The lovely Kimberly Konen and Orion Townes (2).
Kimberly says that finding projects like this one helped her get through her postpartum blues, anxiety and depression and helped her to feel less alone. She had a very supportive family but the transition from who she was before to being a mom was a difficult one. Orion was warmly welcomed into the life she and her husband had been building but she still struggled. Kimberly had never suffered from depression before so she didn't realize that's what she was dealing with. She was misdiagnosed with Lyme disease, sent for an MRI and several other tests but everything came back normal. At the end of the day all she needed was someone to say, "You just had a baby!" but every doctor she saw wanted to diagnose her with something else. She was living in a city she couldn't cope in anymore and working a job that she was having a hard time feeling support in and just needed that acknowledgement. She needed a group of mothers but was struggling to find the time to find her place while living in New York. So they left. It was a long hard transition but she and her family fled the big city for a small Wisconsin town and it was just what she needed, to submerse herself into motherhood and be with her son. She is eternally grateful they were able to find a solution that allowed her to quit her job and focus on motherhood. She's found her confidence as a mother and wants to be there with him everyday.
Kimberly says her labor and delivery was hilarious, a quintessential New York City birth story. At 39 weeks, Kimberly had just left a team meeting and work and was feeling a bit strange. She began working in a private pull out room to focus and heard a loud pop, her water had broke. She went to the bathroom to make sure everything was okay, walked back to her desk in the middle of the room, and was able to motion to a friend who came over to help grab her stuff and walk her down to catch a cab. Seeing she was in labor, the first cab wouldn't pick her up so she went to the ATM, called her midwife and walked to line up for the car service. Her husband was waiting for her on their stoop and when she got out of the car, intense contractions began. Kim labored at home for longer than she'd wanted to because she had a difficult time getting in touch with her midwife. Her best friend who was 6 months pregnant drove in to meet them and by time she arrived, Kim was throwing up and clearly in transition. They had planned to take a cab to the hospital but being so far progressed her husband decided to drive them. 30 minutes later they arrived and she began to beg for an epidural, or else. Her midwife asked for her to just come upstairs to the birthing center so she could take a look at her and get her in the tub and see how she felt then. She began pushing 45 minutes later and within 7-8 hours of when her water had first broken, Orion was born. They ordered food, had a picnic, her husband climbed in bed with her and the baby and they had their first nights sleep together as a family.
Kim is an emotional person so thinking about the physical changes in her body were the last thing on her mind. Her focus was more on what was happening within her as woman and mother through this transition. Breastfeeding was really hard and knowing she had to go back to work which wasn't set up for new moms at the time, was daunting. Her supervisor wasn't very supportive of her as a person and struggled with how she was ever going to feel empowered to go pump. Whether it was stress or her body or her worry, her milk dried up around two months which was hard to deal with but she pushed through.
When Kim was feeling alone despite having a very supportive family and husband there were times that she felt like she was going crazy. It was a scary time for her whole family but she began to find moments of downtime to zone out and go on her phone and see the stories and images of other women that helped her to find her place. She was conflicted as to whether or not she needed to have her picture and tell her own story to feel grateful for it and then thought about where she once was and realized that there might be another mom out there - exhausted and overwhelmed, searching for comfort and who may find it in her story.
"Once pregnancy ends and the 4th Trimester begins you realize you don't just jump back into your life as it was before. This is a time for recovery and a launch pad for the new person you've become."