Whitney Stolman (35) and Grayson James (3 weeks)
Nashville, TN. Photographed in San Diego, CA.
Whitney shares -
"I am a midwife and while I have never had a loss myself, for the past 7 years, I have experienced loss as a provider and mourned with my clients.
Pregnancy amazed me at what my body can do and how quickly it is changing back to a non-pregnant, new normal state!
At 57 hours, homebirth to hospital transfer and an empowering vaginal delivery, my birth was longer and harder than I ever anticipated and so was/is my postpartum recovery. Nursing has thankfully been easy and is going awesome but I struggled a lot with sleep issues, crazy hormonal night sweats, detoxing from meds in labor, and was very anemic postpartum so all of that has taken A LOT to recover from.
As a midwife I have a great community so I was able to get massages, energy work, acupuncture, and midwife visits at home in the first two weeks which was invaluable. My amazing partner really stepped up to take care of me more than I ever thought I wold need. I adjust more every day.
I have felt mostly happy as my baby is flourishing and I am so in love with him, but I have also felt traumatized by the birth, some grief since I feel after this whole experience. I don't want any more children that come out of my body, overwhelmed, exhausted, in pain, and starving. Milk coming in is no joke - I eat us out of house and home like a teenager, and am sometimes impatient.
I would tell others to make more crockpot meals, buy way more pads than you ever think you will need, sign up for amazon prime, if you don't already have it. Don't leave the house for 2 weeks, and more if you feel you need that. There is no pressure to get back into the world with any quickness, as your world is now your baby. I nested WAY more postpartum than I did prenatally, so know that may happen.
As I now think this will be my only birth/postpartum/newborn I want to enjoy and document everything! My best friend who was also here with me for my son's birth participated in Portland after the birth of her first daughter and still treasures her photos, so it encouraged me to participate as well. The vision and message of what you are doing speaks to me as a woman and midwife."