The stunning Sarah Pruett, James (4) and Charlie (22 months).
Sarah and her husband conceived James before they felt like they had it all together but were excited to make it all work. Her pregnancy went smoothly but labor and delivery were more intense. Sarah didn't have any issues dilating and was complete but James just wasn't coming down. She began pushing at 10pm and continued throughout the night. Her doctor tried a vacuum extraction and at 7am they decided that there wasn't anything more they could do but deliver via cesarean. James was born without complication but Sarah was entirely depleted. She was joyful but didn't feel as if she had any energy left to great him with. Thankfully, recovery went well for Sarah as did breastfeeding.
When James was two, they decided to try for another so that he would have a sibling close in age and were able to conceive without any issues. At seven weeks, Sarah miscarried which was very difficult to navigate. She got pregnant with Charlie just after and was so grateful that things were going well. At 23 weeks, Sarah began having some bleeding and then woke up in the middle of the night to find her water had broke. She called her midwife who found a hospital with space as well as an open NICU who could take her. The first time Sarah heard the word NICU she said no. She wasn't one of "those" moms, her baby was going to stay just where she was.
They were able to stabilize her with medication and she remained in the hospital until she Charlie arrived. Sarah was thrilled to make it to 30 weeks and remembers hearing so many babies crying. She was in an overflow area of the hospital and wasn't used to having babies nearby. When she asked the nurse what was happening she told her that there was a super moon and all the babies were coming. Sarah fell asleep and woke up around 3am realizing Charlie's cord had prolapsed. She pulled the emergency cord and began screaming. Nurses came running and one nurse, who she says is her angel, reached inside her to lift Charlie up and decompress her cord. It was only six minutes from the time she called the nurses until Charlie was born but it felt like an eternity.
She had wanted nothing more than to be present when he was born but had to be put under completely. When Sarah woke up she was eager to learn if she'd had a boy or girl but under the circumstances, learning his sex was quite anti-climactic. She was soon able to get to the NICU to see him and from there they began to work towards home. It was difficult to navigate the care of James at home and Charlie in the hospital but they made it work and after a smooth NICU journey he was able to come home at 38 weeks. Sarah was determined to breastfeed and despite some challenges was successful.
Story telling and sharing are such a gift we can give each other and Sarah found that she benefited greatly from seeing and reading other women's experiences while she sat in the NICU with her son waiting to be able to take him home. Her body has changed greatly during pregnancy and she hasn't lost the baby weight but that's okay. She's strong and her body physically cares for her children daily. There is no room for feeling failure or inadequacy when she's so busy cherishing her ability to mother them.