The beautiful Katherine E Bradley Walker with her son Matthew (5) and daughter Kate (14 months). Katherine's pregnancy with Matthew was uneventful until 35 weeks when she experienced swelling and was put on bed rest. She soon induced for mildly high blood pressure, given an epidural and then ultimately delivered via cesarean quite quickly the same evening because her doctor had plans the following day.
Following her delivery Katherine had a spinal leak which resulted in severe headaches and temporary hearing loss. She says it sounded like she was under water and there was just constant noise and motion in her ears. She was told to lay down and things would get better but they didn't believe her what was happening because she didn't have classic symptoms. She eventually gave her a blood patch, 24 hours but it didn't last long. In the meantime, her sons bilirubin was up so they wanted to put him under phototherapy lights and start supplementing with formula. She says she didn't have the fight in her so they consented.
Once they came home her symptoms didn't improve. She was given headache medicine and antidepressants and told to get 8 hours of sleep. Thankfully, on day six she finally started to feel a bit better. She breastfed, bottle fed and pumped for three weeks before she realized it just wasn't working and decided to stop. Katherine felt guilty but had done everything she could. She had six lactation consultants in the hospital who all told her different things -use a nipple shield, don't use a nipple shield. It was all too much and she knew Matthew was going to be okay.
Katherine had wanted things to go differently for Kate's birth and found a doctor who said she was VBAC friendly. She had an uneventful pregnancy with no swelling this time and her doctor said she'd let her go to 41 weeks. At 38 weeks however she scheduled her for a cesarean at 40 weeks 5 days, because that was her dedicated surgery day, before Katherine ever had a chance to labor. Her doctor also told her that "some women just aren't made for natural birth". Katherine prepared herself for a shift in expectations after she had a good cry and Kate's delivery went smoothly. As soon as she latched she knew something wasn't right and thought she had a posterior tongue tie. She kept asking for people to evaluate but everyone said she was just fine, but her nipple trauma showed otherwise. Katharine finally found a dentist to repair the tie but Kate's latch was not immediately fixed and she started having vasospasm's. She was in so much pain and at 9 weeks realized she was missing out on so much by being so hyper-focused on getting her milk. She decided that was it, breastfeeding wasn't working out and as a result, her kids were both formula fed, healthy and happy.
Katherine loves the concept of this movement but never felt that it was for her. It was far out of her comfort zone and atypical of her personality but she did it anyway, without a reason she could grasp - simply because she felt she need to.