Produced by Dan Ryan for St Mary’s Medical Center
When Lacy Townsend learned that she was pregnant, she felt pure excitement. But she was also nervous and a little scared. “I had a stillborn baby the year before, so this was a very special baby to me, this was my rainbow baby. I was afraid of losing him so it was important to find a provider who could relate to me and sympathize with all the emotions I was feeling.” Lacy found who she was looking for in Dr. Shannon Miller at St. Mary’s OB/GYN Clinic.
“I’ve had a baby myself and that helps me connect with my patients because I know where they’re coming from,” says Dr. Miller. “I’ve felt that fear and hope and excitement and anxiety, and it’s a powerful part of a woman’s life. Lacy was coming from a really tough place because of her previous experience and being able to support her in that was very gratifying to me.”
“I really needed someone who could answer all my questions and find other resources to help me deal with my anxiety,” Lacy says. “I found that I could lean on Dr. Miller and make a plan that suited my needs. For example, I wanted to do extra blood work and extra monitoring to track my baby’s health. It was also important for me to know its gender early. I just wanted to know everything I could and be in control of everything I could. Dr. Miller understood that and let me come up with my own birth plan, which I really appreciated.”
“I try to approach each patient as a complete person, knowing that every new mom is coming from a different place, has been through different experiences, and sees the birth process in their own unique way,” Dr. Miller says. “I try to meet each patient where they are, and I had a wonderful opportunity to get to know Lacy. I understood that it was hard for her to go through another pregnancy after losing her first baby and it was important to respect that.”
Lacy says that her relationship with Dr. Miller and other providers in her office goes far beyond just delivering her baby. “Dr. Miller helped me through the ups and downs of where I was at emotionally and physically,” she says. “It takes a special person to be able to meet patients where they are. Dr. Miller lived moments with me that no one else can, and it created a wonderful bond.”
Dr. Miller says that there’s nothing more special than bringing a new person into this world and seeing a family grow. “That’s the really amazing part of my job that I’m blessed to say is my everyday work. I got to be there in one of the most incredible moments of Lacy’s life and I feel honored to be invited into that moment.”
“My birthing experience was everything I wanted it to be and beyond what I expected,” says Lacy. “Dr. Miller and everyone in her office made me feel so confident in this pregnancy and reassured me that everything was going to be okay, and that’s what I needed.”
When a healthy, 6 lbs. 4 oz. baby boy was born on December 3rd, 2019, Lacy and Shannon celebrated together, not as physician and patient, but as two women who shared a remarkable experience.