The phenomenal Natica Bacon with her daughters Lillyana (7), Jasmine (6) and son Alezander (20 months). Natica and her husband met when she was just 15 after she moved to the states from her previous home in Germany. They were dating at 17 and have been together ever since. The pair have been through so much with one another and she is forever grateful for the love, support and devotion he's brought to their family. She got pregnant with Lilly at 21, while she was still in college. Everything was going normally until about 24 weeks when her doctors mentioned something about Preeclampsia. She says she was young and thought doctors knew everything, so she figured they had it covered and everything would be okay. She had a lot of pain around 30 weeks, at 33 weeks it had spread to her chest and back but she assumed it was just normal third trimester pain. She decided to go in and have it checked out, thinking still that it was nothing. Once in the hospital they turned out the lights because she'd become eclamptic and didn't want her to have a seizure. They tried to induce her but her body wasn't ready, loads of doctors were in and out of her room and they soon airlifted her to the nearest hospital with Level III NICU. Natica was immediately put her under general anesthesia to deliver Lilly and was further sedated with morphine and magnesium sulfate for 4 days and underwent platelet transfusions. While she drifted in and out of consciousness but didn't ever really understand what was going on. Her daughter was almost 5 days old before she was able to see her. She was able to start pumping and initiate kangaroo care and Lilly came home from NICU after just 30 days. Natica had also been diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, her liver and kidneys were failing but her recovery from the pregnancy and delivery as a whole went very well. She was able to continue exclusively pumping for Lilly for about 6 months but was never able to latch directly.
Natica was told she couldn't have any more children but she got pregnant again that same winter and she was very scared. At the same time, they discovered Lilly's special needs, though they didn't know yet what what happened. Bringing another child into the world not knowing what was happening with her first was terrifying. Natica was monitored multiple times per week during her pregnancy with Jasmine and this time, because doctors knew what was coming, they were able to stop it. Jasmine was delivered via scheduled cesarean at 36 weeks. She was born small but healthy and able to nurse like a champ. By this time, Lilly was finally diagnosed with a progressive degenerative mitochondrial disorder that gets worse with age though the prognosis is unknown.
Alezander was Natica's third pregnancy and was her first that was planned. It was scary because of her history with Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome but also because she was told there was a 21% chance another child could have the same disorder as Lilly but as they don't know where it is in the gene it isn't something they can test for. She was monitored every other day from the start and was hospitalized until birth at 33 weeks. At 35 weeks the HELLP Syndrome and Preeclampsia came back along with the same pain in her liver and kidneys. Alezander was delivered by emergency cesarean but this time she pushed for a gentle cesarean, had them lower the curtain and advocated to see him right away. He was small so they took him to NICU and she had to beg to have him back and deal with the emotions of not being able to have the VBAC and healing experience she had desired. About an hour and a half after her son was born she was able to have him brought to her. She kept him cuddled naked on her chest for several days after his birth and initiated breastfeeding just allowing them to bond and connect.
Natica has always had a passion for mothers and children and went to school to be a mother/baby nurse before Lilly was born. After her birth, she switched gears to focus on human development and psychology and was able to study remotely and graduate online by her daughters bedside in the Children's hospital. She interned at Make A Wish and hopes to someday work directly with woman and their families as a support and advocate. Growing up in Europe she saw bodies and extended breastfeeding normalized and hopes to some day see that in the states. She ultimately wants women to be and feel empowered.