When I met Channa she shared with me a common point of anxiety for so many pregnant people; previous loss. While many families move forward and go on to have healthy pregnancies, the overwhelming worry and obsessions are often not discussed. During pregnancy we are bombarded with unhelpful information. Family and friends share their traumatic stories of birth, large Facebook groups (due date groups are my biggest pet peeve) are filled with posts of people experiencing sad scenarios and its so easy to wonder if we will be next and the lack of facts on social media can also add to the anxiety. I spend a lot of time explaining that what someone posted online is often incorrect or misinterpreted.
Finding a good support team that you can be vulnerable with regarding these feelings can often be the missing piece in helping to calm nerves. Being able to text a doula and ask a question, rather than getting data from people who aren’t well versed or from the worst place of all: GOOGLE, can change the game as far as being ready for your birth and how you may cope postpartum.
Channa set herself up for a beautiful birth and even better postpartum, by giving herself grace, allowing for flexibility, leaning on folks when she needed and allowing for connection with her husband and her beautiful daughter along the way.
Channa reached out to me very early on Sunday morning to say she was experiencing some uncomfortable cramping. All along Channa had a feeling that her daughter would be born a little bit early and that connection to her intuition would be right. We would check in throughout the day and she would have periods of intensity, followed by periods of being able to rest.
Later in the evening her husband reached out that her water had broken and they thought they should head to the hospital. While I wasn’t sure we were far enough into the process I could tell that her anxiety needed the data. I met them at the hospital at 7:40pm and a cervical check would tell us that Channa was 5cm dilated, 90% effaced and higher in her pelvis. After a bit of discussion Channa decided that an epidural would be the right choice for her.
I always say that we are animals and if we do not feel safe during labor, our bodies will protect our babies and not move forward through the process. Sometimes that lack of safety, is from our own anxiety. Often times an epidural can help the body to rest, allowing for out logical brain to get out of the way and for Channa that’s exactly what we would see.
An epidural would allow for a fear breakthrough and sleep. When she woke she was fully dilated. We had discussed laboring down and allowing for the body to do most of the work during a prenatal appointment and for the next couple of hours that’s what we would do. At 3:28am, monitors would show the babies heart rate slowing during contractions. This is very normal when baby is low in the birth canal. As the contractions compress the head, everything slows down and then the babies heart rate will come back to baseline as the contraction subsides.
At 3:45am Channa and Junior’s beautiful baby girl would come screaming into the world and placed into the arms of the most thankful mother a little one could ask for. I’m so thankful to have been allowed to be part of their journey as well as allowing me to share a bit of their story to help normalize those topics we often due not discuss.