The amazing Gretchen Pierce, Persephone (2.75) and Wolfgang (13 months).
Gretchen had hoped to have unmedicated births with both of her children. With her daughter she didn't feel that she had the tools in labor to cope, however. After carrying post dates she labored at home to 4cms and asked for an epidural upon arriving to the hospital. She went on to have a vaginal birth without any complications and breastfed until Persephone was 10 months old. Gretchen has psoriatic arthritis and was encouraged to stop breastfeeding so that she could resume the medications it was clear her body needed.
After weighing her options however, they decided to go ahead and try for another baby while she was unmedicated and quickly conceived Wolfgang. Gretchen practiced prenatal yoga throughout her pregnancy which was very helpful during labor and she had hoped again to have an unmedicated birth. She had 50% more fluid than was normal which caused a slight complication and when she was induced, again post dates, she chose to have an epidural at 8cms. Shortly after receiving the epidural Gretchen birthed what she affectionately refers to as a 'water balloon' or 'alien egg'. The midwife attempted to explain it by saying that my membranes had reformed around leftover fluid but everyone seemed confused by what had happened. After laboring in a various positions, Wolf became distressed and Gretchen ultimately delivered via cesarean. She's proud of how hard she worked during labor and thrilled they've been able to continue nursing while she stays medicated for her arthritis.
Having struggled with eating disorders in the past, Gretchen now wants to celebrate accepting and appreciating her body. Having children has helped her to focus less on how her body looks, and more on how it works, how strong and capable it is. "I want my children to be proud of their bodies. I want them to see themselves as strong and beautiful. I want them to see strength and beauty in real life bodies around them. I want my children to decide what beauty means for their own bodies. I want to start by being an example."