The amazing Natasha Broad and Elk Flora-Leigh (4.5 months). Natasha has had endometriosis since she began puberty leading to a lot of pain and several surgeries. During her last surgery they had to remove her left ovary leaving her right ovary which was prone to hemorrhagic cysts. She was told that she could never have children due to scar tissue and the nature of her disease. Following her most recent surgery she also began to have urethra issues with Urinary tract infection like symptoms but no one could figure out what was going on. Her naturopath had her go on a cleanse and it was then that she and her boyfriend of only 5 months conceived Since she never anticipated pregnancy they weren't using protection but she didn't want to have an abortion or any further invasive surgeries. Pregnancy was difficult for Natasha due to exhaustion and morning sickness and she was worried that because of her endometriosis which carriers high rates of miscarriage she wouldn't be able to keep the pregnancy. After having panic attacks and anxiety at work she decided to see a prenatal psychologist and went on Stress Leave at 4 months along. She also struggled with people constantly telling her how small she was which made her feel like she was inadequate in nourishing her child in pregnancy and after. Natasha says, "People often under estimate the capabilities of your body when you are pregnant. Women have had this belief instilled into them of all the things they can't do or are suddenly too fragile to do. This is not true, your body has to be strong and healthy to carry life and bring it into this world and women need to believe this again."
Natasha was planning to birth at home with her midwife, partner and doula and labored actively for 30 hours but wasn't dilating so they decided to transfer to hospital. She tried gas first and then chose to have an epidural and get some rest. The epidural allowed her to rest and after about 4 more hours of labor she was able to push her daughter out in about 40 minutes. Elk was put to her chest and started nursing right away. Still, Natasha has struggled with feeling somehow inadequate for not having the experience she desired and felt capable of. She has begun to regain some of that strength and realize that sometimes we do need some help and when we do, it doesn't make our births any less special or beautiful. She wants to be able to help other women who've struggled like she has to feel whole and regain their strength they feel they may have lost.