The radiant Courtney Roybal with her daughters Jaelynn (5) and Elbry (4 months) and son Canon (3). Courtney's first pregnancy was a bit of a surprise just 6 months after she and her now husband had moved in together. Her pregnancy was healthy and she chose to have a hospital birth with open ended expectations. Her labor was about 6.5 hours from start to finish but things at the end moved very quickly and when they went to hand her daughter to her it was just too much and she said no. It had taken some time to get used to having a baby and now that she was earth side it took just a bit of time to adjust. She was soon ready to hold her and that bond that she'd expected to be immediate was instead strongly forged over time. Courtney and Jaelynn shared a breastfeeding expereince for 3.5 years. She was able to nurse through her pregnancy with Canon and tandem fed them for her sons first year when Jaelynn weaned. Her second pregnancy went well and this time Courtney chose to deliver at home with the support of midwifes. She started laboring but eventually stalled out in part because Canon was asynclitic. They decided for her team to go home as she attempted to get some rest and wait for labor to resume, in hopes that his position would also improve. Two days later labor ramped up again and within just a few hours her son was born at home in the water and into his dads arms. Courtney says that she was able to feel much more in tune with this birth and wanted to make a point to connect with Canon right away. While his delivery was pretty seamless Courtney hemorrhaged after birth and spent several days in bed trying to recover. It came to the point that the last option was to see if consuming part of her placenta would stave things off or head to the hospital for a blood transfusion. She eagerly tried the placenta in within minutes her bleeding slowed and then stopped.
When they decided to have a third baby Courtney was surprised that it didn't happen right away. With Jaelynn's pregnancy a surprise and Canon's conception happening just after she had her IUD removed it was difficult that months passed before she conceived. When she had a positive test she started interviewing midwives right away but started bleeding and lost her pregnancy just a week later which was very difficult. She wanted to take some time off to deal with her emotions related to her loss and consider why that had happened within her body. She and her husband were actively preventing pregnancy so she was shocked to miss a period and find she was pregnant with Elbry. It took some time to accept this pregnancy as well and though she isn't one to take medication decided to take progesterone to help with her levels and hopefully prevent another miscarriage. She planned another home water birth for her second daughter and this time wanted to be the one to bring her baby up to her chest. This was her longest labor and biggest baby. As she labored a student midwife joined her as she was ready and by time they let the midwives know it was time, things had progressed so quickly they arrived just 9 minutes prior to Elbry's entrance. She was so exhausted from this labor that she says her uterus did all of the work. Her older children arrived just as she was pushing and they jumped in the tub with her while they waited for her placenta to arrive. Courtney was able to nurse Canon for 2.5 years and says that Elbry is her best nurser so far.
Courtney is a doula and childbirth educator and says that she has always been trying to share women's options and choices with them. She has been in awe with how woman's stories are so similar and so different and even more so the power of women embracing themselves rather than competing and shaming. Motherhood is so beautiful she says and embracing her new body with her babies is exciting. She wanted to share this moment with them and say thank you, for giving her this time as their mother.