Testimonials: Childbirth Education

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Alannie & Carmelo

“My other three births were traumatizing experiences, and this one went smoothly and successfully. Thank you, Hand Waves Birth!”

Alannie: Hello my name is Alannie. [Shows sign name]

Carmelo: Hi, my name is Carmelo.

Alannie: Who’s this? Our fourth child, my second daughter. I have four children, two boys and two girls- a perfect team right! I wanted to grab this vlog to give thanks to Hand Waves Birth [Shows sign name]. Thank you because we took their childbirth education class. It was worth every penny, we learned a lot. I wish we took the class with my three previous pregnancies. Again, it’s never too late to take a class if you’re currently pregnant or planning to in the future. It is recommended to take that class if you are deaf and/or hard-of-hearing, definitely! I’m a deaf mom and he’s a hearing husband. Do you feel you learned a lot in their course?

Carmelo: I was only there a few times because of a work situation, but every time I was there, I felt like I learned something new. 

Alannie: What’s one thing that you learned? One thing.

Carmelo: There was a lot of information that was given to us. We don’t have to rush to go in [for labor]. We could ask them questions if we weren’t sure or didn’t understand something. They were really good at explaining things.

Alannie: What I learned was that your birth is about you, it’s not about them. They don’t know your body, and you have every right. For example, if they tell us something, do we have to follow it? No, you don’t- you have your rights to get what you need because you matter. I felt like wow, my fourth birth was an amazing experience. It’s hard to describe, but my other three births were traumatizing experiences, and this one went smoothly and successfully, Thank you Hand Waves Birth!

Carmelo: You did an amazing job with your course that you provide.

Alannie: Bye!

Carmelo: Thank you.

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Brittany

“It is really cool to educate yourself, and acknowledge yourself, knowing what you want, and to know your rights.”

Hello, my name is Brittany. I want to share my experience with the Hand Waves Birth class. If I ever get pregnant again or know anyone who has kids, I would most definitely recommend them. When coronavirus broke out, I was pregnant, and the hospital dropped my birth class two weeks before I was due. My sister told me about those deaf doulas, so I took the class with them. I learned so much from them! It was awesome that it was a group session, you get to see different perspectives not just your own. You get to see second opinions and receive information about different situations. The questions others ask about- you might not have thought of that. You also get to see different questions being asked. I truly learned a lot from them. I’m grateful for that because I am a first time parent having a kid for the first time. I didn’t know what to say or what to ask for, and because of that class, I was able to get what I wanted. It was really a rich experience, and especially that it was my first time. Worth it! I’ve learned a lot! That’s my seven-month old daughter. Due to the class, I was able to ask my doctor many different questions, ask for what I wanted, and for the doctor to elaborate on certain things I learned from that class. I mean, if it was not for that class, I wouldn’t have gotten what I wanted. I wouldn’t have known what to ask for. It is really cool to educate yourself, and acknowledge yourself, knowing what you want, and to know your rights. Sometimes the doctor may provide limited options, they don’t tell you what the others are. The class will tell you what the options are, what they have to offer, what they should provide, and what they can do. You will know what you really can do, not what you can’t do. You have to stand up for yourself. I am truly grateful because I’ve noticed that those times during labor, when my doctor doesn’t share what I want, I would command them and make sure I receive my rights. It worked! Worth it! It is really good to be aware of what you want and to know as a first-time parent. You’ll know what is happening in the labor room too. I wouldn’t know what to do without them if it was not for them. It is awesome that after birth, they can help you. Even during the labor and birth, they can video-chat with you. They can email you outside of the class time. If you have any questions after birth, they will support you. They’ve been very helpful, definitely worth it! Like I said, If I have a second kid, I would most definitely take those classes again. Worth it. Thank you!
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Chelsea

“The class made me feel ‘my birth is mine’ and that I can make complete decisions in everything.”

“Hello! I took Hand Waves Birth’s childbirth education class. Before I knew of the class and when I found out I was pregnant, of course, I was curious and did my own research (on childbirth). I read a lot and I thought I had a good idea/visualization of what birth could look like and what kind of decisions I could make. Then when I learned that they (Hand Waves Birth) offer a class, I was like ‘yes!’ because the teachers are deaf, and the class is in American Sign Language. It was a must to take their class. I was lucky to take the class with another couple. Throughout the class, wow, I learned so much. Really, there is a lot more to it than what I thought I knew. That class, wow, taught me that I have a lot more choices in my decisions. It gave me a sense of empowerment. The class made me feel ‘my birth is mine’ and that I can make complete decisions in everything. Nothing beats that. Throughout the class, they asked me questions that I never thought of and that led to good discussions with my partner where we both shared our views with each other. We were able to have these conversations with the other couple too. Really, the whole experience was truly great. After I gave birth, I looked back and thought to myself: yes, I am really grateful for that class. I would definitely recommend others to take this class. Thank you!
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Justine & Lance

“With the class, it was nice being able to know all of the information where we could prepare for different scenarios.”

Justine & Lance: Hello!

Justine: I’m Justine.

Lance: I’m Lance.

Justine: We took Hand Waves Birth’s Childbirth Education class. We discussed what we learned that really benefited us with our experience. We talked throughout, and you can’t really plan for a birth because things might shift to a different way. There were a lot of conversations about different possible situations and if that happened, then what? What can we do? We had a lot of conversations about that. As we had those discussions, we were able to think about a lot of things.

Lance: Yes, right. During the class, there was a lot of different information, and they benefit you in many different areas, depending on what the birth looked like. No births are alike so nothing was guaranteed and for whether one way would work for everyone or not. We were able to learn a lot of things, and once labor started, we were able to be okay with it and continue to see how things were going. We started timing it because we wanted 4-1-1 (for the waves to be four minutes, a minute long, being a pattern for an hour). The frequency started getting closer, and we called the midwife so they and the nurses could get ready and prepare for us. Everything went smoothly once we arrived because we knew the information and the right time to go, including calling the center to get them ready. It was nice knowing this information and that matched what was happening for us.  Maybe for some of you, other parents, your experiences would be different. With the class, it was nice being able to know all of the information where we could prepare for different scenarios. Overall, the outcome was good. Thank you for that class! [thumbs up].

Justine: Right, yes, thank you! We recommend taking their class, it’s worth it!

Lance: Yup! 

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Katelyn & Brian

“We strongly recommend every deaf partner to go and take the class, and you will learn something new!”

Katelyn: Hello!

Brian: Hello, I’m Brian.

Katelyn: I’m Katelyn.  [Shows name sign]

Brian: This is Isaac. [Shows name sign]. We took a childbirth education class with the wonderful doulas before he was born.

Katelyn: We learned so much in the class, especially about pregnancy during the third trimester. Wow, we strongly recommend every deaf partner to go and take the class, and you will learn something new!

Brian: Yes, it helped with a lot of things, including the birth process, advocacy, our rights, interpreter needs, and many other things. They did not just share one way of being born, but many other options. That was nice.

Katelyn: I hope sharing our experiences inspired you to go ahead and take the class.

Katelyn and Brian: [Thumbs up]

Katelyn: Bye!

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Krystal & Francis

“The class gave me the power to control my delivery in a way every mother should experience.”

Krystal: Hi I’m Krystal.

Francis: Hi I’m Francis.

Krystal: We have a three month old baby.

Francis: We took a childbirth education class through Hand Waves Birth Services.

Krystal: It was really nice having access to childbirth education class through ASL [American Sign Language]. We were concerned about Covid-19, however they were still able to offer their class through Zoom. It was champ that we were still able to have access during the pandemic. That really helped relieve a lot of stress on us as first time parents.

Francis: And knowing that we were not the only ones, we had some other first time parents in the class too. It was nice being able to see that others had similar questions and similar concerns.

Krystal: Receiving support was nice as well. I was able to connect with other parents through that class after the course was finished. Support system is incredibly important.

Francis: That class helped prepare me as a father and as a husband. I learned about what I needed to do, what positions I should do, and how to prepare beforehand. The class was a wonderful tool for me as a husband where I could make sure everything was going well.

Krystal: It helped make sure he gave his support all the way throughout the labor and delivery. We happened to have our baby at home, so it was just us. Francis being able to support me was so important, and we were able to get that benefit through the childbirth education class. The childbirth education class did also share information on how I should breathe and what kind of things I could do during contractions. It also helped me visualize that birth is not limited to one position, it could be multiple different positions, depending on what would be the most comfortable for my body and whatever I needed at the moment. The class gave me the power to control my delivery in a way every mother should experience. So, we wanted to say thank you to Brittany and Ally for the amazing support you give, not only to the class, but to the deaf community as a whole. All the mothers who take your service(s) would deeply be grateful.

Francis: Thank you, and fathers, husbands too! The class helps you prepare, not just for the hospitals, but for the potential unexpected births at home like us. Our experience was a very rich experience.

Krystal: Couldn’t have done this without you two.

Francis: Thank you!

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Larissa & Tomas

“When it was nearing the time of our birth, the class gave me a boost of confidence, and I felt ready because I knew a lot of things.”

Larissa: Hello! [shows sign name] I’m Larissa.

Tomas: Hello!! [shows sign name] I’m Tomas. [Points at their baby and shows his sign name], this is Kenzo.

Larissa: He’s one year old, which means it has already been a year since we used Hand Waves Birth’s service. Wow! Reflecting on that, we want to share our experience with you all. We are from Sweden. At that time, the coronavirus pandemic spread all over the world, so all birth services were canceled, and they were all mainly hearing services. We decided to accept this and do what we could do: read books, and watch videos. We thought we knew everything. One day, we saw on the internet about this service (with Hand Waves Birth). We thought, “why not?” and joined their class via Zoom. We joined them, and wow we learned a lot! They went in depth with all those little details that were important to know.

Tomas: Yes, the best part of the class was getting to see other deaf families.

Larissa: Yes! We enjoyed that, and the discussions among them were beautiful. When it was nearing the time of our birth, the class gave me a boost of confidence, and I felt ready because I knew a lot of things. After we gave birth, the doctor asked me to rate our birth experience on a scale of 1-10. I told them it was a ten! I thought to myself, this was with thanks to the Hand Waves Birth services because during the birth, I knew what was happening, why they (the medical team) were doing that, what was happening afterwards, what options I had, and about bodyfeeding. Everything went well.

Tomas: Thank you for everything.

Larissa: Thank you to them [Hand Waves Birth]! I recommend you to take their class, and it’ll be worth it.

Larissa & Tomas: Bye! Love you!

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Marlena

“We were a part of the 50% success rate because we followed the process, and knew our options.”

“Hello! My name is Marlena Ramborger, my life partner couldn’t be here- he is upstairs working, and my baby is asleep right here next to me. I wanted to grab this opportunity to share our experience. In the beginning of our pregnancy, our doctor did not share with us our options, did not share similar beliefs as ust, and when asking questions, we faced barriers. We decided to take Hand Waves Birth’s childbirth education class with Ally and Brittany to collect more information. It was really awesome and beneficial for the both of us because this was accessible in American Sign Language. We were able to interact as a group and discuss different things. We got to know our options, and we saw the impact of knowing our options later on. We found out that our baby was breech in our 33rd week of pregnancy. We went back and forth with our midwife. They recommended for us to start the process for ECV [External Cephalic Version], it is to manually rotate the baby to be head down. I followed the process up until the 38th week. We went to the hospital and had the ECV done, and the baby was turned. We were a part of the 50% success rate because we followed the process, and knew our options. We went through it and we made it! We were able to avoid having a cesarean. It was something I did not want, I wanted to have a vaginal birth. We were able to give birth vaginally although we were not able to give birth at a birth center. We were hoping to give birth there, things did not go right, so we ended up going to the hospital. What was important was that we were able to ask a lot of questions, and things did get tough. One and a half days later, we gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Ember Moon and this is her name sign (sign name). We are so blessed. Many thanks to Hand Waves Birth for providing the class, accessibility, and information that greatly benefited us. If it was not for that, we would have been very lost and would have to navigate more. Many thanks! Bye!”

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Niki & Andrew

“We are busy planning for the baby, thinking about the baby, appointments, & all that, but the class reminded us to connect as a couple.”

Niki: Hello I’m Niki.

Ruby: Hi!

Niki: Hello! (Ruby’s sign name) Ruby!

Andrew: Hello I’m Andrew.

Niki: Almost two years ago, we took childbirth education class with Hand Waves Birth Services. It was a wonderful experience. Before I got pregnant, I had some ideas, some preferences about birth, and that was my basic knowledge compared to the actual birth, it was different. I wanted us to take the class so we could have as much information as possible, to know different possible scenarios, and to be able to prepare us both.

Andrew: Right, before the class, I was clueless. I knew only what she told me until we took the class. I learned so much. I was like oh, now I understand what she was telling me. I learned a lot of new information too, wow, that prepared myself as a father-to-be.

Ruby: Hi!

Niki: The class itself was really transparent with information, it was fun, it had games and activities. Those activities really made us think.

Andrew: True, true.

Niki: It also reminded us to connect as a couple.

Andres: Yes, yes!

Niki: In our daily lives, we are busy planning for the baby, thinking about the baby, appointments, and all that, but it was important for us to connect. We had the chance to check in on each other. The class was wonderful. Ally and Brittany were champ. They are so sweet, kind, supportive, and they were non-judgmental. They did not have any criticism, they were very supportive, and that was a wonderful experience.

Andrew: Yes, I agree. I totally recommend you to take their class.

Niki: Bye! Peace out.

Ruby: Peace out.

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Rachella & Sean

“It was nice being able to interact with other deaf and hard of hearing couples because we could feel relatable to them, share resources, and tools.”

Rachella & Sean: Hello!

Rachella: My name is Rachella.

Sean: Hello, I’m Sean.

Rachella: We have a daughter, Maxine, born in September 2019. We took an online childbirth education class which was Hand Waves Birth’s first online class. Really, we enjoyed it, it was a fun class! It was nice being able to interact with other deaf and hard of hearing couples because we could feel relatable to them, share resources, and tools. I think most of all, I was impressed with being empowered. I was able to know what options were available, different possible scenarios, and what I was able to do. I was able to apply that to my birth experience. When I was at the hospital, and gave birth, I felt good with my decisions because of Hand Waves Birth’s class. I’m grateful.

Sean: Yes, definitely. I, as a male, a father-to-be at the time, I felt lost. You could read books, but it is not the same. With the classes, I felt more prepared, knowing what to expect if a situation arose. Especially when she is giving birth, she may not think rationally, so I felt I needed to take more responsibility. If the doctor needed certain things, I would be able to know what to do. I felt the class truly prepared me for different scenarios that could happen. I felt prepared, and grateful. I would highly recommend fathers and men to take this class because really, we are both the parents, not just her.

Rachella: Again, thank you!

Sean: Thanks!

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Randee

“When it was time, I felt ready. I was able to speak up and advocate for myself.”

“Hello! [Shows Hand Waves Birth tee]. I am here to talk about Hand Waves Birth. I want to congratulate them on celebrating their five years! Incredible. I am honored to be a part of that. We had an online course with them. Wow! You know, as deaf individuals, we tend to have colonized thinking. We sometimes think that we shouldn’t use deaf individuals and that it is better to use hearing individuals who know more, we think they know best. We can communicate with them through interpreters, and this is just to get by. No, no, no! I am so glad that we, my wife and I, decided to reach out to them (Hand Waves Birth) and took their childbirth class. This class was for my pregnancy as my wife already had a birth, a scheduled cesarean, so our other childbirth class at the time was not needed and we dropped it. Looking back to that time… wow… we had to prepare for the hearing classes, moving around our schedules and going through the stress of figuring out who the interpreters were going to be. That childbirth class ended up being dropped. Then it was my turn being pregnant and the first thing I thought of were Hand Waves Birth! As time got closer, we reached out and were able to arrange a class! Really, it was a good class, I enjoyed myself. There were games, activities, and the main point here/takeaway is that I was empowered. I knew of and was confident in my decision making, I learned of different scenarios and what the options were: A, B, or C. If this happens, then what? If that happens, then what? I felt that all of the different examples and different scenarios gave us ideas of what to discuss and think about. When it was time, I felt ready. I was able to speak up and advocate for myself. I shared what I wanted and was able to make them happen within the medical world. It is common that they (medical providers) would tell us what to do and we would follow that. It is important to know the options and that we are capable of making our own decisions. That was what made me find this class so important. I was able to have direct access in American Sign Language, and they are fabulous doulas- Hand Waves Birth is amazing. I support you and want to wish you both the best and congratulations on your five years anniversary! I look forward to seeing more in the upcoming years with more families, more children, and everything else through your wonderful program. I look forward to seeing Hand Waves Birth expand more. Thank you! Take care! Bye!”
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Raymonda & Bryan

“We highly recommend you to go ahead and take their class. You will learn something new every minute and feel comfortable with your birth.”

Bryan: Hello everyone! We wanted to share about Hand Waves Birth’s class that we took a while ago. We learned a lot, and the detailed information about pregnancy, during labor and after birth. We learned a lot, and we were lucky that we had deaf instructors. It was nice to have full access to communication. We were comfortable and felt relatable to others.

Raymonda: That class had a lot of benefits even though it was my fourth pregnancy. I learned more than I did during my 1st, 2nd and 3rd pregnancies. Deaf access in sign language was a big thing. They explained what my rights were, what kind of voice I had. I didn’t realize that I could speak up about certain things. With that, my fourth birth was a great experience. I had resources and tools that I could use. We highly recommend you to go ahead and take their class. Wow, worth it! You will learn something new every minute and feel comfortable with your birth.

Bryan: Yes right! Thank you!

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Samantha

“As we learned more throughout the course, we had the opportunity to face different possible scenarios which prepared us. By the end of the last class, I was absolutely confident and ready for my birth. Ready and excited!”

“Hello everyone! My name is Samantha, I hope you’re all doing good. Okay, I am going to make two vlogs, this one is for childbirth education class. First I remember five to six years ago, Brittany came up to me and said ‘I want to set up a doula business for the deaf community’. I told her, yes, go for it! Now, here we are with them reaching their fifth year, wow. Brittany and Ally are wow, they always contribute fully to the community and their passion is there. I have seen everything, seen them grow, having many clients, and they took a variety of workshops, just wow. When I was pregnant, I knew I had to take their childbirth education class. Honestly, I knew nothing about babies because I used to say I would not have kids. Clayton, my husband, and I never envisioned having kids. When we got pregnant, we knew nothing to begin with. I was lucky to have Brittany and Ally, and I already made up my mind to have them as my doulas. I took their childbirth education class and I was mind-blown. My husband and I were both mind-blown, we learned so much! They shared everything, not just superficial information, they went into depth. If I remember right, they had approximately 4-5 sessions, and the first session would talk about several topics, and then we will go further with more detailed information in each session. Wow, the childbirth education class is truly worth it. There were some questions, and my husband and I wouldn’t know the answers because we did not have confidence at that time. As we learned more throughout the course, we had the opportunity to face different possible scenarios which prepared us. By the end of the last class, I was absolutely confident and ready for my birth. I was ready and I was excited! The childbirth education class is worth it! Now with everything available virtually, I would recommend everyone and all couples to take this class. It is worth it!”

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Shana & Kyle

“We were able to know what we wanted at the hospital, and share that with the doctor and nurses. I would not have known I was able to do that if I didn’t take their class.”

Shana: Hi I’m Shana.

Kyle: Hi I’m Kyle.

Shana: We have a four month old baby, she’s napping [shows baby monitor]. We’re keeping an eye on her and she’s still asleep.

Kyle: Her name is Athena.

Shana: We took Hand Waves Birth [shows HWB sign] childbirth education class. It had four sessions.

Kyle: Yes, four. It was on Tuesdays and Thursdays, about three hours each through the Zoom platform.

Shana: It’s really cool because of accessibility, a lot of information, and we really learned a lot. It really benefited us. I want to share two things. There are a lot, but we will share two examples. First is about birth preferences. Through Brittany and Ally, we got a discount through a program called [M]otherboard. We had access, and it was an easy way for us to show what my birth preferences were. It did help me.

Kyle: We were able to pick out what we wanted before going to the hospital.

Shana: We were able to know what we wanted at the hospital, and share that with the doctor and nurses. That way they would know what our expectations were. The second thing is that we learned about what our options were and what our rights are at our hospital birth. For example, when we arrived at the hospital, the nurse put a baby monitor and heartbeat monitor bands around my belly. Those were not wireless and plugged in so I had to stay on the bed and not be able to move much. I explained that I wanted a wireless monitor because I wanted to be able to move around. The nurse then changed it. I would not have known I was able to do that if I didn’t take their class.

Kyle: For me, my friends and brother have babies, so of course they shared their tips and suggestions. With that, I thought I knew a lot and that I was prepared for her birth. Once the class started, within the first 10-15 minutes, I was like “Oh!” There are a lot of things that I didn’t even know. In those four sessions, the information I learned was a lot! They helped me prepare for her, myself, and before, during, & after the birth. I really benefited from that class.

Shana: We recommend you to take that class!

Brittany

If I ever have a kid again or know anybody who is pregnant, I most definitely recommend Hand Waves Birth services! With the coronavirus outbreak,  my birth/hospital tour class got cancelled few weeks before my due date. My older sister somehow found this service, Deaf doulas! Ally and Brittany have been extremely helpful and I really enjoyed being in the group childbirth class. I got to learn other people’s perspective and second opinions.  I’ve learned so much that I was able to ask a lot of things that I’ve learned from them, to ask my doctor and was able to make my own decisions. Before that, I didn’t know what to ask my doctor. It’s really good to be aware and educate yourself  of what you need to know as a first time parent and what’s happening in labor room and what options you have and know your rights. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I will take it again if I ever have another kid. Also, they were very willing to help outside of classes such as emails when you have last minute questions and after birth too. I’m really grateful!!! Thank you Ally and Brittany!

Alex

Highly recommended!!! My wife and I were supposed to have a childbirth class & tour at our hospital, but it got canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, only 3 weeks away from our first baby’s due date. We were told by our friends about Hand Waves Birth Services. We are very happy with their group childbirth class and it was very last minute. We learned much more than we expect. This is definitely worth to take childbirth class, especially for first time parents. Also, other benefits about their service we can get in touch with Ally and Brittany for any further questions related baby or resources after birth. Ally and Brittany, we want to thank you so much!

Sami

Brittany and Ally made me feel completely prepared for the arrival of my little one. They both took the time to go through everything in detail, providing visuals, pictures and videos, and real-life objects to ensure that we fully understood everything. They also answered all of the questions we had. They both had such a calm vibe that the class was much more enjoyable than I expected. I definitely recommend their service, whether it’s for online classes like I had, or for in-person services.

Heidi

Ally and Brittany are amazing doulas- well informed, supportive, and takes the time to provide info and options. Childbirth education class would be a benefit to all expecting parents- resourceful and provided a better idea of the process during this special time.

Samantha

My partner and I took the childbirth class provided by Brittany and Ally in November 2019. It was the best decision we ever made. There were four sessions, with each one different from the other. Before the class, my partner and I did not broach the topic of the birth journey much. During the sessions, we realized quickly there were so many topics that we needed to discuss and be on the same page about before, during, and after the birth. We received a workbook, a life saver, containing all the important details. Brittany and Ally were well prepared for each session and although it was a lot of information, they were able to expertly lay it out in a clear and concise structure. Not only was it informative, we really enjoyed the sessions as they made them fun. Having taken the childbirth class, we are much more confident now in our birth journey. With all that said, we strongly recommend expectant parents to take this class.