THESE ARE CHERISHED WORDS FROM FAMILIES I’VE WORKED WITH
Enlisting the help of Riah was one of the most important decisions I made about my successful VBAC. It was the most empowering experience in my life. She and my husband kept me completely relaxed and in the moment that I was falling asleep between contractions! Any time I needed anything, Riah was there. Speaking from the husbands perspective, Riah gave me the time to focus on supporting my wife. She was there to answer our questions and offer advice when answers were not straight forward. She took care of all the little things in the birthing room to help make the experience more comfortable and relaxing then I ever expected. Her support through the entire process from when she agreed to be our doula to the present day is probably one of her most amazing quailities. Little did we know that we were not just hiring a doula but we were finding a friend for life!
Having Riah as my doula is by far the best decision my husband and myself made with the birth of our second baby, sweet Cedar Bragg. As my pregnancy progressed with Cedar I didn't find myself having the same fearful thougths I did with my daughter, who is now three years old. I was confident that I could have another natural birth but I was extremley worried about delivering in a hospital after having my daughter at home. I wanted to have another beautiful magical birth, much like my first, and Riah made sure that happened. She helped me make a birth plan that suited my wants and needs. When Riah showed up on my front porch, as my labor progressed extremly fast, ready to take over helping my husband.. the biggest sense of peace and relief flooded over my body. My person was here and she was going to help me through this. She was the the thick of it doing exactly what she does best: encouraging, loving and motivating. We arrived at the hospital with little time to spare, the pain was starting to become unbearable. When I would scream she would calm me down to where I needed to be in order to get my baby out. When I moaned I couldn't take it anymore she assured me that I was amazing and that I was made for this. When I yelled at her to push harder on my hips- she pushed harder. She went through labor with me and I honestly don't think I would have had the beautiful birth experience I did if she wasn't there. She never once looked scared or worried when I was- she looked prepared and confident and that in turn put me at ease. Riah also captured the most beautiful, raw pictures as soon as Cedar was born. She turned into our photographer all while feeding me water and caring for me and my husband. I can't say enough good things about my doula Riah. If you are considering getting a doula just do yourself a favor and give Riah a call. She will exceed your expectations and give you all shes got to give! A doula that will be a lifelong friend.
It is very challenging for me to keep my praise of Riah Durick to just 2000 characters! I cannot say enough about how much of a pleasure it was to work with Riah, both leading up to and during the birth. She provided us with a well thought out hard copy birth plan which we were able to share with our Midwife at the hospital so there was no confusion as to what we wanted when the time came. Riah answered all questions to our satisfaction and provided very sound, yet simple and easy to follow advice to help in the weeks leading up to the birth of our son. When the time finally came, it happened really quickly for us with contractions intensifying to 8 minutes apart at 10pm on a Monday night. Riah was there at our house (nearly an hour away) shortly after and provided so much comfort and support to us during this intense and exciting time. She was akin to a shepherd gently guiding her sheep but not interfering. This allowed the natural course of things to take place at a time determined by no one besides the baby and mother. She said that my wife would know when the time to go to hospital was during the increasingly short time span between contractions and boy was she right! At 1:30 am, when the contractions dipped below 3 mins apart, Michelle knew then was the time and so we went. After arriving at the hospital at 1:45 am, our baby boy was born at 2:37 am. During that final 45 minutes of in hospital labor and delivery, Riah was a soldier! She held pressure on my wife's hips literally the entire time while still managing to take amazing photos and videos of these precious moments that we will treasure for a lifetime. In summary, Riah Durick helped make our birth an experience that we will remember forever. She was adept at running that fine line of coaching without interfering and letting mommy and baby run the show. We love you Riah, you are amazing at what you do!!
As a first time mom, I didn't even know what questions I was supposed to have. Just knowing that Riah would be there to guide me during my birth allowed me to accept this unknown. I knew I wanted a natural birth but that I would be delivering in a hospital. Riah advocated for me when I didn't quite know what to ask for. (Birthing pool - always ask for the birthing pool!)
Before the birth Riah provided my husband and I with lots of helpful information. She even printed my birth plan out for me which helped in communicating my desires with my midwife team and the hospital staff. During her home visit she showed us a number of exercises and stretches that were definitely helpful once I got huge and uncomfortable.
Once it came time to give birth my labor progressed fairly quickly. Meeting us at the hospital, Riah swept in with gentle lights and a calm, firm presence. I felt incredibly supported during my birth and surrounded by strong, competent women (and my wonderful husband!) Riah was excellent when it came to helping me ride the wave of each contraction, helping me to stay in control and make each one count. Though I thought I remembered everything, Riah took beautiful photos of moments that I had definitely forgotten.
I am so grateful to this woman for making my birth everything I hoped it would be.
Choosing Riah as our doula was the best decision we made in my entire pregnancy. This was our first baby, and we quickly realized that we had a lot to learn and discover along the way. Riah far surpassed any expectation we had of doula services and I was constantly surprised and amazed by her dedication to me and my quickly growing family. To be specific, during my 22 hour labor, she was able not only to provide pain and emotional support throughout, but she somehow managed to take beautiful pictures AND video of the experience without me really noticing. I was almost convinced there were two Riahs there, juggling everything.
If I had to give two reasons why anyone would be lucky to have Riah join their pregnancy journey, one would be the way in which she naturally fits the role of a nurturer, and the other would be her openness and explicit communication regarding meeting your specific needs and wants. Riah made me feel comfortable in every stage, whether it was mentally preparing for contractions, or discussing breastfeeding and how crazy your body responds to...well, everything, or forgetting about being nice and saying "No, I'd rather not have a random nursing student watch my delivery". Being pregnant was tough, giving birth was tough, postpartum recovery was tough, but this woman did her job with grace, sincerity, and professionalism, which made the whole experience beautiful and memorable. We can't thank her enough for all she did and still does for us.
Riah was the perfect choice for our doula! Seeing we were first time parents, we wanted someone who could help us with this new experience and to support us with the birth that we hoped for. Leading up to the birth we met with Riah multiple times and went over all the details, she was a great resource when we had questions and through our fun and informal sessions we were able to help decide on a plan that made sense for us.
We wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and thanks to Riah we were able to make this happen, she was able to provide the support and skills necessary to help my wife deal with the pain of contractions.
From the perspective of the husband, I found Riah to be amazing to have with us during labor, she was there for the things that I wasn’t able to do, but still allowed me to support my wife and feel useful, I think having her calming presence also helped us both to relax and actually have some fun!
She made our delivery room more like a Spa, the lighting, music and scents all helped contribute to make the delivery room a relaxing and calming space, we ended up having a long stay so I’m really pleased we had Riah to think of these small details to make our stay more comfortable.
Riah is a very caring person and is passionate about what she does, that was apparent throughout our entire experience. I would absolutely recommend her!
Riah was wonderful throughout. She worked alongside another doula, and while I'm not sure how much interaction either of them have had with each other...they acted as if they were one person the entire time.
Riah also had the pleasure of taking pictures and video, and I can't begin to state my appreciation for her. She (despite her initial fears) was able to get exceptionally intimate photos of me and my wife. She also was able to get the birth, which I'm told is frowned upon by doctors (shhhh...).
I'm very glad to have met Riah, and if would absolutely recommend her as a doula, with the added bonus of being able to take pictures if requested. Birth photographers are involved in a very intimate and awkward part of peoples lives, and being a doula makes it that much easier.
Much appreciated Riah!