Though it was my second time, when I first knew I was pregnant, I felt scared because I was in a foreign country and was terribly missing the huge support of extended family and friends that I received back in India when my son was born. It was only gradually that my misgivings were allayed and Gaia proved to be one of the main reasons for that. 

Somewhere in the back of my head I knew I wanted a doula this time around and the decision became firm when I met Gaia at the birth preparation classes that I was attending. She had a no- nonsense air about her yet was gentle and caring and though I interviewed other candidates I somehow knew that she was the one I wanted.

I had had a C-section the first time, with my son, so I knew exactly how long it took to recover and how constrained life becomes after one, so this time around to say that I wanted a natural birth would have been an understatement. I was in a foreign country, with very little support in terms of family and friends, an older kid to take care of, a husband who travelled a lot due to the nature of his job – all reasons for me to get back up on my feet as soon as possible and a natural birth offered me the only way to do it and Gaia featured a huge way in helping me get there.

Eventually, I was overdue and getting very tense with each passing day. It was then that Gaia came in to help in a big way. She helped me in every way imaginable – aromatherapy, homeopathy, exercises (she was also my pre-natal yoga instructor and a terrific one at that), spinning baby techniques, hypnosis, in short, the works! But more importantly she was like a friend who I could talk to about my doubts and fears and she would try utmost to soothe me in every way possible. 

As luck would have it, I had developed a cyst in my vaginal passage and since I was already overdue and there was no time to wait for the biopsy, the doctors decided to go for a c-section! I had included it in my birth plan and was now surer than ever that I wanted Gaia with me in the OT. When I communicated the same to the team of doctors they were surprised that I didn’t want my husband. To this day, I will never regret that decision. Amidst all that blood and surgery, my husband would have only added to the stress! Instead, Gaia  transported me to the seaside. I only had to close my eyes and listen to her as she sat near me and stroked my hair and spoke of sand castles and the gentle sounds of the waves and created the illusion of a world very different from the sights and sounds of an operation in a hospital. One of the nurses even commented on how serene I looked! All thanks to Gaia!

Yes, the birth of my daughter didn’t exactly go according to plan but if I had to give birth and I knew beforehand that I would be having a C-section, I would still hire a doula and of course it would be none other than Gaia because she is exactly all that you need during those hours of pain and stress – a calm, reassuring, warm friend, who will stand by you like a rock in your moment of need!