Giving birth during a pandemic has it’s own impact much differently than in years past.
In the best of times, preparing for labor and delivery is both exciting and nerve-wracking. But if you’ll be giving birth during the global coronavirus pandemic, you may understandably be feeling more stressed and apprehensive than joyful.
I interviewed Collette in December 2020 on giving birth during a pandemic and the impact it had on her birth and what mentally helped her maintain 8cm dilation for 9 hours.
Yea, you heard that right… 8 cm, practically in transition for 9 hours. #birthwarrior
Early on in pregnancy they knew they wanted constant support from a doula for giving birth.
Which set them up nicely for what was to come. The pandemic. Travel plans changed. Work changed to remote learning. Her husband was no longer allowed to come to doctor appointments. As their doula, I wouldn’t be allowed in the birth room either.
So together, we got busy preparing for the birth and plans for how I could support them at home in labor, as well as virtual support at the hospital. Her husband was such an amazing birth partner, rational and the gate keeper so to speak. He knew exactly what to do to help labor progress, different positions to use. Which was super helpful because she was at 8cm for 9 hours.
She remembers the two things that kept her going for those long hours of giving birth.
One is that “birth is a marathon. It’s constant, you got to stay focused and stick with it. It’s not going to get easier before it gets harder. Your just in it and must surrender to the moment.”
And two “your body is not going to give you more than you can handle.” “Knowing how to breath, ride it through, and how to take each contraction, let it pass, let it go while staying in the moment.”
Her birth didn’t necessarily go as planned, but with added childbirth education and doula support, they knew how to move, ask questions, and advocate for the best care to have a positive birth experience, even though their birth was totally different than they imagined, ending with a cesarean section. (here are tips for family centered cesarean) Her son wasn’t coming down into her pelvic bowl, no matter what we tried, and we tried EVERYTHING. We found out later that his little forehead was pressing against her pelvic bone which wouldn’t allow him to adjust and move further down.
She describes it as “having the best of both worlds. The full on labor and then the C-section”
These key ingredients allowed her to be at 8cm for 9 hours and in the end have an empowered birth experience. She is amazing. Birth is amazing. Our bodies and babies are amazing!
Getting to know them and now call them my friends is an honor.
I appreciate Collette taking time out of her day to allow me to interview her. The time we had together through birth and postpartum was a gift.