A Letter from one of my Clients

I was referred to Vicki Kunzli by my OB/GYN when I requested to know of a doula in the Vancouver area. I was told she was a 'nice lady.' In addition to this I found Vicki to be extremely caring, sensitive, very knowledgeable and very professional.

I was impressed by Vicki's skills in supporting and encouraging my husband and I during our labour. She even when beyond the call of duty in bringing her teenage daughter with her in the middle of the night to baby sit for our son as we were from out of town and had no one to care for him while I was labouring.

During our initial telephone conversation, I was concerned about Vicki's fee being more than we could afford, and also given our expenses for travel and staying away from home. I would like to state that in return for her service and the positive outcome we received as a result of her service, her fee was very reasonable. I would definitely pay to hire Vicki again should we be having another baby. In fact, I would not deliver another baby without Vicki being our Doula.

What we received from Vicki was much more than emotional support. Vicki assisted me to breathe correctly throughout my entire labour. She held my hands in such a way as to feed her strength and confidence through to me. She predicted ahead to know when I was too hot, too thirsty or feeling stressed and fearful and solved these problems so I could feel peaceful again. She helped to bring my husband closer to me making him an active partner. When I asked him to rub my back and then immediately asked him to stop when I had a contraction, Vicki explained quietly to him a labouring women's sensitivity to stimuli to help him not feel hurt at my reaction. Vicki was an expert at analyzing which positions were or weren't working for me and she suggested many things to make more effective use of my efforts during labour.

I believe that my labour was shortened considerable because of Vicki's support, skills in assisting during the contractions and especially her techniques for pushing during the final stage of labour. Her support and encouragement made the pain more bearable. When I wanted to back out and request drugs, Vicki was there to assure me that I was strong and able to birth my child. When I was stressed out and fearful of the pain, she encouraged me and helped me to visualize peaceful places.

Today, Vicki brought us memories for years to come when she delivered our family photo album and birth story to the hospital. Words cannot express my gratitude for having had Vicki present. I am convinced that without Vicki's assistance my labour would have been longer and more painful because I had no idea how to labour effectively and that the outcome would not have been as positive.
This is all in direct contrast to my first birth experience which was a disaster in every way. Although I had a doula present at my first birth she had a different, less effective style. Prenatal classes did not adequately prepare me for labour. The nurses and doctors popped in and out to check on me, but didn't assist or support me or my husband.

My General Practitioner led me to believe that I could have a painless delivery with an epidural. It took the anesthesiologist three tries to the epidural in, the epidural slowed my labour and then stopped my labour and finally only stopped the pain on my left side while I continued to have full feeling of the contractions on the other side. One medical intervention led to another and another. My labour was long, ineffective and unproductive as I became too tired to even hold myself up or cope with the pain. I definitely could not have pushed the baby out. As no one helped me with the positioning or pushing to get the baby to come down the birth canal, my son was still very high requiring a c-section. I now realize this would have been unnecessary if I had had Vicki's support instead of the drugs.

Following the c-section, I was only allowed one quick glimpse of my new baby as they took him to be assessed and I stayed in the recovery room for 2.5 hours. Recovery was hard and difficult, I was bleeding internally as the surgeon had 'knicked' a major artery and stitched me back up. The pain from the c-section was incredible despite all the drugs they gave me. Thirty six hours later Had a second surgery to remove all the blood clots, two blood transfusions and many other medical interventions. Recovery time was long and painful. A c-section that was discussed so routinely is not without complications; it is major surgery. It makes looking after your new baby far more difficult following this surgery too.

Despite my past birth history, despite my OB/GYN advising me that scheduling another c-section would be easier and possibly safer than labouring and despite another OB/GYN telling me only the day before I delivered vaginally, that I would probably end up with a c-section because my pelvis wasn't very generous, Vicki was there to reassure me that she believed I could deliver vaginally.

Vicki's skills, experience, and support were by far more effective than all of the medications I received for pain during my first birth. I felt great minutes after a vaginal birth compared to months following the medical intervention birth.

There were something's that are worth their weight in gold and I considering having a qualified, experienced Doula like Vicki to be one of them.

I hope my comparison of my two outcomes and value of having a Doula present will help you make your own decision.

Best wishes for your birth.


Toni Bond, Powell River, BC