Savannah Juanita's birth, 10.10.18, shows Naples how doula care can support a family mindfully b
Today's birth announcement is brought to you by Tara Hoverson, labor doula extraordinaire! Read on for her personal account of our newest Mindful Birth arrival.
Want to hear how my relationship with this awesome mom and beautiful baby began?
I met Savannah’s mom, Kaleena later in her pregnancy. She had a history with Mindful Birth Services, having taken our Birthing From Within classes in the past and having had Chris as her doula with her third child. It’s always so great to work with repeat families! When Chris called to let me know Kaleena was ready for doula care and also that the birth might be the next day, I was excited and ready! Since Kaleena’s mom lives out of town and could not be there in time, Kaleena knew she would need more support. I met Kaleena at the hospital the next day to begin our journey through doula care. This was baby number four for Kaleena and Pedro.
Kaleena’s birth was so imminent because she developed high blood pressure among other medical complications during her pregnancy. I was able to provide support for this amazing mom by visiting her in the hospital where we talked about what lay ahead. The upcoming birth was not without uncertainties. She was told her baby would need to be in the NICU after birth and she knew she wanted her husband to go with the baby. However, having had cesarean births in the past she also knew she would need support herself, both physically and emotionally, after the cesarean. I reassured I would be there for her every step of the way.
Trusting mother's intuition
What we all thought might be an imminent birth turned out to be an opportunity to test our assumptions! After some medication and rest, Kaleena’s blood pressure stabilized and she was discharged from the hospital, free to gestate in peace. As her doula, I was thankful for the opportunity we were gifted to connect initially, and grateful to have more time to grow our trust before the birth was scheduled.
Kaleena’s headaches and nausea persisted and after a few long days, Kaleena and her baby knew it was safest for both of them to have the cesarean. I celebrated with her as she was about to welcome her sweet baby into the world! I continued to support her through texts and phone calls. One important piece of doula care is trusting the birthing mother’s intuition, and that’s just what I did. I listened. I prayed. I validated where she was. And above all, I trusted her.
Doula for a Cesarean Birth?
Some women aren’t sure how a doula may fit into their plans for a cesarean birth. Actually, there is so much we do! I was with her at the hospital when she was readmitted for the cesarean. We talked about what she would need in the hours ahead and made a plan. Once it was decided that the cesarean would take place the next day, Kaleena and I both got some sleep. I returned the next morning and helped her prepare for the cesarean. During her surgery, I got to know her children, who were very excited to meet their new sibling! When Pedro was helping his family, I sat with Kaleena in recovery and held the baby while she gathered her strength. Later when it was decided that Savannah needed to be monitored in the nursery, I watched over her and gave Kaleena updates until Dad arrived. I continued to support Kaleena physically and emotionally throughout the evening until she was able to fall asleep.
Throughout all the trails Kaleena has gone through on this journey, I have been so impressed with her calm spirit. She has taken all the curve balls thrown at her in stride and easily transitioned to “the next best thing” when her wishes could not be met. Her last wish was to not have the gender of the baby revealed until she could see for herself which thankfully was respected. Here’s a picture of Pedro sharing the news, “It’s a GIRL!” with Savannah’s siblings and family for the first time!
Please join me in welcoming Savannah Juanita. She was born October 10, 2018 at 12:55pm. She was 6lbs 14oz and 19 inches long. This sweet family is now complete!
In doula love,
P.S. I heard you might want a doula. Click here to schedule your Discovery Call with Christine! It's a one-hour phone consult to dive into your unique birthing needs and wishes. All questions welcomed!