The stunning Katie Akins, Camden (3.5) and Brynnley (1.5). Katie says that Camden saved her life, a sentiment that is echoed by her own parents often. Katie was just a few months out of treatment for bulimia when she conceived. She had been doing everything she could to self-destruct and knowing that she needed to make choices not only for herself but for another person helped her to keep it together. She was terrified of having a girl though, not feeling equipped to instill her in a sense of self-esteem and confidence that she lacked, and was relieved to learn she was having a boy.
Katie's pregnancy was going well but at 36 weeks she was at the door talking to a salesman who wanted to do a carpet cleaning demo in her house when her water broke. It took some time for her to realize she hadn't just peed herself and she quickly went to the doctor. There they confirmed that her water had broke entirely and also discovered that Camden was breech. There was no good way to turn him and her doctor didn't want her to have to go through an unexpected breech delivery so they decided to deliver via cesarean. Katie didn't have any negative feelings surrounding her birth and the moment she met her son was one of the best moments of her life.
Katie began her life parenting Camden as a single mother but soon reunited with his father and ended up moving cross country to marry him. They decided to have another child and she conceived Brynnley soon after. During her pregnancy, Katie realized that things just weren't going to work out with her husband and she filed for divorce. Katie moved back home to her parents and began seeing the same doctor she'd delivered Camden with. Her doctor was also going through a divorce and it allowed them to connect on a different level. After weighing the options Katie decided to deliver via repeat cesarean and had another great experience.
While Katie hadn't placed a lot of weight on her birth experiences she was determined to breastfeed. She tried and tried with each of her babies but it was painful and they never settled into a routine that worked for either of them. She was able to nurse Camden for a couple of months and made it a few weeks with Brynnley before she needed to stop. While it was what was best for them all she found herself feeling as if she had to explain and justify her decision.
People ask Katie often how she works full time, goes to school full time, and has two children and her response is always that she just does. She doesn't always feel like she's capable of providing the world that her children deserve but she provides all that she can and has the amazing support of her parents and their father who she has a good co-parenting relationship with. Katie has been able to maintain her recovery and again, credits her children for helping her on her way.