The marvelous Niki Martin, Espen (3.5) and Holland (9 month).
Niki's first conception was a molar pregnancy and she struggled for awhile with it. While there never was a baby, anticipating a pregnancy and then not having one, was startling and they had to monitor her blood to make sure it wasn't cancerous. She was sad but found that people didn't quite understand her feelings.
By the time that Niki got the green light to go ahead and try to get pregnant again, she was feeling wonderful and things went very well. She enjoyed her pregnancy and it was without complication until 34 weeks when she diagnosed with PUPPS while out of town. She carried without complication other than severe itching until 39 weeks. She woke up at midnight with hard contractions and rushed into the hospital. She was expecting to be in labor for the better part of the day but Espen arrived after just 3 hours of fast and intense labor without complication.
Niki struggled with nursing for the first three weeks or so but they hit their stride and things have gone beautifully ever since. Motherhood has been wonderful for her and she feels lucky to have her own amazing mother living next door to help out when she feels like she's approaching her breaking point.
While both Niki and her husband had known they wanted to have two children, once Espen was around and she was his everything she wondered how she could ever have room for one more. When Espen was two they decided it was time and were fortunate to conceive very quickly. She says that the mama guilt kicked in right away. Feeling like she was already neglecting her growing baby while keeping up with her toddler, and also wondering how she was going to have time for Espen with a new baby around. Her pregnancy went well and while she took care of herself it seemed to happen without her paying much attention to it.
She chose to see midwives in hospital this time and because her first labor and delivery were so swift, cautioned her to head in as soon as she felt a contractions. When she began to feel things, however, she felt at ease and just knew that it was going to be different. She labored through the day Saturday, went out to breakfast and enjoyed the day with her family and it wasn't until that evening after Espen was in bed that she began to feel it was time. Niki arrived to the hospital at 6 cms dilated and was a bit nervous that she still had so far to go. After 5-6 hours of labor with no chance, Niki requested an epidural and as it was being placed had a 10 minute long contraction that took her to 10cms. For a moment she felt conflicted and then told her husband she had no regrets.
Niki was able to rest for about 90 minutes before she got bored and asked her nurses if they could get going already. She pushed with her husband, nurse and midwife in a very calm, peaceful environment and before she knew it Holland was earth side. She crawled up and began nursing and things have continued to go well. Breastfeeding this time has been a breeze and Espen was able to help ease the pains of engorgement.
Struggling with body image isn't something foreign to most women and Niki has had her share of concerns. She says that she was overweight in her twenties and feels like she missed out on a lot due to her negative self thoughts. She lost a lot of weight after Espen was born and finally began to feel like this was her time. Niki, works with women often via her retail business and sees even those who fit the mold of what we feel is perfection struggle with themselves and wants to be able to walk the talk she's been sharing and encouraging others with for so long.