As my son's first birthday approaches, I, like many mamas do around this time, have become nostalgic about this incredible year that has gone by. I look down at my sleeping toddler-to-be and reflect on how I've literally watched him grow in my arms, from the moment he was placed there at birth. I went to search for that photo of that breathtaking moment, captured by Nicole that day and a flood of emotions ran through me. I have not yet written by birth story in its entirety, perhaps because I was still in the process of birthing myself as a mother. Nicole, during one of our meetings said "the post partum period should really be considered to last a year". And she was right.
I knew the moment I read Nicole's web page that I wanted her to be my doula for my home birth. We chatted over the phone a few weeks before labor and met with my whole birth team. She brought an ethereal energy into the space, her voice confidently calm and her words bearing womanly wisdom she's gathered from her own experience as well those she has sought. We connected before birth and that trust sustained me through 47 hours of labor.
The day I went into labor she was the first of my birth team to arrive. I remember playing some Alicia Keys while she guided me through some movements to manage early labor. Her smile always served as reassurance that even though this was my first child birth experience and I was both nervous and overwhelmed, this entire process was intuitive. Every breath I took, we shared. We moved from a series of breaths, motions, positions, whatever she saw fitting to help me manage the contractions. Her coping toolbox seemed endless from oils to massages to wraps.
In the final hours of my labor, although I was inconceivably exhausted and so was the rest of my birth team, Nicole was present in all sense of the word; she kept me grounded and focused through birth affirmations I had written for that very moment. "You are safe. Your baby is safe."
And it was in the safety of that environment--after a day and half and back labor-- that I closed my eyes and knew that the well wasn't empty. See, throughout this entire labor, I thought the well kept running dry... But there was always one more drop thay Nicole reminded me of. When it came to the final push, the last drop reflected a room full of warriors that had gone to battle with me for 36 hours. And though it was I who carried the flag, Nicole carried the torch. And even with my eyes closed her voice was the light, guiding me to that one final push.
Thank you Nicole for being an incredible doula and champion for a dignified birthing experience.
A.M., Bronx, NY, June 2018
"From the first conversation we had with Nicole, my husband and I were impressed with her authenticity, calm and assured demeanor. It was a no brainer for us to bring her on as our doula. It was important for me to have a doula who did, in fact, feel like family and her aptly named company “sésé” did not disappoint. Although I wanted to have a natural birth with my midwife and Nicole as my team, fate had me in a two day induction with off the charts contractions - most of which was unmedicated. I would’t have made it without Nicole and her direction to my husband. Nicole is a rock - she’s reliable, she always knows what to say, she’s present and she hangs in there when the going gets tough. Nicole was by my side for at least 24 hours straight, she was there as I got the news that I had to have an emergency c-section and she was there when they wheeled me into the recovery room. As traumatic as that whole experience could have been, I feel like Nicole always checked in and made sure I felt like I had a voice in the midst of it all. Since the birth, she has also been super helpful in helping me process my many many feelings and she has even done some laundry folding and dishes. The only downside is that this whole process is over and we don’t get to hang anymore but my husband and I will keep in touch with her - she’s inner circle now! "
T.S., Queens, NY
Having Nicole there throughout my very first pregnancy and first child was one in a million and I'm glad I met her. During our time together we bonded in our experiences. She was very attentive and reliable when ever I had a question, because of that she has become like family and has become my daughters adopted aunt ..I am so grateful to her and continue to keep her updated on my child's life.
R.M., Birth Client, Bronx, NY
"Nicole was great, she was always on time and willing to help. My son, Jenesis only latched on while she was here and I enjoyed that time I had to breastfeed him. I would recommend her to anyone that I know is pregnant or just had a baby.