The wonderful Danielle Tollakseh with son Eric (13 months). Danielle says that both her pregnancy and birth were easier than she had anticipated. Things went well and other than dealing with a sore back and swollen feet at the end of her pregnancy she was pretty comfortable. Eric arrived two weeks early and Danielle labored without medication until she was about 8.5 cms and opted for an epidural. She isn't sure whether they were having trouble finding his heart rate or if he began having decells but there came a point when they discussed an emergency cesarean. She was simultaneously feeling pressure and was able to push him out without complication.
Danielle began breastfeeding and sought the help of a lactation consultant. She thinks she may have struggled with low supply as Eric had a difficult time putting on weight. She had mixed support from family and friends which was trying. She wanted to do all she could to continue nursing but was told continually that formula was the answer. It wasn't until he was 9 months old before she began to find the support of online communities and is proud that at 13 months they are still going strong.
As an athlete who has struggled to find the time to focus oh her own needs, body image has a been a struggle in her postpartum period and Danielle is working to embrace her new normal and the changes that motherhood has brought to her. Finding support, acceptance and encouragement is something that has come to define this transition and she hopes to cultivate that in those she connects with as well.