Gianna Centre, an Edmonton-based pregnancy resources and support centre, provides a range of pre and post-natal services to women, men, and families. They offer a safe, welcoming, judgement-free place to learn about pregnancy options.
On Thursday, May 13, join Gianna Centre, and other community agencies, at 10:30 a.m. for a virtual Mass for Life celebrated by Archbishop Richard Smith and concelebrated by Bishop David Motiuk, at 10:30 a.m.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges and stress for new and expectant mothers. Throughout the last year, Gianna Centre has been working hard to ensure families know they are not alone.
These are mothers like Meighan.
Meighan found Gianna Centre when she was 18-weeks pregnant. The single mother of two had lost a baby boy to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) just three years earlier and didn’t feel emotionally ready to carry another child.
“Losing him put me into a deep depression and to be honest, I had lost faith in everything,” says Meighan.
In addition, Meighan had just started a new job that required her to be away for 21 days at a time, and couldn’t see how a baby would fit this lifestyle.
“In my heart, I knew I was blessed to be having another child,” says Meghan. “But I was scared and overwhelmed and I didn’t know where to turn.”
When she came into the Centre, they told her, “You don’t have to do this alone.”
Over the next several months Gianna Centre helped Meghan prepare for her baby’s birth through various programming.
Meghan was nine-months pregnant when the pandemic hit Alberta. She was afraid of giving birth and being home with a newborn while the province was shut down.
Gianna Centre made sure Meghan knew that while isolated, she was never alone.
“I remember looking out the window and seeing staff walking up my steps with a food hamper or care package. They called to check in on me and continued to be there.”
When Meghan’s labour started on March 31, 2020, she was supported by Shirley, one of Gianna Centre’s two volunteer doulas, by both phone and video. Shirley stayed on the line with Meghan, helping her remain calm, work through her anxiety, and cope with her pain, right up until her daughter, Caleigha, was born on April 1.
Today, Meghan is enjoying time with baby Caleigha, who is happy and healthy, while planning for the future. She wants to go back to school in the fall of 2021 to pursue post-secondary education. None of this, she says, would have been possible without the support of Gianna Centre.
To learn more about Gianna Centre’s work, click here.