The stunning Claudia Schrieber with her children Philomena (5), Maximillian (3) and Emanuel (8 months). Claudia and her husband have been lucky to conceive all of their children without complication. Her first pregnancy went very well and she had never imagined that she'd have anything other than a vaginal birth until she learned that Philomena was in a breech position. They told her that they could try to turn her externally but that if it didn't work she'd need to have a cesarean straight away. She continued to wait and try to get her daughter to turn but her baby wasn't interested in moving. Ultrasound revealed that Philomena's cord was wrapped around her neck and her fluid was low so while they left the final choice up to Claudia, they also told her that there wasn't much chance her baby would turn and a cesarean was planned. Claudia's birth went well medically but she was shaken by the whole experience and found herself quite depressed after. She was left alone for an hour in recovery while her husband and baby where in another room not knowing how she was doing either. Breastfeeding was very challenging also and by time they left the hospital her daughter had lost 30% of her birth weight. In hindsight, Claudia says she can't believe that they allowed them to go home and thinks that her daughter was just too early and sleepy after being delivered at 38 weeks. It was about 8 weeks before she and Philomena got the hang of things but she continued to thrive. While Claudia continued to feel depressed she says that she had a lot of support to help her through it. Her husband was working in another city during the week but they had an understanding that anytime she was feeling sad she could call him and he would be available with no questions. Her midwife also continued to check in with her daily to ensure she was doing well.
It was about two years before they considered another child and in the interim Claudia had a lot of pain around her cesarean incision. In early pregnancy she continued to have a lot of pain, so much so, that at about 20 weeks she was taken out of work and put on modified bed rest. In Germany, she was grateful that her health insurance would still pay her salary and she could be home to focus on keeping herself and her baby well. Once she began resting, the pain eased a bit and she was able to continue her pregnancy without complication. When her due date came and went without labor starting they decided to induce and after three days she finally started progressing. Claudia stalled at about 8 cms, however, and her son wasn't descending all of the way. Her midwife helped her through the night to try to get him out with different positioning but they ultimately knew she would need to deliver via repeat cesarean. This time things were quite different however. Claudia says that she truly felt that she and her husband were the center of attention. They were told what was happening every step of the way and the room was very calm. She and her husband were able to remain together with their son and he started nursing right away. When she had her follow up she learned that she had so much scar tissue in her abdomen that it was unlikely Maximillion would have been able to get passed it. Her doctor told her that it would be safe to have more children but recommended that if she did she schedule another cesarean.
Claudia's third pregnancy went very well also and she followed her doctors advice to schedule her birth. Emanual was delivered one week before his due date without complication. Claudia says that he was fussier than her other children at first which created some jealousy but they've found their grove and her family now feels very complete.
Claudia feels very proud of herself and her body as a mother and though she's had her limitation with her births is happy with how they've gone. As both a parent and a social worker she values the importance in modeling body positivity for our children, particularly young girls and hopes to continue to instill self love and acceptance in her children.