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Navigating Challenges

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Many couples experience a vast array of challenges. For some it begins with attempting to conceive, for others during pregnancy, trying to get into labor, obstacles during labor or birth and even postpartum and breastfeeding. Any of these scenarios can be extremely frustrating. For years, I have educated and encouraged women to manage such anxiety and stress in the best individual way possible for them. What may help some women, does not work for others. That's where the word "individual" comes in.

Ever noticed, most women love to have control over certain situations, gain control over others and often fear losing control? It is not our fault. It is how the creator decided to wire us. However, one of the greatest lessons I can teach a woman is how to release the desire for "more control and simply keep it simple" each day. Simple as in focus on what you DO have control over. Take pregnancy for example. You do have control over daily nutrition, daily exercise, avoidance of harmful things, to educate and train for labor, learn how to relax and best manage contractions, etc., but we do not have direct control over some variations and/ or complications which could present. Therefore, to eliminate undue stress and anxiety, one must keep it simple and do what we CAN control each day. We must leave the rest to mother nature complimented by excellent healthcare providers. This was also the case for second-time mom, Mallory McCall.

Mom Mallory had faced multiple challenges the first pregnancy including being placed on bedrest at 33 weeks due to growth restrictions with her daughter Everly's belly. Maternal fetal medicine kept that monitored. The couple had not trained or planned to manage their first labor drug-free. More challenges followed after Ambien was administered to her. An emergency c-section followed as her baby's heart rate tanked shortly after. Dad was not allowed to witness the birth due to the unexpected turn of events. Mom endured general anesthesia and sadly was not awake to see her baby born and their daughter was isolated in NICU the first 24 hours of her life because of low oxygen and low blood sugar. Needless to say, the couple desired a much different experience the second time around.

Mallory & Scotty both desired a much different outcome and began making plans to experience a #SymbioticBirth. We use the term Symbiotic Birth to reflect a birth experience in which Mom gets the best of normality in the childbirth process (as it applies to her individual health), limiting the experience to only medically necessary interventions, not routine care. Therefore, the healthier mom and baby, the less medical intervention that has to occur and when medical interventions are warranted, Mom and Dad play an active role in decision making after informed consent, of course.

This pregnancy, Mallory reached out to me to help plan her happy "birth" day. We spoke over dinner how Your Birth Helper could assist her in navigating a completely different more enjoyable birth experience. I referred her to Piedmont OBGYN after she shared her birthing goals with me. Especially, since if she were to experience repeat surgery, however unlikely, she still had options and could have an enjoyable birth experience with a few significant changes. First up was staying healthy and low risk through emphasis on her own well being. She was delighted to have knowledge and assistance from one of our favorite chiropractors, Dr. Kelly Helmendach. She found the information and suggestions on healing her thyroid to be a great benefit to her overall health. With her desk job and the issues that followed Covid with constant mask wearing, she enjoyed the chiropractic care, as well. Special thanks to Dr. K for always taking such good care of our Your Birth Helper mamas and babies! The couple attended a live YBH labor workshop (before the Covid outbreak) and also a virtual class to increase their knowledge of how the body works and managing their labor. Mallory's focus on her nutrition, daily exercise and meditation helped her manage her blood pressure, swelling and avoid poor outcomes near term. In fact, she made it this time successfully carrying to 40 weeks and 4 days. Her body unfortunately refused to join in during her spontaneous labor efforts and her second journey ended with a scheduled repeat cesarean. However, the couple couldn't have been happier. Why? (you might ask) Because, their wishes were not just supported, they were also encouraged. Encouraged to remain healthy and low risk, encouraged to do their part to bring about spontaneous labor. They were part of every decision leading up to their due date and beyond. Unfortunately, medical induction is not permissible in a VBAC attempt due to increased risks for mom including higher incidence of uterine rupture. She did experience some light Braxton Hicks contractions and certainly had some fun with all the long walks, weird food and natural ways to help. She and Scotty, had much peace in regards to their decision to move forward after her due date came and went. They could not say enough good things about Dr. Steele and labor and delivery nurse Karen! Thank you both for the TLC on surgery day. The couple had a few extra requests which were happily obliged including delayed cord clamping in the operating room, photographs (especially since this was dads first time witnessing his baby being born.

Congratulations and welcome to the world Briggston Steele McCall, weighing in at 7lbs 15 oz, 20.75" long and an extremely healthy vibrant boy! Mom and dad are so grateful to all of those who contributed directly or indirectly in their happy "Birth" day!

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