The radiant Rachael Van Sickle with her children Jude (3.5), Miriam (14 months) and Ephraim (1 month).
Rachel became pregnant with her first while she and her now husband were still engaged which she says was a big deal for their family. Her pregnancy went well and she chose to deliver at home with a certified nurse midwife. The birth went well but she says there were a couple of things the midwife did during her labor and delivery that she wasn't happy with. Breastfeeding was quite a struggle and very painful at first but she was able to work through it. Rachel had another healthy pregnancy with Miriam and this time chose to have an unassisted birth at home which went well. She was quite surprised to find she was pregnant again when Miriam was just 4 months old. She had a lot of prenatal depression and found it very difficult to connect with her body and baby. She didn't want to acknowledge the signs of her pregnancy and didn't allow even her husband to touch her growing belly. About midway through her pregnancy, things improved and she delivered at home without assistance once again. Rachael hemorrhaged after Ephraim's birth but was able to get things under control without the need to transfer to hospital. Through becoming a mother herself, Rachael says that she has fallen in love with motherhood as a whole and has recently started midwifery training as a means of supporting woman through their pregnancies, births and motherhood journeys.