Client Testimonials – Childbirth Services
“First of all, if you are considering whether to use a doula: our advice is absolutely hire a doula. Second, if you are looking for a doula, we STRONGLY recommend Odile Penet. Odile is an amazing doula and we cannot imagine having done the birth without her. She brings experience, sensitivity to your needs, and she is literally tireless at supporting you. In our case, we had a picture perfect pregnancy and everything was going smoothly, until… When we got to the earliest contractions (unbeknownst to us and our providers) my wife shifted into an atypical labor pattern. We were trying to manage the situation at home, and we were struggling. We read a LOT of books and were very prepared, but it never goes exactly like the books say. Luckily, we had also hired Odile. When I called her worried, she talked to me for a few minutes and then said, “I’m coming over.” When she arrived, everything was a mess. We weren’t managing the contractions well and my wife was exhausted, sick, and starting to feel a lot of pain. Odile brought a combination of knowledge, calm, and confidence to the situation, and of course, she helped us manage the contractions. She transformed a downward spiral into a managed situation. She helped us both mentally and helped my wife with the physical pain. She worked with us at home on the contractions from 11pm until 7am — without a break. In fact, at one point she let me take a nap and helped my wife solo for 2 hours. She gave us critical advice which led to us making key decisions. She went with us to the hospital. She was with us in the hospital until 1am (our baby was born at midnight). Yes, she pulled a 26-hour shift. It was astounding. The whole time in the hospital she was providing really important “hands on” physical help to prepare for and work through the contractions, plus emotional support. It was like my wife had a second husband there, except Odile actually knew what she was doing. Trust me: you will be very glad you hired Odile.”
My wife had a rough labor for our first child so when a friend recommended we try a doula when our second baby was coming, I welcomed the idea. What a difference it made with the birth of our second son! Odile was a calming presence and so full of good advice and wisdom. She was able to help Grace with different techniques and positions throughout the labor process to help her be more comfortable and I could help support and encourage Grace along the way without the stress of having to “know” everything. I had gone to birthing classes with my wife, but it’s just different when labor is ACTUALLY HAPPENING. She helped us feel comfortable making decisions during a time when plans can change rapidly! Odile was so experienced and able to guide us through. She was so nice to work with and we highly recommend her!
My wife and I used Odile as our Doula for the birth of both of our daughters and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She helped tremendously for both myself and my wife. She was constantly calming and assuring me throughout the process that everything going on was normal and there was nothing to worry about. She also helped coach me on how to help my wife throughout the birth process and in taking our newborn home. Our first daughter was taken to the NICU as soon as she was born. I can honestly say that without Odile by our side, it would have been much harder to cope with the additional stress of the NICU. Her number 1 priority throughout the whole process was our care and comfort. I would not have one bit of hesitation to recommend Odile to anybody looking for excellent Doula services.
STELLA’S BIRTH STORY
December 17 at 1:45am I woke up feeling contractions that were fairly strong and coming every 5 minutes exactly. I decided to wait it out and see if they continued. At about 3:30am they were still coming every 5 minutes so I woke Patrick up and told him, “I think I’m in labor”. He woke up and fell back asleep for the next thirty minutes. By 4am I told him this was definitely happening today so he started texting employees and business partners to work out all of his responsibilities for that day. (and there were quite a few. He had a few photo booth events and class to teach at Grounded). I also decided to text my doula, Odile Penet, who told me no matter the time, if I thought I was in labor to contact her. She told me to keep her posted and asked how I was feeling. I told her I was feeling it almost all in my back (ahhh back labor). About 6am (I think) I talked with her on the phone. She told me even though she was sure I was early in my labor if I wanted her to come and help me with positions to get Stella away from my back she would come on over. I told her to wait for now but that I’d call her back. I continued to labor on my own breathing through my contractions and trying to rest in the bed in between. Around 8am (again I think!) I had called my mom and sister. I spoke to my mom, who sadly was in Boston so wouldn’t be able to come. I had a few contractions while talking with her and was breathing quite loudly through them. She told me to call my doula back and have her come over. So I did. She had a bit of a drive but said she was on her way. I also spoke to my sister, Candice on the phone. At this point I was pacing around my house, stopping wherever I was, grabbing walls and the side of countertops when a contraction would hit. Still at this point breathing through them. Every once in awhile a moan would get away from me but I tried to remain silent during them. My boys and Patrick were in the house playing and just hanging out during the morning hours. Around 10:30 my doula arrived. She immediately started a few techniques to move Stella away from my back. She would do these things when I was not having a contraction. Once a contraction hit she would use a tennis ball to apply counter pressure to my back. This was very helpful although the pain was extremely intense and growing. I also started to listen to my hypnobabies track to help with relaxation. I was able to relax in between the contractions. But then they started getting harder to breath through. They were taking my breath away and I was beginning to moan and scream during them. Odile was able to give me strength during this time as she talked me through them. She would tell me, “you just have to get through this one. just get through this one. its almost over. the worst part is over. its going down now.” These small phrases really put things back into perspective knowing that soon it would be over. She knew exactly what to say to help motivate me and to stay in that exact moment. She told me it might help to take a shower so I did. While I was in the shower I began to rhythmically moan and sway from side to side. Odile said this was progress and told Patrick he should call his mom to come get the boys. I was in the shower for maybe 15 minutes or so. When I got out things just seem to be taking over. I was moaning and moving with each contraction and was barely out of the shower, just had a robe on and underwear and I rushed to the back to the bathroom and threw up. Odile told me not to be scared that this was normal and showing more progression and that she thought things were happening fast now. She told Patrick that we would probably be leaving soon to go to the hospital. Literally right after that I yelled “I have to go to the bathroom!!” and ran and sat on the toilet. Odile yelled at Patrick “Get the car!! The boys are coming with us. We have to leave NOW!!” Apparently I was transitioning and doing it fast. Patrick rushed around the house like crazy grabbing my hospital bag that was not packed all the way (we thought we’d have so much time!). I had on shoes, pants and a robe and thats it (in December). At this point Odile coached me how to lamaze breath through the contractions since I wasn’t able to breath slowly through them at this point. Patrick was getting bags while I was in the car and then boys were in the back seat. Odile was coaching me standing by the passenger side car. The boys asked, “whats wrong with mommy?” Odile told them everything was fine and that this was all normal. She was able to calm them and reassure them. Patrick came out and we started to pull out with Odile following behind us in her car. She honked on her horn as we were pulling out (apparently our trunk was wide open!).. Finally we were off. This was probably about 12:30pm. I continued having contractions in the car. Really not sure how far apart they were but they were close. I screamed and lamaze breathed during them. There was such a calm in between the contractions where I felt completely normal and then they would start up. We pulled up to the ER and Odile got me in a wheel chair and wheeled me in. She yelled that I was in advanced labor, I was a VBAC and needed to go in NOW. They got me in triage and started asking a billion questions. Did I feel pain was one of them……I said or screamed “I feel a baby coming out!!!!” At this point Odile was with the boys and Patrick was being asked other questions at checkin. They checked me and the nurse said, “she’s 9 1/2 centimeters.” And then the rush began, they RAN me down the hallway of the hospital to Labor and Delivery. I was crying and saying I was scared. The nurse who was pushing the gurney was amazing. She said, “Look at me! Everything is going to be fine. Your baby is coming now.” Once in the delivery room Patrick was finally by my side. My doctor didn’t even have notice to come so another doctor was in the room along with 3 nurses. They started telling me to lay back and I was saying no no. So I started pushing on my left side holding onto the side of the bed. I heard the doctor say something to Patrick about an episiotomy and I screamed “DON”T CUT ME!!!!” He said “I won’t, I won’t. Look at my hands. I have nothing in my hands. Don’t worry.” Apparently he was just explaining what could potentially happen. The nurses told me when I felt a contraction to push. I did it and pushed as hard as I could. They told me one more and I would see my baby. I did again and they told me she was there! I thought, they are lying!!! I’m going to be here all day. But the next contraction came and I pushed with everything I had and she came out! She was born at 1:35pm; about 20 minutes after we had arrived at the hospital. They put her on my chest and she was perfect. I said, her skin is perfect! She was amazing. I immediately felt back to normal. No pain, no contractions. The afterbirth was nothing, barley noticed it in comparison. I did tear a little so had to have stitches which wasn’t fun but I was nursing Stella the whole time. After I was fixed up, Gayle (my mother-in-law) had arrived and came in with the boys. Odile came in too. The boys got to meet their sister within minutes of her birth. She nursed for 30 minutes nonstop after she was born. My entire labor from first contraction until she was in my arms was 11 hr and 55 min. My doula said I went from early labor to transition, skipping active labor altogether. Stella was born pushing through only 5 contractions. It was the most empowering, surreal, amazing experience of my entire 32 years. I have never felt a mind to body connection like it. Feeling and experiencing her being born was indescribable to say the least. The power of the mind and the woman’s body is unbelievable and is infinite.
Odile was simply amazing. I am certain that my experience would have been extremely different had she not been there with her reassuring demeanor, her plethora of knowledge, her kind words of encouragement and her wonderfully warm energy. Words could never describe my gratitude.
My husband and I are Odile’s biggest fans ever since she saved us from having an unintentional home birth! I had a very unusual first labor which started out slowly but then progressed through the last stages very quickly. Fortunately, Odile was already at our home when the noise I was making with each contraction suddenly changed. Odile immediately knew something unusual was happening and told my husband to call the midwives and that he would likely need to call 911. She helped me change position and pant through the urge to push while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. She stayed very calm and even thought to suggest that my husband lock the cats away so that they wouldn’t run outside when the door was propped open by the paramedics. Without Odile, I don’t think we would have made it to the hospital in time! It was also wonderful to have another familiar face in the delivery room, since we ended up at a different hospital than we had planned. I can only imagine how terrified my husband would have been if she hadn’t been there—Odile made the experience much easier for both of us, though in different ways than we could have imagined!
Odile supported me in my birth in exactly the way I needed. Things went differently than I expected, but she was able to adapt to my changing needs beautifully. I had a wonderful birth experience, in large part because of Odile, and I couldn’t recommend her more. She’s a fabulous doula.
Odile was an incredible source of support and encouragement during my pregnancy, especially during labor and delivery. She is a great listener and every question or concern I had was greeted with care and compassion. She never pushed her own opinions or judgements about my pregnancy and the decisions I had to make. She offered advice when I asked and just listened when I needed her to. I wanted a doula that was objective and 100% on my side during labor and delivery and she was. I delivered naturally because she was a great coach and I trusted her completely. Odile is gentle and open-minded. She is also very knowledgeable about pregnancy and babies and turned out to be a great resource for other services, such as chiropractors and acupuncture. I almost want to have another baby so she can be there again. She truly cared about me and my family and for that I am so happy I chose Odile to help me deliver my baby.
I knew I wanted a doula at my child’s birth, even though I had a midwife (they perform separate services – midwife delivers the baby and does medical things; doula supports the mom). When I spoke with Odile I felt immediately comfortable with her and her birth philosophy – essentially, you never know until you get to the birth what you will feel like or what you will need, at which point parents and support people should be open to different options. She was supportive of the things my husband and I wanted (minimal medical intervention if possible, but the potential for epidural or other medical comfort measures if necessary). She was supportive and reassuring in the weeks as we prepared for the birth, checking in with emails every so often and offering to talk by phone or in person if I wanted to. After the birth she kept in contact and came by for a visit to help with breastfeeding and check on my recovery. The day of my son’s birth my husband and I were already at the hospital when I knew I was in labor (we had a previously scheduled appointment). Odile came right down when we called, arriving at 1 pm and staying right by my side until after the birth and all the procedures after (about 6 pm – yes, it was a fast labor. No epidural – there wasn’t time!). She was so supportive and helpful, encouraging me when I needed encouragement, suggesting different comfort measures, and offering my husband suggestions for what he could do to help me. She was especially supportive while I was being stiched up afteward, which was more painful and took longer than I had expected. I think going through labor and delivery and the aftermath would have been much scarier and much more difficult without her. I felt like she truly cared about me, my husband, and my baby. I would highly recommend Odile to anyone looking for caring support through the final stages of pregnancy, labor, delivery and post partum.
We loved working with Odile! She was an invaluable support to both my husband and I during my labor, making sure we were working as a team and always offering guidance and encouragement. We would recommend her as a birth doula to anyone.
Odile was absolutely amazing and we highly, highly recommend her!
My husband and I decided to use a doula since both of our families are several states away and because this was our first child so we really wanted someone there who knew what they were doing! It was important to us that our doula be kind, encouraging, supportive and understanding to both my husband and I. We didn’t want it to be just about me. Odile absolutely provided this – from the first meeting it was clear that she would be an awesome support for the whole family.
Ultimately we had a somewhat complicated birth and I know that we wouldn’t have made it through with smiles on our faces had it not been for Odile. Throughout Odile was a calming, confident presence. The doctor, nurses and my husband were all reassuring but I knew the medical staff had a vested interest in telling me everything was ok and my husband, bless his heart, had no idea if things were really ok or not! So I kept turning to Odile for the reassurance and information I needed.
When our daughter was finally born it was clear that Odile was as overjoyed as my husband and I. It sounds weird but Odile really ended up feeling like family! We would be more than happy to provide greater detail on our experience with Odile if it would be helpful. She’s amazing and we’re so, so grateful to have had her be a part of our daughter’s arrival.
Odile is wonderful!! She was a huge support to my family, and me, and helped me to have the birth that I wanted. I would not have been able to have a natural childbirth with out Odile assisting me through the process. She assisted me both physically and mentally. She would massage my back, help me to get into more comfortable positions, and had me lean her during my contractions. Additionally, she provided constant encouragement and helped me to maintain my breathing. I had my birth at a hospital and she worked well with the hospital staff and OB and helped me to voice my desires to them. I hope to have Odile with me at the birth of my second child.
We hired Odlie to help us with our second son. Odile came when we got home from the hospital and worked 3-5 nights for us weekly until our son was about 4 months old. Having Odile’s support at nighttime was so important to my recovery (cesarean) and to the overall well being of my entire family (husband and 4-year-old son.) She would bring me my son to nurse through the night. It was fantastic! Odile has a ton of very useful wisdom about breastfeeding, schedules and sleep routines. She also listened and empathized at some very emotionally trying and challenging times. I would hire her again and again. My son is sleeping through the night now but I still miss Odile and her wonderfully nurturing and caring presence in my home. Odile is like a great mix of Mom, sister, best friend, nurse, healer and psychologist! We love her!
We were extremely lucky to have Odile with us for the birth of our son. We were well prepared after attending a Bradley Class, but we found that Odile’s support was necessary to apply the skills we had acquired. We would never have been able to have a fully natural birth without her ideas, experience and encouragements. We will always be thankful for her dedication and friendliness through the tough experience of a particularly long labor…