The beautiful Jaqi Bollen with her son Nikolai (10 months). Jaqi and her husband decided to start a family but she was quickly diagnosed with premature ovarian failure meaning her hormones were that of a 60 year old woman, her ovaries were not functioning and she was essentially menopausal. Jaqi started hormone replacement therapy but her ovaries were still not functioning. Their only hope of her carrying a pregnancy was using donor eggs. They tried using her husbands sperm to fertilize and were able to create three usable embryos. She had the first implanted and then the other two but neither of them took. They decided to take a bit of a break before trying again or considering adoption.
About 18 months later, Jaqi was feeling sick and her husband made a joke that she must be pregnant. She asked him to stop joking as things were still quite sensitive to her but she says that she too couldn't get it out of her head. Jaqi decided to take a pregnancy test just to be able to put it out of her head and was amazed to see a positive result. She took the positive test to her husband and he just smiled and said he knew it already. Jaqi went in to her doctor right away to see if they could confirm her pregnancy and the blood test came back positive but showed that her progesterone was very low and there was a chance it wasn't viable. Thankfully, an ultrasound the following day revealed a little bean with a heart beat.
Jaqi needed to take progesterone supplements in her early pregnancy and from there things went very well. She learned that Nikolai was breech and though her hospital was supportive of a vaginal breech birth in the right conditions, his measurements weren't what they considered favorable so Jaqi scheduled a cesarean and her birth went very well. Her husband was able to bring her son right to her cheek and he began nursing without any complication. Jaqi says they are slowly beginning to wean in hopes of having another child as she can't continue her hormone therapies until she does.
Jaqi hopes that her participation will help contribute to changing the societal notion that our bodies are only good after pregnancy if you can't tell you've been pregnant. "The goal shouldn't be to look like you've never had a child, our bodies are telling our story and that story needs to be societally acceptable".