The magnificent Madonna Dell'olio, Harper (5), Cecilia (3) and Hudson (6 months). Madonna also lost her first pregnancy to miscarriage.
Madonna and her husband learned that they were expecting their first child and experienced all of the emotions that first time parents do. Around 10 weeks, however, she began cramping and bleeding and called her OB for help. She was told to go to the emergency room where she waited for 6 hours to see a doctor. While she was waiting her cramping continued and at one point things got so bad that she was hovering over a garbage can bleeding. The doctors told her she was probably just fine but she knew what was happening.
They went home and she returned to her OB two weeks later for a followup. While they were waiting, she was given a folder with information congratulating her on her pregnancy and Madonna had to be the one to tell that no, that wasn't why she was there, she had already lost her baby.
They began trying to get pregnant again but it wasn't happening quickly and they decided to go to a fertility clinic for testing. She was told that there wasn't anything wrong with her but for $25,000 they could get her pregnant on her next cycle. While she was willing to do anything, her husband was the voice of reason. She decided to try acupuncture instead, and it worked! Madonna credits her acupuncturist for helping her to conceive each of her subsequent children.
From there, pregnancy went well. They chose not to see a doctor until after 12 weeks this time and when she did go in, she expressed her interest in having a natural birth. Madonna's doctor told her that it wasn't really something they supported but that if she wanted to try, she'd need to hire a doula and labor at home because once she came to the hospital she'd need to deliver within 6 hours or have a cesarean birth. Armed with that information Madonna explored her options and ultimately hired a midwife at a freestanding birth center when she was 5 months pregnant with Harper. Things went very well and she used the same midwife to deliver Cecilia at the birthing center and Hudson at home.
Breastfeeding has also been a wonderful experience. Because she is thin and small busted, Madonna has been on the receiving end of comments that suggested she would never be able to sustain and nourish a child - yet she has with ease, three times now.
After feeling the failure and self doubt of losing a pregnancy, blaming her body and feeling broken, Madonna has found great satisfaction that she has carried, birthed and breastfed three beautiful children. It was easy to consider what she had done wrong or what she could have done differently but she's trying to reframe things for herself and know that she is strong and whole.