The lovely Laura Frese, Paul (3.5), and Claire (6 months).
Laura has been borderline diabetic in her adult life so it wasn't much of a surprise when she developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancies. She needed to give herself 6 insulin injections per day and carefully monitor her blood sugars but had otherwise healthy pregnancies. Laura had planned cesarean births with both of her babies and says that while she is sometimes sad she didn't get to experience labor she is much more grateful she had the options she did. In both cases, she was offered the choice to try for a natural or induced labor and felt relieved about choosing a cesarean birth.
Both babies were born healthy with minimal complications other than high billirubin in both children which was an emotional roller coaster. Laura says that she is normally a rock but she broke down. Both children needed phototherapy, so despite being in a hospital that was very supportive of rooming in, she spent 3 days recovering alone while getting a 20-minute visit with her babies every 3 hours. Even more difficult was Claire's need to be in NICU on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. Laura says that making the choice to leave her baby in the hospital alone overnight to spend Christmas with her son was one of the most difficult things she's had to do.
Laura attempting breastfeeding with both of her children but the hospital set up was not conducive and they were bottle fed formula in hospital to help clear their billirubin. She feels grateful that Claire is nursing well today.
Laura fell in love with roller derby and started skating between her pregnancies and felt stronger than she ever had before. She felt amazing but it wasn't safe to continue while pregnant and she couldn't manage any exercise more strenuous than walking. Laura hasn't been able to get back to it just yet but is hopeful for the day she does.
Laura chose to participate in part to share her story of pregnancy with gestational diabetes and cesarean by choice. She also wants to remind people that postpartum body issues extend to more than just weight. For her, she hopes to focus on rebuilding muscle and feeling strong again.