“Being pregnant and giving birth was easily the most heterosexual experience my life. The whole birth industrial complex seems to be built for a certain kind of straight folks. So it was tremendous to have someone with us the whole way who supported my identity as a queer woman and was able to talk about the identity shifts that come with pregnancy and my newfound motherhood.
Sequoia was the best part of what otherwise might have been a pretty terrible experience. I had an idea for birth that involved no pain medication and minimal interventions. I ended up, due to complications with my daughter, with a c-section and a stint in the NICU. Sequoia's support helped us be flexible with all the changes in the moment, by explaining what things were normal and what weren't, showing us the ins and outs of the hosptial and helping us think of questions to ask.
Aftwards, during our postpartum visits, Sequioa helped us both process what happened and referred us to resources such as massage therapists and lactaction consultants. I truly think that without Sequioa, I would have ended up as another PPD statistic. Instead, two months out, my daughter and I are doing very very well.”
“From the very first meeting with Sequoia I knew I wanted to work with them. Sequoia understood and listened to me when I told them that I wanted some information but not too much in regards to birth and labor because of my fears. They did not treat me as if I should want to know more, but instead were compassionate. At the same time, when I did want more information, they were extremely knowledgeable and prompt.
When we found out our baby was breached and would need to be delivered via ceceran 3 weeks early, Sequoia communicated that they were available and that they would be ready to come to the hospital. Not only was Sequoia availble to be there physcically, but also emotionally. The sudden information about a 3 week early baby was a lot to take-in and Sequoia was very sensetive to the shock and fear I had as a delievering mother.
In the hospital pre-birth, Sequoia encouraged me to advocate for myself. For example, a midwife came into the room to do the final inspection on me and my baby before the procedure and I felt like she was shaming me for having a ceceran. Sequoia let me know that I could let the nurses know that I did not want to work with the midwife. They really supported me and my family in the hospital which can be daunting and overwhelming.
I was extremely nervous about the ceceran, so Sequoia brought lavendar oil and put some on a towel so that I could breath it during the epideral. During the birth, Sequoia held one hand and my husband held the other. I let them know I would possibly need support in the way of being talked to or for it to be silent but wasn't sure. I also let them know I needed to be holding on to a hand the entire procedure, so they held my hand and let my husband know when and where to take pictures of our baby when he first came out.
Sequoia is extremely professional and also a reader of energies, which is an amazing combination in a doula.”
We are so grateful and glad that Sequoia was our doula. We found her to be calm, consistent, prompt with responses and a wonderful advocate. Our appointments were a great time to reflect and she asked questions that helped us to check in with ourselves both pre and post natal. Throughout the birth of our daughter, which took about a week total, she stepped in and offered many comfort measures and was a great support to us throughout. She was also intuitive and saw when to step back when we felt support was not needed. We appreciated all the resources and knowledge that she provided and would highly recommend her. Finally, she took many wonderful photos of the birth process, and they captured some of our most cherished memories that we can look to again and again. Thank you Sequoia!
“Sequoia was our doula who assisted me during my pregnancy, labor and delivery of our first son in July 2018. Since this was my first pregnancy and we didn’t know what to expect, we needed a proactive and knowledgeable yet kind and sensitive doula. Since we don’t have family in town, we also needed someone to emotionally support, guide us and advocate for our needs during labor and delivery. Sequoia was all that and more. She is a good listener and at the same time is good at providing various relevant information that we didn’t know of to ask for. She was responsive and available, very sensitive and flexible to adjust to our needs, positive and calm. Sequoia was especially helpful during my labor and delivery where she was very quick to react to what I was experiencing and get or provide necessary help right away. My labor was progressing fast, and if Sequoia wasn’t there my husband and I wouldn’t know what was going on and would be much slower to ask for a nurse, tools to help during labor, explain what was going on, etc. We were lucky to find Sequoia and would highly recommend her.”
“We were fortunate to have Sequoia be our doula for the birth of our first child in December 2017. When my partner and I met her during our interview, we immediately felt comfortable with her. While soft-spoken, Sequoia was an attentive listener and had a spectacular memory for all the details that we shared with her. I most appreciated Sequoia's willingness to guide me through several different birth plans (i.e., no epidural, epidural, c-section) to help me prepare for anything that could possibly happen during birth. On the day of, Sequoia was calm, informative, patient, funny, and was there for everything we needed. The birth turned out to be quite an eventful day and we were so glad that Sequoia was there with us. She is also a great photographer and took some amazing photos of the birth. We were so lucky to have her be our doula!”
"Sequoia was an amazing doula! I cannot say enough about how grateful we are for her during my 26 hour labor as well as our meetings leading up to it. Prior to labor, Sequoia listened to all of my concerns and desires for childbirth. She provided several resources to prepare me for labor During labor, Sequoia was attentive and guided me through different positions as the labor progressed. She helped with pain management and was incredibly knowledgeable about all of the options I was given as far as pain management.
Sequoia stuck with us throughout the entire labor and I was so thankful to have her by my side as I processed feelings from fear & frustration to elation. She brought a sense of calm to the birthing suite that no one else in the room could. She is also incredibly well connected in the community. Post birth, she referred me to postnatal doulas, lactation consultants and more.
I highly recommend Sequoia!"
"Working with Sequoia was a wonderful experience. As first-time parents, we weren't sure what to expect or to ask for. Sequoia did a great job working with us to understand the level of support we were looking for. Her calm presence made us feel at ease, even during her prenatal visit, and was of course tremendously helpful during labor. Sequoia provided support to both me and my husband, and we especially appreciated her level head as labor progressed. She thought of everything, including bringing coconut water and honey to help me keep my energy up. She brought this same supportive spirit to her postnatal visit, which we really appreciated - it helped us keep things in perspective during very new parenthood. I would absolutely recommend Sequoia!"
"I had a fantastic experience with Sequoia as my birth doula this past July when my daughter was born. I worked with Sequoia to prepare for my daughter's birth, she was there with me for my entire labor and delivery and she visited me at home for a postpartum visit. I selected Sequoia because I felt very comfortable and at peace with her, which is how I wanted to feel during my labor. She is a kind, calm presence, very intuitive and knowledgeable. I really appreciated how she helped me to frame the experience, gave me tools to help me with my anxiety and really listened to what I needed. Sequoia checked in with me a lot leading up to the birth and communicated about where she might be, how to get ahold of her, etc. She met me at the hospital and was one of the calm supportive presences that made my labor and daughter's birth a magical experience for me. She is also a talented photographer and took photos of the moment of birth, my husband and family's faces and I will cherish those photos for the rest of my life. I highly recommend Sequoia."
"Sequoia has such a wonderful, calming presence and I consider myself lucky to call them a doula colleague and friend. Sequoia was the primary doula for some of my clients while I was attending another birth. When I was able to join the birth, Sequoia stayed alongside us continuing to offer intuitive support (for my client and for me!) for what turned out to be a very long and somewhat complicated labor. My clients later shared with me how much they appreciated Sequoia’s support for those first hours, and were surprised to hear it was the first birth Sequoia had attended - saying that Sequoia was at ease and brought a calm confidence that fit my clients' needs. In addition to their warm personality, Sequoia is lighthearted, cheerful and sincere - all of which make a wonderful doula. Their dedication to social & reproductive justice is evident in the way they offer support within our community - both by being a full spectrum doula and a community arts activist. I believe in their work as a doula whole heartedly and will continue to enthusiastically work with them!"
-Andrea Starbird, Birth & Full Spectrum Doula, http://www.aysisdoulaservices.com