Eri was my doula in February 2019 when she lived in the Bay Area. She is, quite frankly, phenomenal, and I don't think I would have had the successful delivery I had without her - and my pregnancy and labor/delivery were complicated! Before birth she was the "team captain" of a team of 4 doulas (one of whom would be my doula during labor and delivery). She met me at my home, explained what a doula does, and provided strategies to advocate for myself at the hospital. I found her to be very open, easy to talk to, encouraging, but also direct and clear. I had a particularly difficult pregnancy as I had gestational diabetes. Eri always responded quickly to texts in the weeks leading up to labor, and I felt she was very accessible. I went into the hospital for a routine non-stress test at 39 weeks 2 days for my gestational diabetes. There the nurses discovered I had preeclampsia and was immediately admitted to the hospital without being able to go home or anything. It was a scary experience, but texting with Eri was very calming. My labor was induced and in total was 2.5 days all at the hospital. Eri knew I was having a hard laboring process and took on the responsibility of being my doula for the second day after stepping off a plane! Eri was a breath of fresh air after a long labor. My contractions were getting stronger, and I was a bit out of it, but Eri's focus (I'll never forget) centered me on making critical decisions such as whether or not to get the epidural. Even though I was in pain, I remember Eri saying in my moment of need: "ok, we are in limbo right now about the epidural. I will support whatever decision you make, but this is the moment to make it. We cannot move forward without you making a decision here." This is exactly what I needed to hear, and I opted for the epidural. Eri was invaluable after I got the epidural as she talked me through what was happening, massaged my scalp, kept my mind off the long labor, and kept asking me questions like if I felt the need to push. Finally it was time to push, but this was during a shift change of the nurses! So rather than focus on me and my contractions and helping to guide me to push, the nurses were distracted talking to each other about me! Eri was the constant who then counted to help me push and encouraged me after each big push. She was awesome and I relied on her completely during that final delivery stage. Despite gestational diabetes and preeclampsia and 2.5 days of labor, I was able to deliver vaginally. I am certain that would not have been possible without Eri. I am eternally grateful to her for helping to guide me towards a labor and delivery experience I was satisfied with despite innumerable complications. Eri gives all of herself to her clients and is fully present with them throughout their journey. I hope she can help other with theirs in the Detroit area!!"
Eri Guajardo Johnson is someone I've known since she was 15 years old and I (humbly) always knew she was destined for magick! Her internal light is so strong that she literally shines and exudes warmth and love all around her. She was born for this work.
And so it goes that one of the greatest joys of my life was being able to experience the birth of my 2nd child with Eri. The work and love and intuition and spirit she holds as a doula is extraordinary. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Starting with her attention to detail and awareness in the days leading to birth: Eri is organized, smart, thoughtful, and will make you feel completely comfortable, safe, and confident that your birth will be supported and beautiful, no matter what. She has tools to help prepare you and asks all of the right questions and is so strong and careful not to pass any judgement in what you may be thinking or feeling. You will feel READY, with her strong support.
2) Eri made the birth room so beautiful for me -- it was truly a sacred place -- she put up colored paper flags all over the wall with words of love and inspiration from all of my friends. And we had electronic candles all around the room. It felt welcoming and warm and personal. She'll help you create the space with however you envision :)
3) Eri knew how to work comfortably and confidently with the hospital staff. I felt safe and that all of my wishes were well communicated at all times. She had my back. I didn't have to worry that my intentions wouldn't be supported -- she had me covered.
4) Eri took great care to ensure she and my partner would be my unified team. This was hugely important! They worked together throughout the whole birth experience with great ease.
5) Eri read my body and feelings and emotions and energy SO well throughout birth. Without me saying anything she knew when to offer ideas, offer space, offer words, offer touch, or simply offer presence. Her intuition was incredibly on-point. And if there chanced a moment that what she was suggesting did not feel right, she took it fully in stride. That felt really good, and I admire it as a masterful skill. I felt swiftly accepted and in control.
6) Eri helped me step into my power. She helped me FEEL empowered. My birth experience was a team effort -- I'll forever be grateful to Eri and to my husband and to my baby and to the hospital staff for making it truly one of the greatest experiences of my life.
I hope you can experience this joy with Eri, too :)"
You can't get a more intuitive, warm, attentive, empowering doula than Eri. Without Eri, I could not have had a natural unmedicated birth in April 2019, and for that, I'm forever grateful for her care during one of the most vulnerable moments.
Initially, I was skeptical of doula service - with the medical professionals, my husband & my mom, why would I need another stranger in the room? Only after the strong recommendation of my close friend, who said a doula was invaluable during her birth, did I look into it.
And boy, was she right. My baby was positioned posterior, which meant I had unbearable protracted back labor without meaningful dilation. Of course, my husband and my mom wanted to help, but they didn't know exactly how despite watching numerous pain management videos. I ended up calling Eri while I was still in early labor, and her expertise (Rebozo scarf, different pressure point massages, stretches, labor positions) and her warm yet empowering presence got me through the dark moments when I wanted to give up and ask for medical interventions. Eri not only made sure I was feeling safe and cared for, but also supported my husband and my mom by telling them how to help, reassuring them, and encouraging them to take a nap and eat for the long labor marathon. Eri stayed with me overnight past her shift for total 14 hours (4PM - 6AM) until she made sure both the baby and I were safe and happy.
Long story short, now I recommend Eri to all my pregnant friends. I tell them her service was the best money I've spent in years."