The amazing Aneri Bhansali with her son Arjun (16 weeks). Aneri and her husband were able to conceive without any complication and in fact quite a bit sooner than she had expected. It took her some time to adjust to the fact that their lives were about to change so drastically but she soon found that she loved being pregnant. Other than some sensitivities and sickness her first trimester things went very well. She anticipated going a little post dates and took her maternity leave a couple of weeks prior to her due date so that she'd have some time for herself and last minute projects before baby arrived. Contractions started the next day, however, and she continued to contract and labor at home for the next four days with the support of her husband and doula before going to the hospital. She was admitted and received an epidural but wasn't progressing so they began pitocin as well. Aneri's epidural eventually wore off so they placed another which didn't work and then a third which took. She began to feel very out of control with her body and her birth and ended up having a panic attack. Her husband and doula were able to calm her down and get her focused and rather than rush to a cesarean delivery her doctor encourage her to try yoga poses to move things along. Aneri tried a few and in the midst of one was thrilled to hear she was ready to push. She pushed for about 45 minutes and Arjun was born. He had to be taken away immediately for antibiotics due to her spiking a fever while laboring but she was reunited with him shortly there after. Aneri says she cried like she never had before for the both the surge of love unlike anything she'd ever felt and the concern over how in the world she was going to take care of this little being. She always knew she wanted to breastfeed but had some difficulty at first due to a shallow latch. She struggled while in the hospital and was very upset feeling like she wasn't able to provide for him. The following week she was able to get in with a lactation consultant who was very helpful and showed her how to use a nipple shield. Arjun also had a lip tie release a month later and since then things have continued to get better and better with their breastfeeding relationship.
Aneri says that all the ideas of who she thought she would be as a mom or how natural she thought things would come have gone out the window and she's had to mourn the loss of those expectations. Still, 16 weeks later she is growing to love the unexpected and realizing that she and Arjun are adapting and growing together as a team. Motherhood is vulnerable, she says, but you have to find the strength. It felt like she was pretending at first but now she feels it for real. Aneri is a huge fan of this project and has a huge respect for all of the women who are part of it. She has had a unique ability to also closely follow this movement since before it even began and was excited to finally become a part of it. She says that in this role as a mother she doesn't always love herself physically but when she sees how Arjun looks at her she realizes her concerns about her body pale in comparison. In this moment she wants to remember this relationship with her son where nothing else maters, it's just the two of them.