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Episode 110 of 117

110 | The Sacred Bodies - Katya Suh

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station description Birth Stories in Color is a podcast for Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, and Multi... read more
Birth Stories in Color
Duration: 45:52
Katya Suh and her husband, Ndamunkong Suh, discovered they were expecting shortly after their nuptials amid the pandemic in 2020. They were excited to expand their family and began preparing for what lay ahead. She shared the whirlwind of a year that included a pandemic, a wedding, a twin pregnancy,
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Katya Suh and her husband, Ndamunkong Suh, discovered they were expecting shortly after their nuptials amid the pandemic in 2020. They were excited to expand their family and began preparing for what lay ahead. She shared the whirlwind of a year that included a pandemic, a wedding, a twin pregnancy, and a Super Bowl victory. The early weeks of her pregnancy felt uneasy as she had early spotting that would significantly reduce physical activity. This proved challenging for Katya, a former collegiate basketball player, as she was accustomed to living an active lifestyle. The spotting was anxiety-producing, and she grew concerned about her ability to carry her pregnancy to term, especially since they were expecting twins. Katya described her prenatal care as excellent as she felt respected and heard during her prenatal visits. The spotting eventually subsided, but she needed to continue maintaining low physical activity. She felt fully supported by her husband during the whole pregnancy but especially in the first trimester. He assured her that "they" were good no matter what the outcome was. Katya viewed the third trimester as "crazy" as her husband and his team won the Super Bowl, moved into their new home, and began to prepare that space for the babies. Katya and Ndamunkong hired a doula team to help them prepare for labor and newborn care. The planning phase helped them bond and experience the joy of growing a family together. They watched online videos and read about birth as childbirth education classes were not held in person due to Covid. In that preparation, a challenge they needed to think through was with one of the twins being breech. They worked through different scenarios, making a plan for each possibility regarding how and where the twins would be born. Katya had a medical team ready in Tampa, where her husband plays football, and a medical team in Portland, where they maintain their home base.  At 38 weeks, Katya consented to a scheduled induction. She was able to have both her husband and her mother present for the births, despite having been unsure if her mom would be allowed to attend due to the hospital's restrictions during the pandemic. Labor was intense, and she chose an epidural for additional comfort. Part of their birth plan was for Ndamunkong to stay with the babies if there were any issues. The first baby, Kingston, was healthy, and there were no complications for him. However, their second baby, Khari, had fluid in his lungs and needed additional medical support with a CPAP. Katya's husband went with Khari to be present during his treatment. After her deliveries, Katya experienced a postpartum hemorrhage - which resulted in her needing to receive two blood transfusions, and she has had a healthy recovery.Katya has intentionally expressed her needs and emotions with her family and friends as she is still in the fourth trimester. She has learned to lean in for support and credits her village for how they are managing newborn twins — embracing her evolution in becoming a mother, both mentally and physically.  Resources:The Suh Family Foundation | works with communities to equip people with the resources they need to sustain long-term successKatya Suh Youtube | connect with Katya on her Youtube channel
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