Updated: Oct 17
The moment I discovered I was pregnant with my first child in 2006, I began to research all I could manage to create the most joyful, beautiful and memorable journey. I felt overwhelmed with emotions. Joy, excitement, nervousness, uncertainty, anticipation....the list went on. I was approaching my 30's, still employed as a flight attendant (traveling during pregnancy has its ups and downs!!! ha ha!) This was a new chapter in my life that I did not expect to unfold and I was going to do everything in my power to make this a positive experience.
Part of my research and determination was to find the perfect Doula. A companion to be by my side along with the father of my child. Uncertain that I may be alone during the birth, I knew I needed a woman, an educator, a guide. I had lost my mother 4 years earlier and with no family nearby, I needed someone, I did not want to do this alone.
What is a Doula?
Doulas provide labor support to women undergoing childbirth. The term “doula” was developed in the 1960s to describe the comforting presence of a friend during labor. Historically, this type of labor support personnel has been used since the Greeks in ancient times, although they were servants and not professionals. In modern times, doulas have seen widespread usage not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. This recent popularity was brought on by clinical studies which showed that the presence of a doula reduced the need for medical intervention during labor as well as a higher success rate for breastfeeding during the first few days after birth. ("curioushistory.com)
I came across a few business cards from my care provider's office and decided to start calling the numbers. The first number I called was for Rhonda Huggins! (I already loved the name...seemed so comforting!) I spoke with Rhonda for maybe 10 minutes and after we finished our conversation I knew there was no need to call anyone else! I felt a connection instantly. We scheduled a meeting in my home and I adored her character, her knowledge, her passion and her nurturing manner! I wrote a check and when she left I actually said..."I just paid for a friend!"
Rhonda was there for me during my pregnancy anytime I needed an answer, she helped to build my confidence and assured me that everything I was doing was just right! She was by my side when I thought I was ready to give birth 2 days before I actually did. I was comforted by her when I felt discouraged thinking I was in labor. When the time came for baby to finally arrive...she was there to keep me focused, calm and relaxed. Her gentle, loving words, her calm soft touch...was exactly what I needed to get me through.
Her support continued after my baby's birth. Breastfeeding was an easy journey because she continued to support me. Fast forward 2 years....we still carried on a friendship, I had experienced a pregnancy loss after my first born and Rhonda was there to get me through those difficult and emotional moments. I became pregnant for the 3rd time a few months later. I knew without a doubt that I would need Rhonda by my side once again. This time I would be birthing at home, with my team and Rhonda being my golden light, my birthing angle, my guide. Sure enough, it was another beautiful, calm, loving experience. I had such a wonderful team.
I had mentioned to Rhonda on a few occasions that she should become a midwife! I knew when the time was right for her that she would begin that journey. In those years, she was mothering and homeschooling her two beautiful daughters, a loving wife, a child care provider for her church, supporting and educating families and just being an amazing, loving caring human!
I decided to train and became a doula myself after experiencing her support and being present at a close friends birth of her child. It was a change in my life that I never knew could be so rewarding. I have Rhonda to thank for that.
She began working for a well known Central Florida midwife, which sparked her love for the pre-natal care aspect of care and inspired her to attend midwifery school.
As she patiently waited, the time finally arrived when it was meant to be. In 2012 Rhonda made the decision to enroll into midwifery school! I was beyond thrilled for her! I knew she was meant for this calling. I also made a change in my career and became a Certified HypnoBirhting Educator to continue supporting the women and families that Rhonda had been educating. I continue to teach today and again...I have Rhonda to thank for this!
Rhonda graduated from Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in Gainesville in 2015. She has been supporting women, babies and families ever since with her practice: "A Positive Beginning Midwifery Services."
I truly feel that I experienced a positive beginning in pregnancy and motherhood with the help of Rhonda Huggins. I know she gives her all to ensure that the families she serves will experience the same.
With love and forever gratitude,
Thank you Rhonda!