Vanessa Ulia Dantas e Sá
Place of birth: Capri (Fish Hoek) Home-birth
Birth Date: Mateen José Sá Shamis, born on March 25, 2014, 3.995 kg
Thinking of the gift that Charlene was during the birth of our beautiful son Mateen brings tears to my eyes.I wasn’t sure I needed a doula. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the hypnobirthing course. She allowed my doubt. Allowed me space to think and feel it through, booking and unbooking.
Eventually we spoke on the phone, and her tone of voice – like a gentle spell – convinced me she would be part of the birth.Charlene visited us a couple of times before the birth, and brought with her just what we needed – a most allowing, judgement free presence. Not too much, not too little.
On the day labour started I called Charlene – and she joined us at home promptly. Through my surges, she held the whole of me. Physically, emotionally, the whole of me. Massaging every surge. Holding my body while I rested between surges. Reassuring me. Holding the birth space for me and for my husband, very aware of our needs as individuals and as a couple.Charlene worked with my midwife, Sandy Standish, tirelessly.
When we did have to move to Mowbray Maternity, her support and beauty offerings were all the same. Mateen was born soon after our arrival with help of suction.
He was immediately place on my chest, where he remained (and still is, deeply encrusted in me). I hadn’t given much thought to breastfeeding or the challenge that it can be. In that first hour of having Mateen in my arms, and Charlene next to me, she, in the most gentle way, guided us into the breastfeeding relationship we both adore.
What an amazing gift she is. The most allowing spirit. Steady yet soft.
Forever thankful for her.