First Time Mum’s Birth Centre Lotus Water Birth

I would give more than 5* if I could!
She made our birth experience as perfect as possible! She helped us with lots of good information (books, DVDs, experiences)
I had a drug-free natural undisturbed lotus birth and she was a perfect partner in it.
She and my Husband made a perfect supporting team!
I will always remember her and will keep her with my best memories.
We like to have another baby and I want Virginia to be with us again.

Adrienn Kovacs on the birth of Abel (March 2017)

Hi Virginia
Thank you sooo much for hosting my Blessing way on Saturday! It meant the world to me and the ceremony will forever be so sacred to me and those that I shared this day with..
I felt so special and pampered.

Brenda

First Time Mum’s Home Water Birth

I had been anxiously looking for Doulas in my area since reading Rhea Dempsey’s Birth with Confidence. I wanted to experience birth in its entirety and I knew I needed a Doula to help me make it happen. I learnt of the shocking statistics of the private hospital I was booked into of mostly unnecessary interventions and hoped to avoid them. Why couldn’t I give birth as my grandmother did, drug-free and no fuss, assisted by the town Midwife in her own home? After a life-changing chat with Virginia, I knew I had choices. It wasn’t too late to make it happen at 28 weeks.

We then made the switch to a planned homebirth with an absolutely wonderful Midwife and Virginia, my Doula. I wondered – was I strong enough to birth without drugs, physically, emotionally and mentally? I spoke to Virginia of all my fears and she was the listening ear, the voice of reason and the voice of birth wisdom. I had been blessed with a smooth pregnancy, would the birth be as kind to me? I made use of her library of books and DVDs and just wished I had been in touch with her sooner. She opened my eyes to an amazing world where birth was completely natural and empowering.

After each of Virginia’s pre-natal visits, I felt refreshed and hopeful. So much so that less than 12 hours after she left my home, I went into labour! Virginia returned quickly, and helped me through each contraction, helping through the day in many, many different ways – from hand holding to encouragement to practical help to herbs and just being there allowing my husband to be more present with me. I also chose for her to photograph the labour and birth – a last minute decision which I am extraordinarily grateful for. I now have the most special photos ever taken in my life.

I would highly recommend that all women have the help of a Doula on their birth journeys – even for a planned hospital birth – for the invaluable support before, during and after the birth. Thank you, Virginia, for being the perfect Doula on our birth journey.

Dora Maher on the birth of Gregory (November 2016)

Natural Birth at RPA

When I found out we were pregnant for the second time, all I knew was that I wanted pictures of the birth! So my search began for a birth photographer.

Being due in busy October, most were booked out. In my desperate search to find someone available and book them ASAP, I stumbled upon information about Doulas. After doing some reading about what they do, and the benefits they offer, I thought that using the services of one might be a good idea for us this time around. Double awesome if they take pics too!

I don’t recall how I came across Virginia’s Natural Beginnings page or information, but luckily I did. She seemed pretty down to earth from her bio, took birth pictures and was available for my due month! Lock it in!

During our initial meeting with Virginia, all I knew was that I wanted a drug free birth. To me this simply meant no epidural. I wanted to feel it. All of it. What I didn’t know was they there was a whole host of other things I would end up wanting, thanks to Virginia’s knowledge of pregnancy and birth.

Virginia played a critical role in educating myself and my husband about our options, routine intervention, alternatives and the pro’s and con’s of each. This is something that I think is significantly lacking in pre-natal care, and found that hospital’s have a ‘everyone does, so it’s right and normal’ approach. Virginia was able to help us (but mostly me) make an informed decision around things that would impact me during pregnancy, during the birth and after. I ended up feeling firm and confident in my decisions, rather than our first birth where we took a ‘whatever happens, happens’ approach.

During our pregnancy journey, I came to conclusion that I still wanted an epidural free birth. I was however totally open to (and slightly looking forward to) using gas.  I wanted a natural third stage, not simply one managed with drugs, which I felt took a massive toll on me the first time around. I wanted delayed cord clamping. I wanted my husband to baby catch and announce if it was a boy or a girl. I wanted it to be on my terms. And we wrapped it all up in a birth plan.

I previously thought birth plans were for control freaks, but now I see and understand their purpose and value. A birth plans makes you think about, and decide on what you really want and don’t want. They easily and clearly communicate to medical staff of your wishes and wants.  And they empower you.

Baby #2 announced their impending arrival very differently than the first, with my waters breaking at around 10:30pm. Things progressed quickly and easily, which I felt was due to me feeling secure and confident, and calm about the process. My midwife read through my birth plan when I arrived at the hospital, and agreed that it was all do-able. They did however try to sway me back to active management of the third stage (syntocinon injection to deliver the placenta), yes while in labour, but I stayed firm in my decision to do it naturally.

Baby Mason arrived at a healthy 4.285kgs, after about 1 hour and 45 minutes of active labour and little pushing on my part. Drug free, I could feel my body bearing down and pushing him out. I clearly felt each contraction and despite enjoying the gas a little too much, I still felt it all and remember it clearly. Virginia was able to ground me when I began to panic, and reminded me of why we were there. It took about 45 minutes to deliver the placenta, which to my surprise, I ended up asking Virginia to take away and encapsulate.

I ended up getting the birth I wanted, with a happy and healthy baby, with pictures to boot! My physical recovery was significantly better and quicker than with my first, and I feel content about the whole experience. Breastfeeding was still a challenge, with it taking a good 6-8 weeks to feel as though it is well established. Mason is a big, healthy boy, and I feel very bonded to him, which I attribute much to his birth.

Virginia is a fantastic doula, and person all around. She is very knowledgeable about pregnancy and birth, and takes a natural, holistic approach. This I feel provides good balance, in contrast to the heavily medicalised environment in hospital based pre-natal care and birth.  In addition to all of this, Virginia operates her business professionally and effectively, which makes the whole process even easier.

Thank you Virginia! You are wonderful!

Alex, Simon, Max & Mason

“I got my NBA2C! (Natural Birth After Two C-Sections!!!!)” – Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick

It still sends shivers down my spine and brings a smile to my face when I remember the birth of my daughter – my third child, and my first natural, drug-free birth. Virginia was instrumental in helping us achieve this outcome.

Her knowledge, experience and care throughout my pregnancy opened up many opportunities for me to learn from my past mistakes. Ultimately she paved the way for me to experience an empowered, positive birth- something I had wished for more than anything!

Through Virginia I was able to gain access to many useful resources and opportunities, During the pregnancy this included art therapy, and a birth trauma release session.

Virginia’s library was a Godsend! She tailored my readings with books specifically dealing with NBAC’s and natural birthing and parenting. These resources together with the support groups that she found for me online helped get me in the right headspace, and all of a sudden I had answers to all my burning questions. It was also hugely encouraging to be surrounded by other women who had been through similar unfavourable circumstances and had later gone on to achieve a better birth outcome. I wasn’t the only one!

When my husband was unable to accompany me to my first OB appointment Virginia was there literally holding my hand. Afterwards I joked with hubby that it was probably a good thing that she had replaced him at that visit – having worked with my OB at previous births she confidently helped navigate a plan whereby my birth intentions would be supported and honoured. I will forever be grateful to her for that as I feel that this was a turning point in my relationship with my medical team. After that meeting there was no more talk of a repeat ceaserean and I was treated with the utmost care and respect.

As the time for the birth drew near, Virginia worked through pain management techniques and mindfulness exercises. It was important for me to experience a drug free birth and I drew on a lot of this preparation during my labour. It helped immensely!

I don’t know how she did it, but during my labour Virginia managed to fulfil the role of Doula and birth photographer beautifully.

My labour was so intense and at times I felt incredibly depleted and helpless. During these times Virginia supported me with herbs and essential oils and at just the right time she would give me a stern talking to or a gentle rub on my shoulders and I would find the strength to keep going.

I look at the amazing photos that she captured during the labour and birth and my only regret is that I didn’t get her to also do my pregnancy photos!

Post birth I had arranged through Virginia to encapsulate my placenta. I called them my happy pills! I am convinced they helped keep me balanced and energetic in those first few weeks after my daughter’s birth. And now, hanging in my daughter’s room is the most exquisite dream catcher which Virginia fashioned out of the placenta cord. A wonderful memento of what we achieved.

After all of these amazing experiences my favourite thing would have to be the beautiful ritual that Gin performed when she came to visit us at home after the birth. She did what is called “The Closing Of  The Bones” which was a postpartum healing ceremony to close my body and complete the birth process using using her hands and her rebozo.

I am so very thankful for Virginia – she restored my faith in birthing, and reminded me of the power of positive thinking and positive people.

Thank you Gin – you are a credit to your profession and I am so grateful for all that you did for us xxx

Yianna Tsakirios on the birth of Thea (May 2016)

Natural Birth at RPA

The best thing any pregnant couple could do would be to hire Virginia as their doula! Virginia put our minds at ease from the first meeting and I knew that she would be a fantastic support throughout pregnancy and during the birth. Virginia really took the time to get to know us, answer all of our questions and even patiently mediated some differences of opinion between my husband and I!

Virginia is a wealth of information for all things pregnancy and birth related. She has a great library of books and resources too, which was awesome in the lead up to the birth. We even got my husband watching some birth videos to get in the groove! It was good that he was prepared because he ended up getting really into it and even caught our daughter as I birthed her.

Although our birth didn’t go exactly as we planned (do they ever?!), I am so grateful to Virginia for all her support, reassurance and strength during the birth. It was a truly joyous experience and I felt so supported and cared for. Virginia’s presence during the birth and all the preparation we did with her in the lead up really gave my husband the confidence to be the Best possible support person. Virginia took care of everything from keeping me hydrated to diffusing essential oils, which allowed my husband to be completely present. It was amazing how Virginia knew when my energy was waning and was there with some juice or ginseng or some motivating words. I never questioned whether she had complete faith in my body and capacity to birth my baby. Amongst all of that she even found time to take photos of our birth, which I will always treasure.

I can never thank Virginia enough for her love and support

Emma Siegel on the birth of Sadie (March 2016)

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for hosting my Blessingway. It was everything I wanted. I really appreciate the energy and time you put in to it, and the love and support you are giving me. To have you as part of my birth team means the absolute world to both my husband and myself. Your positive messages and vibes about my birth are helping so much in me being able to relax and visualise it all unfolding beautifully. Thank you again, so much and I am so glad to have you with me (us) on this journey.

Crystal

It was a beautiful and empowering day soaking up all the love and connection with close friends and family, really feeling the blessings of everyone to surround me leading up to the birth, during the birth and afterwards. Feeling so excited about this birth and the Blessingway just encapsulated all that I was wanting to give me that extra bit of strength and encouragement. Love love love my henna belly too. Thanks Virginia for facilitating such a beautiful ceremony. xox

Danielle

Premature Birth at Royal Hospital for Women

My husband and I are very happy that we had Virginia as our doula.

We were planning a home birth with independent midwives, but due to premature labour we gave birth at the hospital.

For the first false alarm labour at 26 weeks gestation, Virginia was quick to come to the hospital and stayed with us until we felt ok. She helped me to stop the contractions with her special herbs, which worked so well. Thanks to her, the contractions stopped and I was able to keep my baby inside until 27 weeks.

Her emotional support was invaluable during my stay in the hospital.

When the real labour came at 27 weeks, our son was born too fast and only my husband was able to be present for me but Virginia came as soon as possible and helped us after the birth. Her presence was such a comfort for us.

She prepared placenta capsules very quickly which helped me with milk production and fatigue. It also helped me with my mood despite of the fact that I was not able to cuddle my son after birth for 14 days.

Virginia also organised a rebirth ceremony for me when our son was back home from NICU. It was such a special ceremony which helped me to acknowledge my grief, let go of it and be positive with my mind.

I cannot imagine how we could have been without Virginia’s support and wisdom.

Thank you Virginia for your wonderful service!

Noriko Amies (Doula) on the birth of Walter (November 2015)

Attempted VBAC at St George hospital

Virginia was my doula for my attempted VBAC. Straight away me and my husband felt comfortable and relaxed with Virginia. She helped me in so many ways for my labour with herbs, massages, encouragement and plenty more. I went into labour with so much more knowledge thanks to her guidance which helped me make informed choices in labour rather than just being told what to do by the doctors. Virginia also takes amazing photos which I will treasure forever.

Asheligh Tauteka on the birth of Tia (March 2015)