The amazing Catie Early Thompson with Ella (almost 3!). Catie miscarried her second pregnancy last year and is currently 34 weeks pregnant with a son. Catie was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when she was 13 and as a result was told that it may be more difficult for her to conceive. She and her husband decided to try, thinking it would take a long time, only to get pregnant right away. She struggled with accepting the change in her whole being having not anticipated things to happen so swiftly.
Catie dealt with migraines in early pregnancy and discomforts throughout. She educated herself, took classes, prenatal yoga, and did all she could to prepare for the birth she'd hoped for. When Catie approached and then surpassed 40 weeks the conversation turned to induction which she had hoped to avoid in part due to fear that the cascade of interventions would soon follow. She was ultimately induced in hospital and labored over three days before the decision was made to deliver via cesarean. Ella was born without complications and Catie recovered well physically but has had a difficult time with all of the "justs" and platitudes. Her babies health does not negate her emotions and experience.
Breastfeeding became a way for Catie to focus on what she could do for her daughter in contrast to the feelings of she had over her arrival. It wasn't easy and she dealt with complications along the way, including double mastitis Ella's first Christmas but she was able to continue nursing until she was two.
Catie got pregnant again when Ella was just shy of two and initially had very mixed feelings. In the midst of mothering a very busy toddler, she wasn't sure she could welcome another baby. She says that those feelings passed quite quickly though when she realized the baby would be due on her sisters birthday and the thought of having that bond for her daughter became a reality. Catie had experienced a lot of cramping early in her pregnancy with Ella so she didn't think much of it when she started experiencing the same with her second pregnancy. Sadly, she learned she was miscarrying soon after and lost her baby in September 2014. The loss was difficult and Catie couldn't help but wonder if her initial reservations had somehow caused this to happen. It continued to be difficult as she returned to work and was surrounded by women due with babies around the same time that hers would have been born. Even now, happily pregnant again, she has moments where she mourns the baby that should be in her arms right now.
This third pregnancy has been going well for Catie, she didn't have the migraines she had with Ella, but did have a lot of worry her first trimester that she might lose this baby too. She has since switched to a midwifery practice but Catie very much appreciated her OB when she went in to confirm her pregnancy as he asked right away if she was going to VBAC rather than assume that she would need to have a repeat cesarean. She is hoping that when this baby arrives she will be able to give birth vaginally without complication.
Catie says that after she had her daughter she looked down and already didn't remember what it had felt like to be carrying a baby. Not knowing if she will be having another baby she wanted to have photographic evidence of this time in her life. After Ella was born, she felt disconnected with her body and feels that both during and after pregnancy she looks so different than the self she recognizes. As the mother of a daughter, she knows that Ella may navigate issues with her own body and hopes that she can always look at herself the way her mom does, as completely beautiful and wonderful no matter what.