The dashing Ellen Dostie, mother to William (would be 9), James (3), and Josh (3 months).
Ellen's first pregnancy came as a surprise and it was a bit difficult from the start. She had bleeding and partial placental abruptions and was placed on bedrest at 20 weeks. When she was taken off bed rest her water broke and she was hospitalized until she delivered her son at 24 weeks. The labor was painful and she felt she had to suffer through it to get him out and felt very alone in the process. Ellen was told that because her baby was not yet 25 weeks he was not yet viable so they did not attempt any life saving measures even though he was born alive and lived for the next hour in her arms.
Ellen eventually married William's father though she says it didn't fix anything and they divorced about a year later. Even though her son didn't live Ellen says that he changed her life and offered her a different perspective. She had been very tightly wound and hyper in every way possible and learned that she needed to relax, slow down, and listen. After her divorce, Ellen moved and says that she swore off men. She was focused on herself when she met her now husband, also once divorced, and they quickly knew that they wanted to start a family together.
After the hospital experience Ellen had with William she knew she didn't want to go back. She had heard her baby zipped in a bag just on the other side of a curtain and everything felt so wrong about it so she decided to look into birthing at home. She found a supportive midwife who she was happy with and had very positive pregnancy and birth experience with both James and Josh. Even though she had given birth before, she was worried it would be much different full term. Postpartum was a bit difficult and though Ellen doesn't think she had postpartum depression she did have significant baby blues and says there were two weeks in particular she was unable to even crack a smile. Though she had encapsulated her placenta she didn't get it back until her 6 week appointment. James was a very needy baby that she couldn't put down which made things more difficult for her.
Ellen had to wean James during her pregnancy with Josh but he went right back to it when the baby was born. Josh's pregnancy was a bit more complex due to some potential concerns with his heart that resolved and she was in limbo about where she would be able to give birth due to uncertainty from her insurance company but she was finally approved for her home birth at 34 weeks. Josh came very quickly after Ellen's midwife broke her water and she says he is an amazingly calm baby, a beautiful balance to his brother.
While Ellen struggled with her postpartum body following James' birth she has come to appreciate, accept and even love many of the ways in which it has changed over time.