The amazing Kayla Johnson with her daughter Emerson (22 months). Kayla and her husband were able to conceive fairly quickly after deciding to try but sadly lost the baby to miscarriage at 8 weeks on November 1, 2011. Kayla's husband wanted to just try again right away but she took it very hard and needed a year before she was ready to try again. She was able to conceive quickly again but was worried that she was going to the lose the baby again this time. Her pregnancy proceeded without real complication other than her gaining a lot of weight and being nervous and uncertain. Kayla found her delivery to be quite traumatic. Her water broke but she wasn't dilating so she went to the doctor and then into the hospital. They tried to induce labor but she got stuck at 7cms and things were not progressing. After 16 hours of labor she said she was done and couldn't do it any more so they started talking about cesarean birth. She says she fell apart because it wasn't what she wanted or expected. The period of time between when Kayla made the decision to consent a cesarean and Emerson was born was very short but she felt very alone. Her dad wasn't able to make it as she'd hoped and her husband was there. She remembers hearing Emerson cry but then nothing else. She's seen pictures of her holding her for the first time but doesn't remember it. Kayla says she was very disconnected from the experience. It felt like they removed a tumor and then handed it to her to breastfeed. She didn't know what was happening or what she was doing and it was very upsetting and lonely. Everyone told her that it didn't matter as long as her daughter was healthy and it took weeks for her to realize that was wrong. She realized that she mattered and that her feelings mattered. Just because her daughter was here that didn't erase her part in the experience. She didn't get that support from the people in her life who thought she had just done things the easy way. Kayla feels she missed out on the early moments of Emerson's life and then breastfeeding didn't work out either. Kayla had to go back to the hospital 24 hours after Emerson was born for exhaustion and while she had support in hospital couldn't get her to latch. Her baby was crying constantly and every time her milk let down she threw up. The vomiting was causing pain and irritation to her cesarean incision, her baby was unhappy and Kayla was as well. She was ultimately diagnosed with nursing nausea and had to make the choice to transition to formula.
She felt very disconnected from her daughter and after doing a lot of research discovered baby wearing. She bought a wrap, watched you tube videos and started wearing her daughter as a means of doing things with two hands and bonding. Emerson stopped crying all the time and it quickly became their thing. Kayla was recently diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and has been working with a therapist to help deal with the postpartum issues she feels have been mostly unresolved. She finally feels like Emerson is her daughter rather than just someone she brought home from the hospital. She chose to participate in this movement as a means of having another bonding experience with her daughter and to share the importance of acknowledging the mother postpartum. She says she makes a point when her friends have children to ask how they are doing, how they are feeling, how their experience was and is. Kayla says that parenting is amazingly hard work and while she loves her daughter to death she doesn't always like her. She wants to cultivate experiences where she is spending time connecting with and liking her and enjoying their relationship together.