A Doula's Birth Journey with ICP

Brittany is a sweet friend of mine.  I've been with her through the valleys of losses and the mountain tops of a rainbow baby BOY being born into this world.  While her story does contain so much joy and triumph, this part of her story shows so much strength and determination to use her mind and heart to do what is right for her child.  

Brittany is a doula.  She loves birth.  She loves her mamas that she serves.  She loves supporting women in their choices and helping to relieve pain.  She loves helping her mamas remember that whether at home or hospital or medicated or natural or even a cesarean that their voices and intuitions are great and good.  She's an amazing doula.   

When Brittany asked me to be part of her Birth Team, I was of course thrilled, but I was also looking forward to learning and understanding more about a certain condition she has when pregnant.  

Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy is a condition that occurs in pregnancy when the mama's liver is not working properly.  To make a very long story short, this causes the bile acid levels in the blood to rise.  This means for mom, that she will start to have an insatiable itch predominately in her hands and feet while pregnant.  While this is uncomfortable for mom (i.e. it is not uncommon to have disrupted and restless sleep and wake with bloodied, scarred extremities from scratching even without being aware) and possible hemorrhaging postpartum, the effects on baby are truly scary.  Meconium staining (first stool in mom instead of after birth that can cause infection and major respiratory issues), preterm labor and delivery, respiratory problems, and stillbirth if delivered after 36-37 week gestation.  

Now, I am not a pro on this subject.  I am most certainly missing facts or only telling some of the information.  PLEASE do not take my short paragraph as Gospel Truth on this condition.  It truly is a life threatening issue and I urge you to research the condition yourself on helpful sites like THIS or THIS.

Brittany knew an induction was best for her and her baby.  Her physician knew it was best for her and her baby as well.  Do I feel that inductions are over used and abused in our country?  Absolutely!  Do I believe that Brittany and her physician were wise and did the best thing by inducing her baby to be born early?  ABSOLUTELY!   Her condition was life or death and medical intervention was needed.  This is why I am so thankful for modern medicine.  Often times it is overused, but when it is NEEDED...  Thank God for modern medicine.  

Brittany birthed beautifully.  The induction was longer than she would have wanted, but she did so well.  She has built such beautiful relationships with our local hospital and Lakeview Regional Medical Center did a great job supporting her.   

Now, on to the mushy gushy goodness that we all love.   Her children were AMAZING.  It was very important that her girls, that are interested in birth, be a part of the experience.  Her youngest daughter, had every intention of catching her baby brother!  Ha Ha Ha! She was precious.  She may not have caught him, but she was able to cut his cord just like future midwife should.  Seeing both of her daughters in awe and wonder watching their baby brother come into the world was priceless.  Her husband was truly supportive.  Her friend/colleague, Heather with Glory Birth Services, was so amazing as well.  Truly a dream team of support.  

Sweet baby Shepherd was born in 1-2 pushes and didn't have even a single bit of distress or issues after birth.  He nursed like a pro from the beginning and is a complete joy.  

It was beautiful.  Congratulations to the entire family! 

(V I D E O   B E L O W)