Testimonials

Here’s what people are saying about Nashville Classes & Doula Services….

Michael & Merrill D., Natural home birth with Jennifer Vines, CPM Midwife:

“The Bradley Class is a must for expecting couples who want the most out of their birth experience–those who realize the importance of being well educated about the process, being comfortable with the terminology, and being fully present at the delivery. Knowledge is power, and in this case, knowledge enables mothers and their partners to realize the power within themselves and see their child’s arrival in the most beautiful way possible. Jeannie Casey gives you all the tools you need and then some. You will basically know what to expect and be equipped to handle it intentionally.”

“Every couple should take Jeannie Casey’s Bradley Class! I am a doula-in-training and have attended multiple births. I felt that I was prepared for natural labor when I became pregnant. However, this class not only equips the mom for labor, it empowers the couple to walk through childbirth. My husband was totally prepared and knew what to expect in labor. He was such an amazing birth partner because he had the tools to assist me through each stage of labor. I attribute my natural, home birth to the Bradley Method. Unlike most Bradley birth stories, my labor lasted 4 days. Because of what we learned in this class, my husband and I were able to stay rested and fueled for the marathon labor. Neither one of us were scared or surprised by what we encountered. I left my labor experience feeling accomplished and empowered. Thank you, Jeannie, for giving us the tools we needed to make this happen.”

Holli White Passmore

“My husband and I recently completed the Bradley method classes with Jeannie. She was a lot of fun and the class was incredibly thorough and informative. We both feel very prepared and inspired to experience a natural childbirth for our baby in February. The class was small so you felt very comfortable to ask questions.

One of the benefits of the class was that I was stretched out over several weeks so we could practice in between and come back the next week and ask questions and review what we had learned the previous weeks. There is a lot of great information coming at you so it helps to review it. It’s so much better than jamming it all into a long weekend course like offered at hospitals. You really get a chance to digest it all. She encourages you to practice, practice, practice! So it all comes natural to you when the time actually comes!

Whether you’re having a home birth, birthing center delivery, or hospital birth, she has experienced all of them and gives you invaluable tips on what to expect in all situations and how to take control of your birthing experience! No stone is left unturned!!! Thank you, Jeannie!”

 

Betsy Donlon, Second natural birth, Centennial Medical Center:

“Thank You Jeannie, another quick natural birth. I wanted to share our birth story with you. We were so grateful to have another beautiful, natural birth, and we know we owe so much of that to your instruction! Thank you!

I feel so grateful for such a wonderful birth experience and the amazing support of my husband through it all. He was such an active and encouraging coach. He believed in me, he pushed me to remember that this is what my body was made to do and that this was connecting me with women all throughout history. He protected the space for me so that our baby could be born into a warm and loving environment. This experience just made my love for him grow that much more. What an awesome husband and heroic dad.

I truly think that our preparation through our class with Jeannie Casey in the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth as well as my prenatal yoga classes really helped us to stay focused on the beauty of natural childbirth. In the moments that were very challenging, I was still able to think about things that we had learned in those classes, and I am so thankful for that.

I feel that the timing of Jack’s birth happening so quickly was God’s way of encouraging me to stay committed to my passion for having a natural childbirth. By doing basically all of the laboring at home, by the time we got to the hospital, any kind of medical intervention was not even an option.”

 

Dr. Douglas Schmidt, Labor & Postpartum Doula Client:

“Our doula, Jeannie Casey, was a remarkable calming presence in what was a complex delivery. Her experience, professionalism, and kindness was invaluable in transforming a stressful situation into the wonderful miracle of childbirth.”

 

Kimberly Williams Paisley, Postpartum Doula Client:

“Jeannie really helped me navigate through the rough waters of life with a newborn. I had many questions about breastfeeding, and pumping, and soothing techniques for the baby and she was very helpful in all of those areas!”

 

Jami Francescon, Postpartum Doula Client:

“I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, being a first time mom, when Jeannie came to the rescue. I was so worried about doing things the “right” way. I felt I needed the help of a professional who could check my parenting skills and help me improve. She showed us calming techniques, helped me give the baby her first bath, took the breast pump out of the box and get it going, and in general, helped me feel more at ease about everything.”

 

Jonathan and Rebecca Moody, students of Bradley class, Natural birth at Vanderbilt Medical Center with West End Midwives

“I cannot say enough good things about Jeannie Casey as a birth educator and doula. My wife and I took her course on the Bradley Method of natural childbirth and decided to hire her as our doula based on our positive experience in her classes. The course was extremely rich, practical, and informative, giving us a wide variety of techniques and tools to approach the experience of natural childbirth together.

As we started the process of labor, I felt confident in my abilities to coach my wife through the contractions and numerous different birth scenarios. Because the Bradley Method places such importance on the role of the husband/coach, I was a little hesitant about the thought of having a doula, because didn’t a doula do the same job? As a doula, Jeannie assessed the characteristics of each stage of labor and provided helpful suggestions to make contractions more manageable and effective, but I was still doing the work of coaching my wife through them.

Furthermore, she provided something that I never could–the knowledge and experience of over twenty years in the field. Her peaceful and reassuring presence was able to keep my wife as calm and relaxed as possible as we labored at home, and kept us from going to the hospital too early. When we got to the hospital, Jeannie worked so well with the medical staff, and was able to get us a room ahead of several other laboring women that weren’t quite so far along. (This was an unprecedented night when the hospital ran out of birthing rooms and almost ran out of rooms in the triage wing.) This was a good thing, too, because when we got settled in the room, my wife was dilated at 9 cm! Jeannie continued to provide insightful suggestions through the rest of the birth and even stayed several hours afterwards to make sure everything was  going well postpartum. She even checked up on us after a few days and did an in-home lactation consultation, which was very helpful because breastfeeding can be tricky!

Our story is certainly a testament to the merits of the Bradley method and especially to Jeannie Casey’s ability. My wife labored for a total of 8 hours (3.5 hours active labor) and had a beautiful all-natural birth with no tearing. Jeannie was flexible, insightful, and calm, eliminating the fear, doubt, and stress that typically envelopes the first-time birth experience. She took the time to really get to know us, taking our unique backgrounds and personalities into account with each suggestion and decision. This allowed her to do her job to the best of her ability and gave us all a sense of friendship and easiness that made our experience especially rewarding. We will always recommend Jeannie Casey for any birth-related job without hesitation and with great enthusiasm! Thanks Jeannie!”

 

Tara and Jay Shannon, students of Bradley class, Natural home birth with Stacy Hunt, CPM, The Farm Midwives

“I could not have done it without my Bradley trained coach. I would have needed the “juice!” Jay stayed with me for 18 hours of double contractions and major back labor. If he left to get me anything, he ran back to coach me through the next “rush.” He kept saying, Remember what Jeannie said? That’s one you never have to do again. And just focus on this one.” He massaged my back with major counter pressure during every contraction, so I know he had to be exhausted after 18 hours, but he never once showed it. He coached me through the times I said I couldn’t do it much longer or that I couldn’t get out of the birth tub (it is such a safe zone) to walk up the stairs or that I couldn’t try the Amish birthing chair (that thing is equivalent to water boarding, FYI!!!!) or hang from the sheet around him, etc. and most importantly he helped me find the strength to face my fear of the pain and push her down past my tailbone (ouch!!!!!!!!!). I seriously think he may have been pushing harder than me to help me reach down deep for strength! When Evie was crowning he remembered for me to take it slow….which I did for about .2 seconds! She had to come out immediately! Jeannie would have been so proud of her star student! This experience with my husband’s love, support and coaching took my depth of respect and love for him to a level I did not know existed! Natural birth is amazing on so many levels. Thank you for teaching us how to be a great team so Evie could be born at home without drugs or augmentation of labor. I could never say thank you enough for that spiritual experience!”

 

Lori and Doug Schmidt, Birth at Centennial Medical Center:

“My birth story was a very…unusual one.  I had hopes of a “regular” labor but 36 hours later, I was 100% effaced and at a 10 cm dilation with no progress and no doctor (never showed). Jeannie was absolutely invaluable to us. After such a long time, my parents and husband were at their wits end with the long day of events and Jeannie was steadfast in trying to keep me relaxed while still taking control of the situation. She was a real trooper, and my husband and I will always reflect back being very grateful for her during that ordeal!

That being said, Jeannie’s goal is to provide you with the birth you want. My advice is to just clearly communicate. If what you want is an intimate experience for you and your husband, be very clear about that and make sure she knows that your husband’s involvement is paramount. She’s done so many of these, and she wants what the client wants. She’ll do what you ask. Just be clear about what will make you happy and what doesn’t, and she’ll respect all of those requests and do a great job.”

 

Jody and Dustin Marcus – 2nd all natural birth:

The pregnancy was great and thankfully uneventful.  I had my 39.4 week appt and was 2-3 cent dilated already, zero station, and 50% effaced with no contractions.  Due to the practice and their policy I was scheduled for an NST and ultrasound on Tuesday (40.1 weeks).  The doc said everything was great and he stripped my membranes which got me to 3-4 and 80% effaced.  That afternoon I had mild cramping which turned into irregular contractions until the next morning.  They became regular around 9am and were 5 min apart at 30 seconds each.  I was really in denial bc I didn’t think I could go into labor without my waters breaking.  Funny, but that’s how the mind plays tricks sometimes.  I finally called the midwives around 4pm and they said I should head on in.

I got admitted and was given fluids which petered out my contractions.  I was discouraged and cried bc I thought I was losing my labor.  Slowly they picked back up although I really couldn’t feel them, just see them on the monitor.  After getting a round of abx for GBS+, the midwife broke my water at 9:21pm.  Then the pain hit as the contractions got stronger and much closer.  I did the ball for about 1.5 hours then moved to the bed to get checked again.  I was at an 8-9!  I could hardly believe it!  The nurses were doing their thing and not thinking I would be ready to push as soon after that as I was.  I had the pooping-urge type of contraction twice before I said anything and by that time I could tell his head was visible.  The nurses scrambled and told me to stop pushing.  I couldnt!  I had the longest push/contraction ever…it was like my uterus had locked down.  Three pushes later I heard his heart rate dropped drastically and bc of the size of his massive head she gave me a small episiotomy which didn’t hurt like I always feared.  He was out a second later.  The cord was wrapped around his shoulder and had caused him to get stuck for a second which caused the heart rate to drop.  He cried a few agonizing seconds later and all was well again!

So from my water being broken to delivery was 2.5 hours as compared to 12 hours with Ryan.  Quite a difference!  He’s nursing great and sleeping well.  I’m sore from the cut but already pooped 1x and didn’t die like I thought I would when I pooped for the first time!  Sorry if that is TMI 🙂 I’m waiting to get checked to be released and we are homeward bound.

I did use better breathing techniques this time and only sounded like a dying cow during those last few bad contractions.  I did some flower-opening visualizations too.  Dustin was great and helped keep me calm.

And there you have it!  I can say your Bradley class came in handy again so thank you very much Jeannie!

David Lewis – A Note From A Father who took Bradley Class and hired Jeannie as Our Doula:

As a new father, I am often asked if there was any reason to have Jeannie with us to support my wife (and me) through labor and the birth of our son. The answer is an enthusiastic Yes! Jeannie was a great help in many ways. She provided excellent all around assistance and helped create a very supportive environment in the delivery room.

My wife wanted to give birth totally natural, but this was not possible for the entire labor due to her high blood pressure. Jeannie was extremely supportive of us. She was not fixated on any one way things had to be. She was great at “going with the flow” while at the same time helping my wife be more comfortable and focused. She also works very well with medical staff.

I am also asked if Jeannie didn’t take over some of my “jobs”? My answer is No! There is plenty of work for everyone to do! It certainly helped my wife to have me and Jeannie supporting her.

Laura and Russ Hensley – all natural home birth with midwife Daphne McIntosh:

We’d like to announce the birth of Luke Hall Hensley. He was born on Monday, June 4th (40 weeks + 5 days) at 7:08 am. 8 lb 14 oz and 20.5″ long here’s the birth story:

I woke up at 5:37 on Sunday June 3 to my water breaking. Within an hour, I was having contractions at 7 minute intervals lasting 45 sec each. Our midwife began packing up to head our way; we all thought it was gonna be quick. Over the next few hours, the easy contractions became a little more sporadic (and stopped totally when I sat) so we put the crib together, ate, went for a walk around the neighborhood, etc. By late afternoon the contractions were getting painful so Russ set up the birthing pool. I started pushing around 8pm, but there was little progress by midnight. Since my water had broken, we had refrained from doing any internal exams; at this point, we had to figure out what the problem was… I was fully dilated, but had some sort of cervical lip due to his head being crooked, and I had pushed until my cervix had swollen. Our midwife made me stop pushing (TORTURE) until 3 am. At that point she recommended a hospital transfer for an epidural, but the thought of riding in a car seemed totally impossible. Between some forceful manipulation from the midwife and the threat of having to leave my house, my cervix finally effaced, allowing me to push for real. Since I was so tired (inefficient? delirious?) it took another 3-½ hours; once he started crowning, he was stuck that way for 15 minutes (it seemed to go much quicker in those videos!). Once his head was out, he had shoulder dystocia. Our midwife had to reach in and hook his armpit to pull him free during a solid two-minute push. When he finally came out, he was blue and non-responsive with an Apgar score of 2. Our midwife and her assistant started resuscitation and had Russ call 911. By the time the ambulance arrived, they already had him stabilized, pink, and warm with a 5-minute Apgar score of 8. Since he was having retractions (trouble getting his lungs work at 100%), he and Russ rode in the ambulance to the nearest hospital for observation, although he was doing well enough to just hang out in the well baby area. After a few hours recovery, my parents came and drove me to join Russ and Luke at the hospital. They wanted to keep him overnight since the birth was long and traumatic, so we stayed… but he didn’t have any problems and he’s doing really well.

Notes from Laura:

  • Buy some chux pads… Hopefully your water won’t break first, but if it does you’ll need several while you’re waiting to go to the hospital. Or a few days later when your milk comes in. Or as an extra layer of protection for your changing pad if you have a boy (wow).
  • I progressed more out of the water tub , using gravity, than in the tub, but I could not have made it through the second phase without being in water. I highly recommend fighting to get in the shower.
  • This was way worse than I thought it would be… I had so much go wrong. But even that first exhausted day I was so glad I stayed strong and went natural. You can do it!
  • I hope all your births go well and that little Trevor is happy. Can’t wait to see you and your babies at the reunion.

Notes from Russ for the partners:

  • Practice the squat position starting now. Do them with your wife as a dead load, no assistance from her for at least 45 seconds. I would do this several times a day. It was a great position, but extremely uncomfortable for both of us around hour 24.
  • Keep yourself hydrated during the birth to avoid cramps and stay clear headed. Take a sip of something yourself every time you hand her a drink.
  • Once Laura was exhausted is when I had to keep it together. Don’t let her hear you whimper, complain or say anything negative as she will adopt that same attitude instantly.
  • This may apply more to a long, active labor and extended pushing stage: make decisions for her; i.e. hand her something to drink or eat, tell her what position to get into, make her breathe by taking a deep breath yourself, wipe her down with a cool washcloth, etc. If you ask her what she wants it may be impossible for her to answer with a clear head if she gets totally exhausted. About 16 hours in, Laura was so out of it from focusing on not giving into the pain that she followed exactly what I said… and did little to nothing if I said nothing at all.
  • Mind everyone my experience was from a marathon birth filled with obstacles as a coach. I am seriously glad I took Jeannie’s class. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Good luck to the rest of the couples.

Jamie and Damon Schoepke – Cesarean Birth, April

I went in for 41 week ultrasound this morning. The ultrasound tech said that Joey had dropped a little, but that the amniotic fluid was very low, considerably lower than the week before. When she heard this, Kimberly our midwife, wanted us to immediately come to her office for a non-stress test. When we arrived and they checked, I was dilated 1cm and having contractions already. I just couldn’t feel them. Due to the low amniotic fluid, Kimberly told us she was going to consult with the doctor at Centennial and that I would probably be admitted to the hospital and induced. I was, of course, crushed since we had planned to have Joey at home.

At about 1:30, Kimberly called us and told us that the doctor recommended that I be induced. She wanted us to go to Centennial around 4:00 and meet her on the 5th floor since he had already admitted me. We packed our bags and got to the hospital around 4:30. Kimberly was already there and we went straight to our room. They hooked me up to a fetal monitor and an IV with fluids. They said they couldn’t do anything else until after 9pm since I had eaten at 1pm.

Their original plan was to start cytotec at 9:00 and then switch to pitocin later on once contractions had fully started. However, when they checked everything out around 8:00, the contractions were too close together for them to do the cytotec. After waiting to make sure I was regularly contracting, they started me on pitocin at about 11pm. They started it at 1 on a scale of 1 to 30 and shortly after, the contractions started in earnest. At about 1am, they raised the pitocin level up to 3 since it seemed I was “stalling” and not progressing like they wanted me to. After this, I started having very strong contractions. The only ways I could get comfortable were either standing and leaning over so my head was on my crossed arms on the bed or leaning on Damon while he sat on the birth ball. Sometime later on, they turned the pitocin level up to 5 as I couldn’t seem to get past 5-6 cm. Every time I tried to sit down or push hard, Joey’s heart rate would drop.

Somewhere around 1:30am Damon called Jennifer, the midwife’s apprentice since it seemed like I was progressing. She came shortly thereafter and helped coach me through breathing through the contractions. During this time, they had turned the pitocin off for awhile and then put it back to 3. My water finally broke somewhere around 5:30 or 6:00am. My contractions were really close together and feeling stronger all the time. They checked and I had only dilated to 6-7 cm, however, Joey still hadn’t dropped very much at all. They decided to give me an epidural to help ease some of the pain I was feeling and see if this would help me progress as not much had changed in the last few hours. This was probably around 9am.

Now, this is the part where I knew that God was definitely with us. Damon had been snacking on peanuts, cashews, a couple granola bars and not much else all night. When the anesthesia tech came in a little after 9 to give me the epidural, he had me do  breathing to help me keep still while he put the needle in. Damon was panting right along with me when, suddenly, he went pasty white. Within 30 seconds, they had him in a chair, 3 more people came in the room, and someone brought him some juice. Josephine, our nurse, took Damon’s place on the bed next to me while he recovered and I settled in to wait for the epidural to kick in. A few minutes later, around 9:15, our attending physician, Dr. Celaro, came in. She looked at the monitor and saw that Joey’s heart rate was still dropping with every contraction. She checked me again; still 6-7cm and he hadn’t dropped anymore. She told us that even though I wanted to do it naturally as much as possible, it was her recommendation that I get a c-section immediately for his safety. We were upset, but agreed with her. At this point, Joey’s health was more important than anything else.

Charles, the anesthesia tech, said that if the epidural hadn’t kicked in by the time I was in the OR they would have to knock me out completely and that Damon wouldn’t be allowed in the room for the operation. Josephine told Damon to run to the cafeteria and get something to eat since he was still somewhat pale and it closed at 9:30. She said she would stay with me and not let them start anything until he got to the OR. As he left, they wheeled me up. Damon got to the OR shortly after 9:30, feeling marginally better after some food. They checked me out and I was completely numb from the chest down. Damon held my hand while they got started. I felt some pressure and heard someone say “In about 15 seconds we’ll have a baby.”  Sure enough, about 15 seconds later, I heard Joey’s first cry!!

He was born at 9:47 am on May 1,  weighing in at exactly 8 lb and measuring 20 1/2 inches. Since the epidural barely had time to kick in, practically none of the epidural medications got to him. He came out bright eyed and bushy tailed and continues to be that way now:) Almost everyone we talked to the first week couldn’t believe how alert he was. They told us later that when they had opened me up, they found that the umbilical cord was wrapped completely around both Joey’s body and neck. Each time he had started to drop, it would contract around him, which caused his heart rate to drop.

Since we had to end up having a C-section, we had to stay in the hospital for 3 days post delivery instead of the typical one. Damon stayed with me the entire time, only leaving to get food a few times a day. Our experience turned out to be completely different from what we planned, but we are so pleased with the result; our perfectly lovely little boy.


Jaime and Jason King – all natural birth, Vanderbilt, West End Midwifes

Our adventure began on Saturday, June 16th.  Jason’s parents were in town, visiting from Michigan for a long weekend and we were all very excited that they were able to make the trip.  They decided to make the trip so that Jason could spend father’s day with his dad for the first time in years.

We ended up going downtown and listening to some music at the honky tonks on Saturday afternoon and had a great time at ‘Second Fiddle’.  I had been feeling rough the entire week, very fatigued, uncomfortable, and experiencing some soreness around my belly off and on.  At 11:30 that evening, while sleeping in bed, I suddenly felt wet, and I thought I had wet myself!  After going to the bathroom and seeing that the liquid was still coming out, I realized that my water had broken.  Since I was only at 35 ½ weeks gestation, I immediately worried that something was wrong with the baby.  I told my husband what was happening and we called the hospital.  They wanted us to come in right away since I was going into labor earlier than expected.  Our plans of laboring at home for a while were sadly not going to happen, but we were more concerned with making sure the baby was okay at that point.  We gathered all of our labor supplies, including our bag of books and handouts from Jeannie.  Jason was worried that he hadn’t studied his “blue packet of notes” enough, but I knew we were prepared.

We went straight to Vanderbilt and since it was the middle of the night, we had to get admitted to OB triage through the ER.  They checked baby Jillian’s heart rate and she was doing great!  The doctor told me to get ready for Jillian’s birthday…we were going to have a baby!  I told the staff that I wanted to have a natural birth and that I wanted to be able to move around as much as possible.  The Vanderbilt staff was so great, providing us a room with a birth ball, birthing tub, shower, and plenty of room to walk around.  One of my nurses said, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re going natural.  We nurses fight to get the ones who go natural!”  My OB was not on call that night, but since I was going natural, they assigned a midwife to monitor me.  Her name was Susan Salazar, and her guidance and care were more than I ever expected or could have asked for.  From the beginning, she took such good care of me, my husband, and my unborn baby, and allowed us to have the birth story that we had hoped for.

My contractions started soon after I was admitted, with very mild cramping (like menstrual cramps) for several hours.  They allowed me to have intermittent external fetal monitoring, and every time she was checked, little Jillian was doing great, even during contractions.  I was checked at 1 cm, 2 cm, and then at 3 cm.  I had been moving around constantly, walking, using the ball, relaxing my whole body during contractions, breathing, and focusing, but had been progressing somewhat slowly.  Susan suggested that I get in the shower and perform some exercises to further stimulate labor.  She also manipulated my cervix (I’m not sure what she did exactly), but after that point, I began to progress quickly.  I was checked again at 5 cm and at that point, labor was starting to get intense.

Jason had been a great coach during the early part of labor, by supporting me during contractions, suggesting different positions, talking minimally, timing each contraction, and offering me comfort, food, and drink.  His parents and my mother were at the hospital at this point, and he was great about setting parameters and only letting them come back for a few minutes so that I could continue to focus.  After I reached 5 cm, Susan told me to get in the shower one more time, and that was when Jason said he saw the baby drop down significantly in my stomach.  That was also the point where things became incredibly painful.  Jason helped me through each contraction and was an amazing partner.  Once I got out of the shower, I said I had to go to the bathroom, and Jason said immediately, “No, you need to go to the hospital bed and I’m going to get the doctor.”  He had remembered that having to go to the bathroom was a sign of being ready to push.  He was right!  Susan checked me again and I was at 9 cm and about ready to start pushing!  The pain during transition from 9 to 10 cm was unlike any other I have ever felt.  At one point, I asked Susan “How much longer??” and she said, “Only a few more minutes and then you can push.”  I believe I told her, “I love you” at that point because I so badly wanted that part to be over with!  After some serious pain during transition, I thought pushing would feel good.  It did feel like a relief, but it was also very difficult and exhausting.  Jason, Susan, and the nurse by my side were amazing, and I could not have done it without each of them.  Susan prevented me from tearing by doing perineal massage in between contractions and after about 20 pushes, my little girl was born!

Even though Jillian is considered a late term preemie, she has had zero health issues, didn’t have to go to the NICU, and was able to room in with us during our entire stay at the hospital.  We were able to have our ideal birth experience, without medication, with the support of wonderful caregivers, and without complications, and our baby girl was born healthy and happy!  Not only that, she was born on father’s day, which was a very special gift to Jason.  And his parents and my mom were there to celebrate with us.

I want to thank you, Jeannie, for providing us with the tools that we needed to make our birth experience a success.  Though there are many unpredictable factors that could have changed the outcome, I know that we did everything within our control to facilitate the natural progression of labor, and that’s all we can ask for.  Thank you for all that you do.

Jillian King

born 6/17/12; 5 lbs, 13 oz; 19 ½ inches

 

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