The stunning Victoria Hatch, mother to Gray (4.5), Dean (2.5) and Autumn Luna (4 months - pictured).
When Victoria was pregnant with Gray she read, 'What to Expect When You're Expecting', and thought that was all she'd need to know. She was uneducated about birth and ended up being induced at a military hospital in Germany at 37 weeks. Her baby began to crash and she delivered via emergency cesarean. Her husband deployed to Afghanistan when her baby was three weeks old and she developed significant postpartum depression though she didn't know what it was at the time. Dean was also born in Germany and his birth was a schedule cesarean after her doctor said she was far to small of a person to push out a baby. This birth was much better than her first, however, and her recovery much smoother.
After Victoria's second birth she realized she felt betrayed by medical staff. She was back in the States now, became a doula and learned everything she could about pregnancy and birth. She knew that she wanted to have a VBAC after two cesareans and had a lot of support from her friends. She carried to 41 weeks when she went into the doctor in hopes of talking to them about letting her go another week. When they took her vitals, they said the baby was crashing. Everything felt the same as her first, the PTSD, the flashbacks, everything came rushing back and she just thought to herself that she couldn't do this. Her uterus was showing signs of possible uterine rupture but they were able to observe her and scheduled a cesarean for later that day. This was the first time she was awake for her delivery - with her boys she'd been completely under so she didn't get to see them or hear them cry. Victoria thinks that had a lot to do with her disconnect and PPD. This time her husband was with her and he spoke quietly in her ear the whole time. He sang the Rolling Stones, "Can't Always Get What You Want" to her and she says it was actually the best day of her entire life. She was able to have immediate skin to skin in the OR and her daughter nursed for 45 minutes while they closed her up. The birth wasn't what she wanted but was what she needed, just like they say in the song.
Victoria had hyperemesis gravidarum with all of her pregnancies though it was the least severe with her daughter. She was able to breastfeed all three of her children. With her first she didn't really know what she was doing and ended up in a German hospital with Mastitis for two weeks. With her second things came easy and nursing her daughter has been a breeze.
Victoria has continued to struggle with PPD and admits that today, she's not doing very well. She has a lot of guilt surrounding her births and has moments she feels like she gave up but wonders if she'd feel the same way even if she'd had her VBAC. She almost chose not to participate at the last minute because she's not happy with her body right now. Still, she wants to show her daughter that she's always beautiful no matter what she does or what she looks like.