©2019 Sacred Beginning, Sharon Gourlay

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Testimonials 

 

“My wife and I employed Sharon's services as a Doula as well as a hypnobirthing educator. The hypnobirthing classes were incredibly accommodating with our schedule, educational and concise, and filled with warmth and compassion As a doula, Sharon is incredible. She is a champion of your birth plan throughout the delivery. Sharon prepares you and empowers you throughout the process as certain changes are certain to occur. Finally, she follows up post birth to make sure that you and your new little one are doing great. Sharon is always available for any questions- no matter the context or content. My wife and I were very happy to have Sharon on our team throughout the pregnancy. She is fantastic and you will not be disappointed if you decide to use Sacred Beginning!” 
Patrick Ahern

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

 

My birth was an unusual one as my daughter was being placed for adoption. Sharon not only helped me get through the physical pains of labor but was also an amazing support system while I was going through the emotional adoption process. She was not judgmental in any way and went above and beyond to make sure that my emotional needs were being taken care of. She tailored my pre- and post-partum care to my particular situation and helped me get through this very difficult time. She helped me have a natural labor by using a myriad of pain management techniques and supported me throughout the delivery process to make sure that all of my wishes were being met (even when they were at odds with what the doctors/hospital wanted). She facilitated a calm, loving environment in the delivery room and was supportive of everyone who was there (my mother and the adoptive parents, a same-sex couple). I can't say that the birth of my daughter was emotionally a pain-free experience, but Sharon made the birth a positive experience that I look back on fondly. Words can't express how grateful I am to Sharon, and I wholeheartedly recommend her to any future mother, regardless of the situation.

Adoption Doula Client's Inspirational Words

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

We worked with Sharon during our pregnancy with twins and for the birth. She was wonderful! She was always so understanding and accommodating of my physical difficulties during the pregnancy, and she always went out of her way to personalize our experience with her and make us feel special. She clearly has a mastery of the hypnobirthing content, and she taught it to us in a way that truly gave us peace and confidence. We are very thankful for her!

 

Tara Baxter's Inspirational Words

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

 

We are incredibly lucky to have worked with Sharon as our doula for the birth of our first child. She played an immeasurable role in our birth team both before, during and after our birth. We hired Sharon specifically for her wisdom, experience, and expertise in the birthing process, however, we were also drawn to her calming presence and passion for her art. She was available at any time by phone, e-mail or text to answer questions and deescalate anxiety, even for the most minute questions. She patiently provided invaluable, evidence-based research and resources that soothed any fears or anxiety related to the anticipation of being first-time parents. She assisted us in creating a birth plan that reflected our ideals and values. Sharon's toolbox overflows with techniques and equipment to ease labor and allow parents to be more present in the laboring process.

 

The birth of our son began rather traumatically, which caused additional fears and anxiety. When Sharon arrived at our request, we felt it was a breath of fresh air and allowed us to reclaim our birth experience. Her calm, soothing nature set the tone for our birth and her wisdom allowed us the flexibility to re-evaluate our birth plan and tailor it to our needs at the time. Throughout the night, Sharon did absolutely anything that was asked or needed of her, often anticipating needs. She spent many hours providing precise physical interventions which allowed my husband to be emotionally present throughout labor. She continued to infuse energy and nurturing into labor and used everything in her toolbox to attempt to give us the birth that we had wanted. Even when things became out of our control and I was rushed into an emergency c-section she took care of everything else allowing us to only focus on the birth of our child.

 

She continued to provide resources and support after delivery. Without question, we will be calling her to assist with our next baby!   

 

Alicia DiMarco's Inspirational Words

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

Sharon came to us highly recommended from friends and other birth professionals in the Columbus area. Our situation made us feel specifically vulnerable. Myself, who was the carrying parent, am trans-identified, and my wife and I were nervous about almost nearly every aspect of our birth experience. From the moment we met Sharon, she greeted us with sensitivity, compassion and a great working knowledge of what to expect.

 

Throughout our pregnancy journey, Sharon made herself available to us for questions, concerns, worries, etc. We felt a great deal of support through our entire journey with her, through our first meeting to birth... and beyond. Sharon was a great advocate for us and our specific situation, and it was apparent that she really takes the time to understand your story and address the anxieties that may be produced through the process of birth.

 

Sharon went out of her way (literally, making special trips to Columbus) to ensure that the week before our birth was as emotionally comfortable as possible. She was able to help us through a lot of our pre-birth worries (including family stressors) and although nothing could take away being all-consumed by being a week overdue, Sharon was able to talk us through many of our fears.

 

We will always be grateful for Sharon and the gifts that she brought to us through our birth adventure.

 

Chris T Rehs-Dupin's Inspirational Words

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

 

 

When my husband and I set out looking for a doula, we chose Sharon after interviewing a couple of other doulas. Our faith in our choice only grew with each passing day during our prenatal visits. She made an effort to get to know all family members including our dog.  She helped us clearly articulate our natural childbirth plan.


We had a big decision to make that she helped us with - we switched OBs at 35 weeks since we were not happy with our earlier OB. She was very informative and helpful without being opinionated.

 

Our baby also decided to go breech on us a few days before the actual delivery. She has an extensive support network that she was able to leverage to get us chiropractor and acupuncture specialist for getting the baby to turn. Thankfully baby decided to turn the day I went into labor and we didn't really end up using them.

 

But we realized it really was truly meant to be after the labor and delivery of our baby girl. She was in constant touch with us during pre-labor and offered suggestions on how to progress and ease the pain. Sharon helped us decide when it was really time to get to the hospital. She was constantly by my side and did not even step out for a food or water break for the 16 hour period.


There were times when my labor really stopped progressing and she helped me with exercises and breathing and moral support to push through.

 

Sharon, me and my husband formed the perfect team and we were like clockwork when it came to pushing. We could not have done a natural childbirth without Sharon's help.

 

Thank you, Sharon, for everything.

 

Keerthi Raj and her husband Prateek's Inspirational Words

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

 

From the moment my husband, Matthew, and I met Sharon, we knew she was the perfect doula for us.  Her calm manner was reassuring every step of the way in preparation for the birth of our son, Patrick.  Sharon was incredibly informative.  We covered so many topics and she was always available to answer our questions.  She became more than just our doula; she was our friend and confidant.  We honestly don't know what Patrick's birth story would be like had it not been for Sharon!

 

During my time in triage, she helped us decipher information and make educated decisions about our options.  She was our advocate, liaison, and buffer with the hospital staff.  It was truly a comfort knowing she was right there beside us.

In labor and delivery, she held my hand, explained what was happening around me, coached me through surges, and helped make me as comfy as possible.  It was instrumental for me to have her there during my epidural (I was so scared!) and through my short time pushing.  She views birth as such a miraculous event and supported our decisions as we welcomed Patrick into our lives.

 

In short, Sharon is a godsend.  You are truly lucky if you choose her.  We loved working with her and are still in contact with her because we feel like she was a part of our birth story.  The kind nature of her voice, her love for her clients, and her willingness to be available makes our family recommend Sharon with the highest confidence and the utmost praise.

 

 

Sharon was an irreplaceable part of our son's journey into this world. From the very beginning, she was warm and easy to work with. She provided education and guidance we would not have otherwise received. She honored our wishes without judgment.

 

During the dynamic process of birth, she was fully in tune with both mine and my husband's subjective experiences. She was there to not only support but to empower us to make decisions in accordance with our wishes. 

 

Above all, Sharon is a genuine and nurturing soul. We are so grateful to have had her by our side during the most important day of our lives. 

 

Amanda Elaine Harper's Inspirational Words

Athens, Ohio

 

 

From my experiences with friends’ births, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have a doula. My massage therapist recommended Sharon Gourlay, so I met with Sharon and we spoke for an hour. I knew right away that she would be willing to go the distance to make our baby’s birth special, so I hired her that day.

 

Sharon kept in touch with me daily in the last month of my pregnancy. I felt free to call her anytime I was uncertain of what my body was doing.In the last two weeks of my pregnancy, there were three times Sharon really needed to be with me. I called her, we would discuss what I was feeling, and she met with me as soon as possible. The first time was for Braxton Hicks contractions, which lead to a trip to the hospital. Sharon was with us the whole time. The second time was when I thought my water broke. A strong kick from my daughter caused the immediate evacuation of my bladder. Sharon left a class to be with me and told me not to worry about it. For the final time, I was having strong pains more frequent than before. Sharon was there for what became the eighteen hour birth of our first child.

 

Due to previous back injuries, I had terrible back contractions. Sharon helped me use hypnobirthing to focus despite the intense pain. I decided it was better for me to get the epidural and Sharon supported my decision. From that point on she applied various techniques to keep my labor progressing. Sharon only left the room a few times but was never gone for long, even staying with me when my husband was sleeping.

 

At the start of the big push, I was crushed by pain and my labor stopped. My epidural had run out. I was in immense pain and could not find a position in the “normal” medical techniques. Sharon tried several positions to get my labor going again even though I was recovering from the lack of epidural medicines. She never let me give up and watched as my daughter came into the world.

 

Abby King's Inspirational Words

Upper Arlington, Ohio

 

 

Sharon was an essential part of my positive birthing experience.  I had a very long labor (~24 hours) and she was calm, reassuring, and sensitive the entire time.  I took a hypnosis birthing course and while it was a different course than Sharon herself taught, she was very committed to learning our techniques and cues so that she could be as supportive as possible for us. Our prenatals with her were fun and never rushed. In the hospital, Sharon was such a valuable part of our birthing team. She made sure I stayed calm and focused, my husband had time to rest and eat and helped us keep our birth on the path we envisioned. She was wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate to use her services again!  

 

Taylor Pressler's Inspirational Words

Bexley, Ohio

 

Sharon was my Doula for my second pregnancy. Working in the medical field, I initially steered away from Doulas, but I have found that having a doula creates a far better experience all around. I had a rough experience with my first pregnancy, which resulted in an emergency C-Section. This made me very worried about this pregnancy, which is what lead me to Sharon. I first met her during Hypnobirthing classes and immediately liked her calm and caring nature. We discussed the pregnancy regularly using such forms as Skype, email, text, phone and in-home visits. She always got back to me quickly and was patient with all my questions. She was available at all hours and was able to come to the hospital multiple times. When it was looking like I was going to be induced, she helped me make appointments for massage and acupuncture. She was very supportive and gave lots of helpful suggestions during this process. When the time finally came, she was at the hospital within an hour of my arrival with her supplies. She spent many long hours supporting me both physically and emotionally. Without her presence and calming nature, I'm not sure our VBAC would have been successful. She had many tools and techniques that she utilized, and personal experience, which made me very comfortable. She helped my husband support me without intruding. After birth, she was a helpful presence in our special moment. Her role did not stop there. When we got home, she continued to check on us to make sure we were doing well. She also created a timeline of events. When my son wouldn't latch properly, she brought a lactation specialist to our home to help us. 

 

Overall, the experience we had with Sharon was AMAZING! My mother even said it was the calmest birth she has ever witnessed. My husband was the most skeptical of all but was quickly won over and believes that she was indispensable in my birth experience. I would absolutely use her services again in another pregnancy.  Posted 

 

 

Jennifer Goodwin's Inspirational Words

Ohio

 

Sharon will be a part of our family forever. She is very easy to work with and understands you, no matter what walk of life you are from. After suffering from postpartum depression with my first child, I was determined to do whatever I could to prevent going through that trauma again. Sharon helped my husband and I overcome that pain and look forward to a happy enjoyable birth. I had that. Sharon was always easy to reach, with questions, and when the time came she sat with me the entire day while my husband entertained my 3-year-old son. She drove through a level 2 snowstorm so that I could get the birth I was hoping for. And I did, we are now a happy and healthy family of four. I could never thank her enough for all that she has done for my family and me.  

 

 

Leelah Orion's Inspirational Words

Hilliard, Ohio

 

Sharon was kind enough to take me on as a client pretty late in my pregnancy because she believes that every woman who wants one should have a doula. She did a great job at helping my husband and I feel comfortable with our particular set of fears surrounding the birth of our first child. She created an open and honest atmosphere at our pre-birth sessions (and was even willing to drive to Athens to meet with us), and helped us feel as confident as possible before I went into labor. She was always available to answer questions and help me with deciding when to go to the hospital. On the night of my labor, she was responsive and helpful and helped me to feel comfortable with my choices when I made some difficult decisions.  She stayed by my side throughout the delivery and even got the first picture of us meeting our daughter.  Even before our follow-up appointment, she made sure she got me contact information and resources that I needed to help me breastfeed successfully, and she was supportive and helpful at our follow-up appointment. Throughout the entire process, she was consistently kind, helpful, and responsive to our needs and desires. She listened well and tailored her care to our personalities.  

 

Christin Butler's Inspirational Words

Athens, Ohio

 

 

I did not have a doula for the birth of my first child and ever since I wished I had. I didn’t realize how valuable it would be to have a support person in addition to my husband. When we began planning for our second baby, I knew right away that I would want a doula. We knew Sharon from taking her Hypnobirthing® class in preparation for the birth of our first child and were thrilled to find out she was now a doula as well. She was wonderful! She took the time to get to know us and talk about how we hoped this birth would proceed. On the day of, she did exactly what we needed her to do. She offered ideas of comfort measures when I needed them and talked me through the most intense contractions. She was supportive and helped to reassure me that I was doing a great job. I am so pleased with how the birth went and I believe I owe a lot of that to Sharon’s calming, confident presence. 

 

Katie Beard's Inspirational Words

Columbus, Ohio

 

 

Sharon had a tremendous impact on our birth experience. My husband and I met Sharon through her Hypnobirthing instructor role when I was pregnant with our first child; we adored Sharon for her knowledge, compassion, and thoughtfulness, so when she began offering doula services, we jumped at the chance to work with her for the birth of our second child.  

 

Before the birth, Sharon came to our house to talk to us about expectations for our experience, reflecting on our first experience, discussing how we envisioned her role, and then talking us through what we hoped for the birth. Sharon didn’t just prepare us for the physical aspects of childbirth; she also helped me think hard about things like how I manage stress and how my husband and I communicate, things that have huge implications during birth but that I would never have thought about on my own. Sharon also helped us develop a postpartum plan, another idea that we would not have done on our own. Thanks to Sharon’s guidance, my husband and I were well-prepared to come home and grow into our expanded family, and we knew that if we needed anything, Sharon would be there for us physically and emotionally.

 

During the birth itself, Sharon was both our rock and our soft spot. Sharon’s knowledge about birth is completely solid and scientifically based, and she was so helpful talking us through the risks and benefits of choices we made during my 24-hour labor. At the same time, she was a tremendous emotional support for me. Sharon was ready to hold my hand when I needed her, to hand me the perfect stress ball at the right time, to remind me to relax my shoulders and breathe, to offer me remedies for my nausea, and to help my midwife position me to move labor along. Sharon worked so well with the midwife, and as a team, we were able to get my son to turn from his posterior position.  

 

Sharon’s background as a Hypnobirthing instructor is as a fantastic and unique asset to her doula practice because she was able to offer us during birth relaxation strategies that kept me calm during a long stretch of unmedicated labor. I felt confident -- and physically able -- to work through contractions because Sharon offered my husband and me so many strategies to ease the discomfort and keep me calm. I do not see myself as someone with a high pain tolerance, nor am I comfortable with even simple medical procedures, so this sense of peace is a true testament to Sharon’s gifts!  

 

It sounds crazy, but my husband and I truly look back on this birth -- the length, the intensity, the positioning challenge and all -- with fondness. Sharon’s presence added an element of celebration and warmth to the whole experience; she even presented to us a detailed timeline of the birth, which we will always treasure. Sharon’s services are a priceless investment in the transition to a growing family, and we cannot recommend her highly enough. 

 

Gretchen Taylor's Inspirational Words

Dublin, Ohio