Of all the moments in life where you wouldn’t want to be alone, giving birth is probably one of the biggest ones. But that’s exactly where Katie Powell finds herself.
Her husband, Zac, passed away unexpectedly on July 4, leaving her to deliver their first child—a son due on Oct. 27—without him.
Though her family and his family are somewhat close by, none are really local.
Prior to losing her husband, Katie, like most expectant mothers, was apprehensive of all the changes having a baby would bring.
“Now I’m scared to death,” she said. “I was scared before, but not anything like I am now. Every little aspect, even small things scare me.”
With the help of Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington and The Birth Haven, Katie won’t have to start her journey into motherhood without the support she needs.
The Birth Haven, based in Lexington and serving surrounding counties, provides doulas—or birthing companions—to help pregnant women and their partners make the birthing experience a special one.
“The role of a doula is to provide emotional, physical and informational support to the family unit,” said Julie Six, the owner of The Birth Haven. “We are there to support women in every single choice they make through pregnancy, birth and postpartum so they feel confident starting their journey as a mother.”
With Katie having lost her husband, a doula would provide an especially vital role.
“In Katie’s situation, a doula would bring a solid support structure that would be completely unbiased and loving. Her doula would have an extensive knowledge base of how to best serve her by understanding her specific situation and ensuring she felt heard and understood every step of the way,” Julie said. “Her doula would provide continuous support and never leave her side. Her doula would be there to massage her sore muscles, cheer her on, laugh with her and cry with her.”
Just last year, Jodi C, owner of SHY Lexington, selected Julie with The Birth Haven to support her and her husband during the birthing of her daughter.
“Having a doula is like having your best friend there to support you,“ she said. “I can’t imagine going through the birthing process alone.”
When Jodi found out that The Birth Haven knows women who needs a doula’s support but can’t afford it, she knew she wanted to help.
On Friday, Sept. 4, 5:30pm SHY Lexington is offering a donation-based, all-levels vinyasa class to make a difference for Katie at a time when she needs it the most. Donations will be accepted at the studio until October 1. Register online to reserve a space Sterling Hot Yoga Lexington.
“Our community is providing a service for a woman about to go through an amazing experience with amazing support,” Jodi said.
For Katie, that might be an understatement. “It’s one of the nicest things you can do for someone,” she said of SHY Lexington’s efforts to help provide her a doula. “I’m speechless and really grateful.”
Katie’s midwife had recommended a doula, and while she and Zac had discussed finding one when she first got pregnant, they decided they couldn’t do it for financial reasons.
Now, she and her mother-in-law see this as the universe’s way of Zac providing a doula for her. “I feel like feel like having a doula present is Zac’s way of being where he physically cannot,” Katie said. “It means the world to me.”