The stunning Jocelyn Schmitz with her daughter Fiona Josephine (7 months). While Jocelyn takes great pride in being fit and healthy she has also struggled with high blood pressure and hypertension which her doctors have never really been able to understand but have been able to manage her symptoms well. When Jocelyn got pregnant her symptoms were well under control and she knew she wanted to have a midwife centered birth. While her blood pressure concerns risked her out of a home birth a birthing center sounded perfect and she was able to find one she really liked. The birth center she chose had group care so she was able to network with other pregnant women and really enjoyed her providers. As her pregnancy wore on though, her blood pressure began to creep up and it got to the point where she couldn't be in the same room as everyone else when it was time to check hers. She became preeclamptic and had to transfer care though her midwives were still very supportive. Towards the end of her pregnancy, Jocelyn started to feel very sad and depressed and even wondered while driving if she crashed her car if it was possible for her life to be over but her baby to be okay. When she learned her birth would require a shift in plans all of this was magnified. The decision was made to induce with Cytotec and she was sent home to allow labor to start. Jocelyn got some rest, acupuncture and bounced on a yoga ball until her waters broke. She returned to the hospital and was able to have a wonderful, vaginal birth without further intervention or medication. She says that while the location of her birth was different than she had planned for, everything else about it was amazing. Fiona was able to co-sleep with her and get to nursing without any complications. Jocelyn says that the second Fiona was earth side she was flooded with happiness and all of her depression and sadness melted away. The pair have continued to enjoy a wonderful breastfeeding relationship.
Jocelyn wanted to join this movement in part to encourage women to talk about their experiences. She also wanted to offer the reminder that you can't judge a book by it's cover nor can you compare experiences. Just because someone appears fit and healthy doesn't mean that everything is perfect and just because things may not go the way you plan for them to does not mean that you can't turn them into something wonderful.