The beautiful Brandy Beck, Sienna (4.5) and Dawson (17 months). Brandy says that motherhood is a whirlwind - raising her kids is both the most amazing gift and the most difficult thing she's ever done. She loved being pregnant and had very healthy pregnancies but says she doesn't birth babies very well. She labored for a day and a half at home with Sienna and went into the hospital to learn she was only 1 cm dilated. She had an epidural and Pitocin and made it to 4cms before reaching a stalemate and deciding to deliver via cesarean. Sienna's first Apgar scores were low but she did well and the hospital was very supportive of breastfeeding right away.
Brandy struggled with healing, however, and eventually learned that her sutures had entrapped a nerve. Rather than going numb the nerve became hypersensitive and she was in a lot of searing pain. She was given nerve blocking medication which meant that as a pilot, she wasn't allowed to fly. She tired therapy, lidocaine injections, acupuncture and ultimately getting pregnant with her son was her prescription. His pregnancy cured her - the hormones made the pain go away allowing her to go off of her medication and get back to flying for while and as her belly grew it popped her nerve from her scar tissue.
Brandy tried for a VBAC and her midwife really thought she was headed there. Her contractions were progressing well through back labor but at 5cms they did an internal exam and realized that they could touch her tail bone. Her midwife told her she doesn't say it often, but her bones were so narrow front to back they were not allowing for a vaginal delivery. She went in for a repeat cesarean and Dawson was born healthy and big. She learned that once again, she is a slow healer and had a difficult recovery with her muscles that took almost a year to feel better. She was able to find a topical cream that helped her pain and has been back to work since July. She says she always felt so lucky that her job was her passion and now that she's a mother, she has two jobs that she is incredibly passionate about.
Having a good support team allowed Brandy to work through any negative feelings related to her births that she may have had. She jokes that the only thing she got out of her birth plans was her baby. Especially with Sienna she physically wanted to have a vaginal birth and struggled a bit with that but after Dawson's birth she feels that it just wasn't in the cards even though she tried.
Brandy says she is overdue for an empowering experience. She isn't back at her pre-pregnancy weight, she doesn't have the time she used to to hit the gym but she's been trying to set small goals for herself. Most importantly she's trying to find a well rounded appreciation for herself while also learning to give herself a break sometimes. "Life is busy and hard and perhaps enjoying life should be more important than reaching those physical goals."