The amazing Amber Hopcroft and Harper (1.5)
Amber's journey to become a mother wasn't easy. She met her husband in college 10 years ago and after graduation they moved to Denver. She had gone three years without a period but she had lost weight, was running a lot and everyone she talked to told her she was just fine. She and her husband weren't doing anything to prevent pregnancy and it just wasn't happening.
Once they got married, she knew she wanted a baby quickly. So, they went to her OBGYN who was very patient and willing to help them out. They started with a baseline workup and she was diagnosed with PCOS. They spent a few months taking medicine to build up her uterine lining and then tried three rounds of Clomid but she never ovulated on any dose. The doctor offered her ovarian drilling and they decided to go ahead. She had the ovarian drilling done in August 2013 and 4 weeks later she got a period. She was put on Femara and they got pregnant on her second cycle.
Amber ran 3-5 miles, 4 times per week and took spinning classes throughout her pregnancy. She had switched to a midwife in the same practice throughout her pregnancy and around 38 weeks her blood pressures began creeping up but no one was alarmed. She ran 3 miles the day before she had Harper, and had some intense pain and pressure but didn’t know she was in early labor throughout the day. She even went for a manicure/pedicure, and the technician told her, he couldn’t massage too much because it could induce labor - she remembers contracting throughout the pedicure and thinking "please don’t let my water break on this guy".
That night she was up every hour to pee, but had so much pain each time. Again, she had no idea she was in labor, which, she now finds funny as she's been a labor and delivery nurse for 6 years. The next morning, still in denial, she told her husband to go to work, while she relaxed at home. Every 5 minutes or so, she'd brace herself and experience intense pressure but she wasn’t having classic abdominal pain or back pain, so she wasn’t convinced it was labor. After texting friends she works with at the hospital for advice and finally convinced things were picking up in intensity, she drove herself to the hospital.
Her midwife was out of town so they again worked with the obstetrician who had helped her conceive. They broke her water and her daughter came 4 hours later without complication.
Amber and Harper were able to have skin to skin, and she nursed her within the first hour. It was incredible. Nursing was tough the first two weeks, due to soreness but after that, they made such a great team. Nursing was effortless, and she felt so blessed to have a great supply. They are still nursing (mostly at night) and she says it will definitely be the thing she misses most.
The infertility struggle took quite the toll on Amber, and working in the field she does made it even harder but she says it's been the greatest journey ever. She realized she couldn't put her life on hold while they tried to conceive, so she went back to school to become a nurse midwife when Harper was just three weeks old. It's been difficult being a mom while working and going to school full time but it's also amazing and indescribable. Everyday Harper teaches her something new and makes her a better person.
Amber wrote a blog while trying to conceive and throughout her pregnancy. While she wrote for herself, she knows there an element of putting yourself out there that also helps other people. Celebrating womanhood and motherhood is so important to her and she realizes that it is a privilege to be a mother, not every one gets to be and she doesn't take that lightly. Even though she isn't fully happy in her body, she's more confident now that she's a mother.