The amazing Angelica Pattaya Chavez and Meoki Leath (8 months)
Angelica and her husband's beloved dog Keiko passed away a little over a month before they learned they were pregnant. She was always by their side as they were in the process of moving to start trying to expand their family. "We think she knew, and she wanted to be the baby, for real". They had called Keiko, "the shark" because she was always moving. And their first ultrasound took forever, the nurse even asked what she ate that morning, because baby was all over the place as well. They couldn't get a good heart rate because she just wouldn't stay still long enough. Meoki remained that way the entire pregnancy - their shark.
"A great group of people brought me here, some great women that I worked for, who took me in as family. They remind me of how amazing things can actually be if we remember the big picture- spreading love to the people around you. I love this project, and although my pregnancy was easy, we went through a lot of struggle finding the kind of provider to our experience". Midwifery laws in North Carolina are restrictive and Angelica knew she wanted to birth at home. They found a way to make it happen, but unfortunately, a month before their due date they were told that their midwifery was closing, leaving them no other real options. Her husband spent the day calling private midwives and found someone willing to come out to see them that evening and two other times that week.
Angelica and her husband felt very prepared for birth thanks to the doula led class they had taken, which was good, because labor started at 37 weeks and in 6 hours, her baby arrived in the company of just she and her husband. "It was the most amazing experience, because of the people we were able to prepare with. Things might not always work out the way we want them. No one expected for my labor to be that fast, in fact, no one really thought I was in labor, and definitely not as far along as I was. I wanted this storybook water birth with low flickering lights and music playing in the background, and great beautiful pictures of our home birth. I ended up binge-watching my favorite show to distract me from my "sciatica pain" while Stu (her husband) cleaned out the car and tried to figure out how to use our carseat. Our midwife was expecting a normal labor timeline, and ours was so not normal. It wasn't how we expected it, we are so incredibly lucky, and thankful nothing went wrong. But it was kind of a fist in the air to all the crazy looks I got for so long when I said I wanted to have our daughter at home, without medication. We did it! OUR story is frantic and funny, and so much better when my husband tells it."
Angelica feels that it is incredibly important to come together and strengthen our communities - to show our love and support for one another and take care of our neighbors. Our children need our voices and our change, now more than even.