The radiant Heather Raeburn and Ramona (2.5)
Heather was able to conceive Ramona quickly but the beginning of her pregnancy was somewhat intense. She began bleeding early on, spotting at just 6 weeks and then passing clots. She was in and out of the hospital to check on things and they eventually diagnosed her with a threatened miscarriage and sub-chorionic hemorrhages. Heather was having weekly ultrasounds and monitoring but as worrisome as her pregnancy began, when she hit 13 weeks the bleeding stopped and everything improved.
During Heather's anatomy scan near 20 weeks, she learned that she had a bi-lobed placenta with two equal lobes, the rarest presentation. They couldn't tell where her cord was inserted which could have have led to issues but simply required some extra scans.
At 29 weeks, Heather began to feel cramping and pressure and went into the emergency room. She was 1 cm dilated but wasn't having any contractions and thought she just needed to hydrate. She was discharged and at the doctor the following day, Heather told her that she was feeling pressure and was amazed to find she had dilated to 3 cm in just 24 hours. Heather was sent to the hospital right away where they were able to stop her labor and send her home again. She was on modified bedrest for 5 weeks until Ramona arrived 6 weeks and 1 day early, at 34 weeks.
Heather's water broke in the middle of the night but contractions hadn't started yet. She went into the hospital and her doctors wanted to start pitocin but were able to wait. Within two hours, Heather's contractions were non stop but she was only 6 cms dilated and both she and Ramona were in distress. They gave her terbutaline to stop contractions and talked them through the possible need for an emergency cesarean. Heather agreed to an epidural and they decided to put water back into her uterus to help ease some of the distress. At 2:30 that afternoon, Ramona was born and never needed breathing assistance thanks to steroids in utero. Heather was able to hold her baby for a minute before she was taken to NICU for the next 9 days.
Five hours after her birth, Heather was able to make her way to the NICU to see Ramona. She tried to breastfeed in hospital but found it difficult to get everything situated and decided to pump and transition to breast once she got home. Heather returned to work when Ramona was 14 weeks old and started to go through Postpartum depression and anxiety she's still dealing with today. Heather is feeling like she's coming over the hurdle now but has struggled with being unable to carry her daughter to term as if her body had failed her but also knows her that her body is amazing for carrying her daughter for exactly as long as she could.
Heather had sought treatment and a support group for her depression initially but a cross country move left her without help for some time. She's thankfully found a new therapist and started taking medication to cope with her depression and anxiety.
Heather was drawn to the project for several reasons and says, "The celebration of every type of mother, experience and body is so important. The ability to embrace everyone is something that is often lacking in the sphere of motherhood".