Our first birth with Amy was very long, very slow and quite the exercise in patience (for everyone!), but this second birth was quite different in all aspects! Amy arrived at our house within an hour of my contractions first starting, and she was a very grounding, calming presence the entire time. She listened to me, asked questions when appropriate, and sat with me as I rocked and labored on my birthing ball. She wisely encouraged me to rest, and later directed me to some specific positions to help my baby descend and prepare for birth. She was very protective of my personal space and helped create a zone of silence, solitude and peace around me as I moved through the toughest, most focused portions of my labor (even with both parents, my husband, my preschooler and my brother in the house at the same time!) Amy was realistic with me – explaining what my body language was communicating to her and preparing me for the magnified intensity of each next phase. I’ll never forget when, immediately after confirming my water had broken, she said very calmly and confidently “things are going to get REALLY intense now”. Somehow, it was very relieving to anticipate the surge of contractions. I knew I was close, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it! As a second time mom, my labor was fast and intense, and Amy was totally crucial in the final hour before our daughter arrived. As I pushed, she whispered words of strength to me, reminded me how powerful I was, and reassured me I was making fast progress. After delivery, I loved hearing her re-tell the story of how each person in the room was supporting me in unique ways. It made me feel loved, strong and very proud of myself for the hard work I had done. Amy is a beloved gift to our whole family and we are so thankful to have included her in two of the most important days in our lives.