think of only in the most positive light – o.k., maybe not the internal examinations and the fainting! I already recommended you to a yoga mate: Leticia from Spain. She’ll be in Miami in a few months. Little Farley is doing well. He’s a wonderful little person, taking all new experiences in stride. I find him generally quite uncomplicated and easy going, which is great and makes my life easy!
Big Hug and all the best from Jamaica,
Marion, Chris & Baby Farley born Feb. 7, 2009
I just wanted to let you know I had my baby! On Thursday I had some “practice” contractions but I stayed home and took time listening to music having small bites of food and hanging out with my husband who danced with me into Friday! My water broke at around 6:00pm on Friday and shortly after my contractions started coming stronger. I had time to take a shower and then we headed to the hospital with my mom and sister. By the time we got there I was in what seemed like active labor and the contractions were getting a bit more intense. As soon as I was admitted the nurses exclaimed “we may need to do a c-section” because the baby’s heart rate dropped for a bit during my contractions, both my husband and I were appalled but I took my time and started breathing, at that point his heart rate stabilized and it stayed that way. My blood pressure was a bit elevated so they also used that as a reason to mention c-section but I have had a history of hypertension pre-pregnancy and I was not preeclamptic at any point during my pregnancy. I was dilated about 5cm. An hour or so later when doctor walked in when I was about 7cm. So I kept having contractions and things were speeding up on their own, so the doctor left to do a c-section and by the time he came back I was at about 9cm. They called for pitocin even though I was in active labor. At the height of my contractions I was still communicating my birth plan and said no, they responded by saying they didn’t want me to hemmorage and they use pitocin for the uterus to contract to get the placenta out and to stop major bleeding. I said no, to wait for my baby to be born, the Dr. responded by saying I want to get home! He left the room and the nurse came back in and said she was starting pitocin. I said that I did not consent to thatand she said the Dr. just said I did, I told her she better go back out there and check because I know for a fact I did not consent to that, within 5 min. I had three contractions and I was ready to push. He checked, I was 10cm and within 3 pushes my baby was out. I used no epidural and I felt no pain, I had a natural high, even my contractions were manageable with the breathing and my delivery was absolutely amazing!! My husband was so proud & said I was in a zone. My baby was born at 9:23pm that night and I am so happy I did not get an epidural because I think it would have robbed me of knowing I could do it. I really did not feel any pain and it was not a traumatic experience it was an enlightening one! Thank you for all your guidance as we learned so much from your classes and the childbirth workshop we attended. Once my baby is a few weeks old we will both be at your postnatal w/baby class!
Best Wishes! Chris & Mel – January/2012
January 30, 2009 – Maria Ruizs’ Birth Story
Debra and the Girls,
Sorry I missed the class last Thursday, little did I know that I would go into labor the next day. On Friday morning, Jan. 30th I woke up to some light contractions. I got dressed to go to work and while at my desk, the contractions began to be about 15 – 20 minutes apart. Around 11am, one of my coworkers found me on the floor of my office, on my hands and knees doing my big hip circles and breathing. I sent a couple of emails and got some work done, but I could not get comfortable in the office chair. My husband was having some cell phone issues, so I could not get a hold of him. I did not have my car that day so I got a ride home and by 1:30 pm. My contractions were steady at 10 minutes apart.
I made myself some lunch and got comfortable. I began using the ball and other poses to get me thru the contractions. My sister-in-law was very impressed with my demeanor and how I was breathing thru them. Tell the girls…Breathing is so Key!!!! At 2:15 pm, I felt a strong contraction, I got up and felt a the baby’s head had dropped even lower. I realized that my water broke. I got into a hot shower and practiced our pose against the wall like when we give our massages to each other in yoga class. It felt great to do that. I called my Dr. and he said that even though the contractions were only 10 minutes apart, since the water broke, I should come to the hospital.
Here is where my story gets unique and a bit crazy. My husband can panic easily and “loose it” so I was careful of what I was telling him on the phone. I asked him to come home so we could go to the hospital. He was conducting business on Fisher Island which meant he had to take the ferry back and then beat traffic.
So now its 2:30 pm and my contractions were about 7 minutes apart. I kept breathing thru each contraction and concentrating on the 3rd eye. By 3:00 pm they were a steady 5 minutes apart. My husband was getting frantic sitting in Miami traffic on a Friday afternoon. He went into a panic and even got lost trying to find “short cuts” to make it home. At 3:40 pm the contractions were starting to come every 3 minutes, … steady. At 4 pm, I realized that with this traffic I wasn’t going to make it to the hospital with him.
So, I called 911, the paramedics and my husband arrived at the same time. They inserted an IV & were convinced I would give birth in the truck. They were really nice and were breathing with me thru the contractions. They even told me that they were impressed I was doing this all on my own. At this point, I wasn’t going to make it to Mt. Sinai and went for the closest hospital to my house – South Miami. In the rig, I was 2 minutes apart, I could feel the head so low. We arrived around 4:30 pm to the ER, got checked for 2 seconds and the nurse said…”Take her straight upstairs!” The paramedics got me up to the 3rd floor and next thing I knew I was meeting another Dr. who would deliver my baby (he was kind of good looking too). At that moment I said, Great, get that epidural going! Everyone in the room laughed and said, you are going to start pushing now…you are 10 centimeters dilated! So I had 2 minutes to tell this Dr. my entire Birth Plan!
I began to push at 4:40 pm and my baby was out by 5:50 pm! Please tell the girls how important those SQUATS are that we do! The nurses had a name for me…”Strong Legs!” I do have to say that I felt prepared. The best thing I did was the Yoga classes and walking. I needed ALL MY ENERGY. The baby was placed on my chest immediately, the umbilical cord pulsed out, husband cut the cord, then he was cleaned up and back in my arms 15 minutes later. I kept him on my chest for about 45 minutes more before he had to go to the nursery. I was in my own room by 9:30 pm and the baby came back around 10 pm. We kept him in our Room all night so that we could breast feed.
Debra, I did it! NO DRUGS! ALL NATURAL! YAY!!!