The magnificent Mary Malloy with her boys Jack (5) and Samuel (3.5).
Mary has PCOS and tried for quite some time before getting pregnant with Jack. Once she conceived, she went on to have a relatively easy and healthy pregnancy. It was very important for her to have a medication free delivery but things did not go as she'd hoped. Mary had hoped to have her aunt who is certified nurse midwife, as well as other family present but the hospital had been on lockdown due to H1N1. The day she was laboring, they began to allow visitors but there was a blizzard making it difficult for her aunt to get there. The doctor kept coming in asking Mary if she was ready for her epidural and eventually she began to question herself and her ability and ended up consenting to have one. She was able to deliver Jack without complication but had a difficult time with the experience. Mary's second pregnancy was a surprise. She was on birth control and never imagined they'd conceive without trying. Her pregnancy this time was much more complicated however. With a one year old to care for, everything was harder and she ended up getting sick with everything from shingles to hand, foot and mouth while pregnant. Thankfully, her labor and delivery were everything she'd hoped for. She was seeing midwives and was able to labor comfortable with just her husband by her side. She found the experience to be something she was incredibly proud of. Mary has bipolar and has been in treatment for quite some time. It was important to her to make sure her medications were compatible for pregnancy long before she and her husband conceived. She was able to stay on her medication and know she had the support of her family, particularly her husband who made it clear that if she had struggled postpartum he would take care of both her and the baby. She did well but wants women to know that it's possible to continue their treatment through pregnancy and breastfeeding. She strongly believes that women must take care of themselves first, so that they can then provide the best care for their children.