Shawna's story...

I had the privilege of having Shannon in the labor and delivery room with me for the birth of both of my children. If you are a mom of more than one child you know how different each labor and delivery can be – my experiences were no exception. My first labor and delivery was about 31 hours and the second one was closer to 6.  My husband and I had gone through birthing classes that were offered through our doctor’s office and had thought through much of what we wanted during those anticipated hours. I had asked  Shannon to be there even though my husband was my coach and we were planning on a delivery at the hospital. I shared my expectations, such as if at all possible not using any drugs, the use of pictures and video, family that would be waiting at the hospital, etc. with Shannon. She was never intrusive in sharing her opinions or ideas, but asked me provoking questions that I hadn’t thought about that better prepared me for the big day. When I was finally admitted into the hospital Shannon was right by our side the whole time. As the labor dragged on, Shannon paced herself perfectly with my comfort level and needs. She has  excellent bed-side manners, is an advocate for the needs of her patient, is skilled at interpreting the body language and communication I sent (even though it is not easy to do in that situation), and continually supported our original plans we set forth; at just the right time encouraging us that everything is going fine and not to give up. This was a huge mental support as the nursing staff is not always in the room, and expecting moms and dads can easily become distraught under prolonged stress. Once our daughter was born she was able to continue giving me the support I needed in being distracted while the doctor attended to me and my husband could be with the baby and nurses. Because I was so exhausted and yet full of adrenaline and excitement she helped me enjoy those first moments with my daughter. As she thought about my needs and got those met, I could focus what energy I had on caring for our daughter. A few years later, I knew I wanted her in the labor room with me again! This time I thought “I will definitely take the medication before this labor goes too long”. I had been off and on bed rest for the past four months and I was ready to get this show on the road! Once again Shannon was well aware of what I wanted and we had had opportunities to discuss what would make this labor and delivery more comfortable and smoother than the first. She reminded me of things that I had forgotten about and made sure they were taken care of by the hospital staff, which took stress off of my husband and I. When things progressed quite rapidly I said,”I think I am ready for that epidural”! She called in the nurse while she chuckled and said, “I think you might be too late for that”. And she was right! The nurse was there right away and said, “You are ready to push”. Ten minutes later our son arrived! Because I had her by my side, my husband was able to take pictures, cut the umbilical cord, and bring the baby to me. Shannon is highly qualified to be right by your side! She is one of the most caring, intuitive professionals I know!

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