I consider myself extremely lucky to have had Sybille present at the births of both of my children. Evelyn was born in Nantucket Cottage Hospital in 1997 with Sybille present in a supportive doula role. Owen was born at home in 2000.

It’s wonderful to read the other testimonials and remember what it was like to give birth for the first time. It was more painful, joyful, intense, and miraculous than I thought I could possibly bear. That feeling has faded, so it’s amazing to bring it back right now. Sybille’s incredible wisdom had a lot to do with how profoundly we were able to experience those magical times.

When deciding where to have my first baby, I was interested in homebirth but was not confident enough to go against my family and friends who were shocked at such a notion. The compromise I settled on was to have the baby in the hospital, but naturally, and with Sybille there for me. This was not her first choice, nor was it the doctor’s. I give them both a great deal of credit for being open-minded enough to accommodate my wishes. Sybille helped me stick to my original plan of a drug-free birth. In the end, after 21 hours of labor, the doctor used a vacuum thing (I’ve forgotten the term) on Evelyn’s head and yanked like crazy to get her free - lots of blood, lots of stitches, lots of incredulity on Sybille’s part, but a perfectly beautiful baby girl.

I knew the second time would be different, because I had the confidence and experience I lacked the first time and knew I would be at home. Sybille had said that mammals like to give birth in private. She had also told me that being in the hospital can often be the cause of problems, so statistics about how many births are problematic are misleading. Both statements made perfect sense to me after my hospital experience, and I think they are linked. Having such a private experience turned into a very public spectacle is a huge stress at a time when you desperately need reassurance and comfort. I wanted to be comfortable, safe, and most importantly in control for my second birth.

That proved to work like a charm for me. My water broke at about 3:20 am and Owen was born at 5:00 am - one hour and a half start to finish! I sat on the toilet, a trick I now recommend. I seriously doubt I could have gotten to the hospital even if I’d wanted to, so thank goodness Sybille was there. When Evelyn woke up a few hours later she had a brother and none of us could believe it had gone so smoothly. What a contrast it was to the previous experience.

Another thing I’d like to add about Sybille’s care is the quality of her attention during both pre-natal and post-natal visits. Being in her soothing home and soaking up her knowledge gave a powerful boost to my sense of security at that time. (I also took her pre-natal classes, which were invaluable.) That connection continues still when she holds potlucks for the families she’s touched in this beautiful way, usually when someone new is about to join us. She genuinely cares for her people, and that’s rare in this world. We love Sybille for the elevated consciousness and respect she brought to our lives. I wish the same quality of experience for all pregnant women.

Wendy and Owen