Oh where should I get started? There are countless amazing things about working with Cerisse as our birthing doula. My husband and I still remember our first meeting with Cerisse vividly. In a chilly autumn day, Cerisse struck us as someone who is incredibly warm, kind, loving, trustworthy, compassionate, down-to-earth and nonjudgemental. She listened attentively to our needs, and answered our questions with honesty and authenticity. We both felt safe and relatable to her right away. After we decided to work with her, Cerisse made sure to check in with us as often as we would like, asked questions and provided tips and resources for us to get ready for our baby’s arrival.
We found her support to be an essential source of strength during my late pregnancy, child birth, as well as early postpartum. Cerisse has such a wealth of knowledge about pregnancy, child birth and breastfeeding that I think my husband and I were educated and prepared more than we’d ever anticipated. I know it may sound crazy to describe child birthing as “magical”, but we truly felt that way about this most significant experience of our lives. Cerisse had provided me with tools to achieve my birthing goals and I had a very peaceful birth without any pain relief or medical intervention. We are forever grateful for Cerisse and would highly recommend her to anyone who hopes to experience birth in a calm and empowered way.
We were so lucky to have Cerisse as our doula. She was such a support before, during, & after Kellan’s delivery. Cerisse gave us the peace of mind that allowed us to create a wonderful birth experience. I can’t envision doing it without her!
My family was incredibly fortunate to have Cerisse as our doula for the birth of our son. As first time parents without any immediate family in town we were looking for someone to be a supportive, knowledgeable addition to our birth team. When first meeting Cerisse I was immediately comforted by her calm and warm demeanor along with her extensive doula experience. She truly cared about our wishes and helped my husband feel confident in his ability to help me through the labor process. Cerisse was a calming force in the delivery room and ensured that all of my wishes were met. In addition to making sure every one of my needs (and more) were taken care of, Cerisse provided support and care suggestions to my husband making the two of them my delivery dream team.
Cerisse was an integral part of our birth but even more so a vital piece of our going home process. Without Cerisse’s extensive knowledge and skill, I honestly do not know how we would have made it the first evening at home. We were sent home with a tiny baby who had already lost 10% of his birth weight, a few bottles of donor breastmilk, and instructions to make an appointment with a lactation consultant for the next day. I don’t remember much from our first few days of life with a new baby but I do remember an overwhelming fear that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to feed my son before my breastmilk came in. Cerisse entered our home and changed that fear to confidence and empowerment. My husband and I will forever be grateful to have had Cerisse as our doula.
I knew I wanted to deliver my baby at a hospital and was hoping to have a natural birth. I knew very little about labor/delivering a baby. My husband and I also took Cerisse’s birth class and it was SO helpful. Cerisse made me feel like a pro. As if I was delivering my second baby and knew just what to do – but it was of course my first.
Covid “hit” and we were informed by the hospital that only one person could come with me. I was so sad but it ended up being just perfect. Cerisse was right there with us working through my husband to help us have the smoothest labor and delivery possible. Everything went so well. It was intense but doable and then the pushing was crazy but only 30 minutes and BAM my perfect baby boy (he looked so big!) was placed on my chest and I was overcome with joy.
After we got home I had an “on call” support person to give me nursing tips and comfort me when I was feeling overwhelmed. When I see Cerisse now I tear up because she helped me bring my beautiful baby boy into this world and I felt supported and informed and thrilled with how everything went. If it hadn’t gone well she would have helped me accept that too. I feel like Cerisse was meant to be a doula. It’s her calling.
Most importantly, and what I am most, most grateful for is that she did not pressure me or judge me. She helped me and supported me whether I decided to breastfeed my son for one more day, one more month or one more year. I think sometimes, in the interest of defending breastfeeding, the psychological/physical health of the mother gets forgotten. Cerisse understood this, and how to navigate a growing relationship between a mother and her child. This unconditional, unjudgemental, unauthoritarian support is something I did not have with my first son and for it I am deeply grateful.
As soon as Cerisse walked in the door, I felt safe. She was so easy to connect with and ask anything. She seemed to intuitively get what I was going through. I didn’t realize how hard the postpartum period could be and I didn’t realize all of the questions I would have along the way. Cerisse was great at problem solving and offering ideas to fit my life in a non-judgmental way rather than pushing her opinion. She knows about tons of resources in the Missoula community for every issue that might arise with either baby, mother or father. She was always available, always followed up and always compassionate.
We missed class after it finished and wished there were more sessions! We felt so supported and encouraged and feel like we learned so much.
Birth Essentials is a wonderful childbirth education class. My husband and I both enjoyed it so much and learned more than we could have imagined! I think it really helped us during labor and birth and allowed me to have the experience that I was looking for. I used a lot of the vocalizing and breathing techniques to manage the contractions and pushing. Ultimately I trusted that my body knew what it was doing! We’re already planning to take this class again whenever we’re expecting our next baby!
Birth Essentials was beyond expectation and very helpful for both me and my partner to prepare psychologically for the labor experience.