The beautiful Kari Barney, Collier (2) and Miri (9 months). Kari has also lost four pregnancies to miscarriage.
Kari's first pregnancy came just three months after she and her husband had married and she did not feel like she was ready. She wasn't keen on the idea at all in the beginning but began to get excited only to lose her baby to miscarriage at 13 weeks. Her loss really solidified for her that she wanted to be a mother. Kari conceived three more times and lost each pregnancy to miscarriage in her late first or early second trimester. When she lost her fourth baby, she needed a D&C at the military hospital and when she asked if they had found anything wrong she was told that no, there was just a male fetus. When she asked what she could do to prevent this from happening again, she was given a prescription for birth control.
Kari's husband left the military and she was able to go to a private doctor to discuss her fertility. With a simple blood test she was able to learn that she had a blood clotting disorder that had been causing her to miscarry. She also learned that she was actually 5 weeks pregnant and her doctor was able to put her on medication to help maintain a healthy pregnancy. Kari had a physically healthy pregnancy but was incredibly anxious throughout. She was looking forward to her birth and wanted very much to give birth vaginally with as little intervention as possible but went in to her 39 week appointment and learned that Collier was breech and very high. Her doctor told her that she was going to have a cesarean the following day at 4pm. That morning she went into labor on her own and things happened very quickly. When she got to the hospital, however, and they examined her, his cord began to prolapse and she was immediately rushed for an emergency cesarean.
Kari had been given a spinal block but she felt couldn't breathe so they gave her something to "calm her down" that knocked her out entirely. She felt lucky that she had delivered at a "baby friendly" hospital so her husband was able to stay with the baby and when she woke up the nurses had already latched him to start breastfeeding. When Collier was two weeks old he turned blue and passed out do to oral motor weekness and reflux. They saw a speech therapist who recommended bottles and pacifiers to help strengthen his muscles but after 5 months of having to pump and measure she was done and they decided to stop breastfeeding. From there Collier's health has been great but Kari experienced postpartum depression following her sons birth though she never sought treatment for it. She says she started to come out of the fog at 7 or 8 months and began to feel like herself again.
When Collier was 14 months old, Kari and her husband decided to have another child. They got pregnant right away and she suddenly realized she was terrified. She went on to have a difficult pregnancy as she was very sick and couldn't keep anything down for months. She lost a lot of weight and kept getting colds and strep throat on top of it all. She had a lot less anxiety about the pregnancy, however, because she knew that whatever happened, she had her son there. Kari stuck with the same doctor who told her that she would need to deliver via cesarean because she'd already had one. She didn't want to have another cesarean birth but also didn't want to have to find a different doctor.
Kari went into her doctor at 38 weeks knowing she was already in the early stages of labor and he told her that her cesarean would be scheduled for that Friday. When she got home, her water broke, so she went back and went to the hospital. He agreed to give her a couple hours to labor and her nurses came in to sneakily help her practice pushing and prepare. She progressed from 3cms to 9cms in 90 minutes and the nurses were able to go get the doctor to convince him she was about ready to birth her baby and just moments later, Miri was born. She was able to have a successful VBAC without intervention and everything went beautifully.
Kari's immediate postpartum period this time was so much better; her healing so swift that she found herself getting up to clean her hospital room while her baby was sleeping. Breastfeeding is going very smoothly this time as well. When Miri was 2-3 months old Kari realized that while she wasn't sad, she wasn't feeling anything, she didn't care about anything anymore. She went to her doctor to try medication which helped immensely. She took anti-depressants for a few months before she was able to wean herself off and has been doing well ever since.
Kari hadn't considered that she could ever go through something such as miscarriage and birth trauma but found that when she shared her story others identified and were able to connect with her. It is because of this that she knows she needs to share her story whenever she has the opportunity.