The amazing Annie Gates, Kalon (6), Abram (2), Miriam (6 months).
Annie had three miscarriages before conceiving Kalon. Her first in high school and two with her husband. After her third miscarriage, Annie's doctors were finally willing to look into things and were able to give her supplemental progesterone through her first trimester which she repeated with all of her pregnancies. Annie says that she didn't know much about birth or have any solid plans and agreed to induction with Kalon which led to a long and difficult labor.
With Abram, Annie really wanted to do things differently but her water broke without labor starting and soon she found herself in the hospital with an epidural and says that she remembers crying to her husband. Feeling like she had failed somehow. Annie says that because her baby was healthy, she didn't feel like she had the space to acknowledge that she was sad about her birth or that her feelings were valid. While she never sought medical attention or treatment, Annie knows that this contributed to her struggle with postpartum depression.
Annie and her husband had decided that they were done with two kids but the week he was scheduled for his vasectomy she found out she was pregnant. She was really sad and struggled to accept the pregnancy until she was about 16 weeks along when she realized that this was perhaps another chance for her to have the birth she desired. Annie hired a doula and found a birth center she felt comfortable with. Her water broke near term and almost immediately she had intense one minute contractions two minutes apart. They headed to the hospital and Miriam was born about 20 minutes later. Annie describes the experience as redemptive and says it was exactly what she needed. Breastfeeding is going well as it has with her boys and she is thrilled to have this experience as part of her journey.
After having three children and spending the last four years pregnant and breastfeeding, Annie's body has changed in many ways but she's never been more comfortable in it. She finds it purposed and beautiful in a way that she never had before and wishes that society could see the value in that above the messages they send to us. Annie hopes that her children pick up on her comfort and self love and carry that message with them as their relationship with their own bodies evolves.