The joyful Jamie Pauhl and her daughter, Heidi (7 months). Jamie is also mother to Sophia Grace (stillborn December 5, 2013)*. Jamie became pregnant with her second daughter just 6-7 weeks after giving birth to her first. She was immeshed in grief and says that while she was absolutely not ready to have another baby she was able to embrace it after some time. Jamie's pregnancy was healthy physically but she struggled greatly with anxiety and stress and fear. She did not want to lose another baby and was adamant that she not carry Heidi past term. She saw midwives during the pregnancy, just as she had with her first but had an OB consult as well. Around 36 weeks, Jamie wanted her baby out. She asked her midwife to send her to the OB for induction but they told her that her cervix was not ready nor was her baby. By this time Jamie was in the hospital 2-3 times a week to check on her baby and make sure everything was okay. Every time she went in she tried to convince them to let her deliver and every time they said not yet, that her baby was okay but she was not ready. On October 16, Jamie felt more strongly than ever that it was time. She argued with her husband about it, called her OB and headed to the hospital and told him she needed her baby out. He told her she would need to speak with the specialists and NICU team incase her baby was too small or in trouble and only then would he consider induction. After weighing the risks Jamie still felt the same and soon after they gave her cervidil to ripen her cervix. 12 hours later the cervidil was removed and Jamie was able to proceed with labor without any further interventions. Heidi was born completely healthy and crawled right to her breast to begin feeding.
Jamie was overwhelmed with joy and relief but has still struggled quite a bit. After friends and family began to notice that something was off with her and she herself realized that she became paralyzed and unable to answer Heidi's cries she was evaluated and began therapy. She was ultimately diagnosed with PTSD and acknowledges that things right now are a bit of a roller coaster. She absolutely adores her daughter and has forged a beautiful bond with her but still deals with the constant, daily fear that she too may die.
Jamie started her process of navigating her loss via this project and documented both her pregnancy with Heidi and Sophie's loss with us. She wanted to return to bring it full circle and document her happy ending while both acknowledging her past and welcoming what lies ahead in her future as woman and mother.
*We photographed Jamie while pregnant with Heidi to document Sophia Grace's story. You can read that here: http://4thtrimesterbodies.com/jamie-pauhl/