The wonderful Beth Waechter and Ivan (7 months).
Beth always knew she wanted to be a mother and loved being pregnant. She and her husband conceived quickly and were thrilled until she learned 4 days later that her husband, who is active duty Army, was going to deploy. He left when she was 18 weeks pregnant but says that surprisingly, it was one of the easier goodbyes they've had.
Even with her husband gone, Beth had an easy pregnancy until she was diagnosed with high blood pressure at 37 weeks. She was put on Cervadil and Pitocin but hadn't dilated at all after 24 hours. She found herself exhausted and decided to go ahead and have a cesarean. Her mother-in-law was able to join her in the delivery room and her husband watched via Skype as their son was born. Ivan was perfect and motherhood was immediately better than she ever imagined. She had really hoped to breastfeed and tried and by the time Ivan was 2 weeks old, he was still jaundiced and hadn't gained any weight. Beth's supply wasn't what she had hoped and she was barely able to pump an ounce at a time that he wasn't interested in drinking. They made the switch to formula and everyone was immediately happier.
Beth's husband was able to come home and meet their son when he was 9 days old. It was a wonderful time but brought with it one of the most difficult goodbye's. When Ivan was 8 weeks old, Beth had severe chest pain from a gall bladder attack, and ultimately needed to have it removed. She says that she struggles with the scar from that surgery more than her cesarean scar or stretch marks.
Body confidence is something that Beth has struggled with throughout her life. While she still finds herself feeling self conscious at times, she had never felt more beautiful than when she was pregnant and after Ivan was born found herself healthier than she ever has ever been. "I'm proud of that. I want to participate to show that you can look and feel beautiful after having a baby."