The dashing Jennifer Durham and Claire Esmé (11 months). Jennifer and her husband had tried for two years before they got Claire. Her husband was diagnosed with a varicocele and two weeks before they were going to have a surgical procedure to correct it, she had a positive test. Jennifer was sick for the first 4 months of her pregnancy before feeling better and finding herself able to enjoy it. Claire came one day prior to her due date, but she had been in daily for two days prior with contractions. She believes the nurse stripped her membranes but isn't certain beyond the fact that it hurt a lot and got her admitted. She had a failed epidural and ultimately had to deliver via cesarean with an epidural that was only working on one side. Jennifer says that she could feel everything on the one side but it was time to take her daughter out and she wanted them to do whatever they needed to do.
Claire was born with a double knotted umbilical cord so having her by cesarean ended up being the best thing for her, she was bit stunned when she was born, her tone wasn't great and she had a difficult time keeping her temperature up, so she taken straight to NICU for a few days. Breastfeeding was challenging in part due to tongue tie - a revision didn't improve her latch and Jennifer had already been pumping so she decided to continue. Pumping was in some ways awful but also an amazing gift, she exclusively pumped for 11 months, still has a freezer full of breastmilk and was able to feed three other babies in the process. She found a lot of support from a neighbor who was also exclusively pumping and joined an online group for women breastfeeding without nursing.
Jennifer was in a career when she became a mother that had the mentality that you could be a mother or you could have a career but you couldn't do both. People expected her to not come back from leave and even though she gave it her all and did both well, she was treated as if she could not. She is now at a new job that gives her more flexibility, less travel and she's able to do it both in a career where that's supported which has made the transition much easier.
She wants women to know that you can successfully pump for an extended period of time and that motherhood changes you physically. Things move and shift and change and that is all entirely, normal.