The amazing Aubree Keller and Deviney (18 months). Aubree and her husband were able to conceive within just a couple months of trying and she went on to have a very healthy pregnancy under the care of midwives. Aubree's went into labor naturally and she was able to labor at home for several hours before going to hospital. She became quite sick during labor and thought that she would feel much better at the hospital. Aubree's labor stalled for quite some time at 7 cms and though she hadn't initially planned to, it was then she decided to get an epidural. Aubree pushed for about 40 minutes and Deviney was placed right on her belly. Once there for a few moments however, her midwife realized Deviney hadn't started breathing and began trying to stimulate her. She eventually had to be taken away for resuscitation and Aubree and her husband struggled to understand what was happening with her baby -at one point her husband even heard someone say "no life for minutes". Deviney was stabilized and taken to NICU on CPAP where she needed to remain overnight. Aubree recalls that going to her room with her husband and no baby was a very surreal experience. Deviney was able to come home the following day and Aubree says that even though it was a frightening experience she is grateful that her daughter is healthy and has no lasting health concerns.
Breastfeeding, it's not something she thought she would initially do while pregnant. After a bit of anxiety sharing my body with another human for 9+ months, that it overwhelmed her a bit to think of more time once Deviney was born that she'd be physically tethered to her during breastfeeding. However, once she was born, those feelings changed. The first months were difficult - she didn't have a super strong latch and it felt like her days were made up of sleeping and feeding. However, she did my best to stick with it. The commitment to breastfeed for as long as it made sense for the both of them ended up being a full year. There were countless work trips where she had to excuse herself from meetings or pump in the airplane bathrooms, and one time she even pumped in a porta-potty before a triathlon! She's very proud of herself for sticking to that commitment.
The postpartum transition to motherhood was eased thanks to the support of her husband who is a student and was able to be home with her those first six weeks. She says that his presence really helped the adjustment and allowed them to really feel whole as a family in those early days. When thinking about participating in the project, Aubree thought that she would be pregnant again, glowing, with a full belly, holding her daughter but has had both a chemical pregnancy and a miscarriage at 7 weeks recently. Her midwife hasn't found any medical reason for her losses and Aubree says she trying to reconcile that it will happen when the time is right for their family. Joining this movement of women, celebrating themselves and capturing this moment with her daughter was very important for her.
"Ultimately, I've found after becoming a mom that women are INCREDIBLE. We grow humans, we nurture them...we still maintain our lives (and our bodies), even though they look (beautifully) different than before. I'm so honored to be Deviney's mom."